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Armour, smoked sausages and Christin wine

Where to go on the Vaud Riviera? GaultMillau asked Christin Rütsche, winegrower in Lavaux, for her best advice.

The wines of Montimbert in Chardonne (VD).
For Christin Rütsche, it is a dream come true. A little over three years ago, she was able to take over the Montimbert wine estate in Chardonne. The view of Lake Geneva and the Alps is simply breathtaking. Christin cultivates 1.75 hectares of sloping vineyards here. It may not be much, but she can do everything on her own. In any case, there is no question of working anything but by hand. Christin discovered her love of wine very early on. But in a place where she was not expected. "First I did an apprenticeship as a chemist. In a country drugstore, where wine was sold on the side. I was quickly seduced by the bottles - as I am by everything fine and beautiful. It's obvious: at home, there are posters from art exhibitions and notes by Erik Satie on the piano.


The GaultMillau Rookie of the Year!
Christin's career? She studied oenology at Changins, then spent eight years working in Montepulciano, where she worked as an oenologist for Rudi Bindella's Tenuta Vallocaia. Then she returned to the Riviera: the young winemaker had already done a long internship at Montimbert before her studies. Then the opportunity to take over the Chardonne wine estate presented itself to her. A stroke of luck, even if there is a lot of work to be done. And you also have to hang in there, especially in difficult years like this one. The experts are also enthusiastic about her work: the GaultMillau wine jury has named Christin Rütsche Rookie of the Year 2022.

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En visite chez Serge Porchet : il fume du saumon, du bœuf, de la volaille et bien plus encore.

Smoking with Serge Porchet.
How does this native of Thurgau spend his free time, where does he meet his friends? We meet up again for a little gourmet tour in Lavaux. Christin takes us to the Armoire à Brume in Forel-Lavaux, where Serge Porchet runs a smokehouse. Salmon, beef, poultry and many other products are cold smoked with great expertise. "We smoke everything we can get our hands on, except the mother-in-law," explains Serge. This fishing enthusiast only turned his passion into a profession at the age of 50. His beef onglet has a fantastic taste. It far surpasses some of the more famous smoked meats.

Bistro, café and village bakery.
The rookie Christin sells almost all her production to private customers. She also supplies two excellent restaurants in Chardonne. Le Demi-Lune is an original mix of bistro, café and village bakery. Philippe Verdan, the owner, also places great emphasis on wine; he particularly appreciates the bottles of Christin. You can uncork them on the terrace, weather permitting. Here too, the postcard view of the lake and the Alps fascinates us.


In the footsteps of the Queen.
Lavaux also has a lot of history to offer. Christin takes us to the Tour de Marsens, which dominates the scenery in the Dézaley. The young winemaker Arthur Duplan, who runs the two-hectare wine estate that is part of it, offers us a guided tour of the medieval walls and shows us the room in which the last queen of Italy took refuge when she fled from the Fascists. She had taken private lessons from the owner at the time, a history teacher, but it didn't end there. Arthur also shows us Renaissance folding chairs, specially designed so that you don't have to remove your armour to sit down. Or the sword with which poor Burgundians were pricked at the Battle of Murten. Once again, the view of the lake and the vineyards is the leitmotif. The view is most impressive from the top of the tower, between the characteristic battlements.

Relax in Cully. It's harvest time!
Christin Rütsche has to get back to work. His family has come from Thurgau to help with the harvest. For the last stage, we have to do without the winegrower: stroll a little more along the promenade of the beach in Cully. This is where Christin prefers to relax in the quieter moments.

Original text in German:
Stephan Thomas for Gault & Millau