Apologies for the terrible title, but I couldn't resist. The devil really made me do it!! And I bet I got your attention!!! After eleven days of living out of our suitcases, it is most definitely time to hit the laundry.
Our drive today took us, in very mixed sun and rain weather conditions (Mother Nature seems incapable of making up her fickle mind), from Gruyeres to the charming wine town of Cully. Cully (pronounced "cool-ee") is nestled on the shore of Lake Geneva and is surrounded by the Lavaux vineyards which have been declared a UNESCO Heritage site as some vines are estimated to date back to Roman times. Now that is what I call "aged" wine.
Cully is one of four communities over which the Lavaux vineyards stretch, the remaining three communities being Epesses, Riex and Puidox. Over three hundred and fifty acres of land are terraced or sloped vineyards. Visually, the area is stunning as your eyes travel up hills patch worked with grape vines. Apparently the morainal soils, rich in clay create the famous, racy, full-bodied wines. The area is best know for its Chasselas, Pinot Noir and Gamay wines. Obviously we have a lot of tasting to do. I'm liking this! Interestingly, very little Swiss wine is exported. Most of the local wines are drunk by the Swiss. Merely two percent of the national wine production is exported, but primarily to Germany.
Narrow single lane roads through town made the search for our hotel quite the experience, especially when faced with oncoming traffic or trucks. Observation: Audis do not win Mexican standoffs with large vehicles. Just sayin'. Two years ago, our son, Matthew, gave Jim the GPS card for Europe as a gift. To this day, it has made our travels far less stressful. How we would have found our way through narrow European city streets and complex highway systems, I do not know. Although Jim does not like taking directions which he freely admits, he listens to everything Geelo ( our GPS) has to say.
Cully, which is located midway between Montreux and Lausanne, offers frequent ferry service on Lake Geneva. We will most likely park our car permanently in town and "boat it" to most locations. On Thursday, we hope to take a vineyard tasting tour. More on that to follow.
Just in case you are wondering (personally, I wouldn't be), laundry was dropped off at an efficient little laundry service not far from our hotel. Clothes, washed, cleaned and pressed will be ready for pick up early Thursday morning. If it is anything like the laundry service in Italy, even our socks will be pressed. Go figure!
More on wine region tomorrow.....