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Maison de la Crausaz

J&M Dizerens, Lavaux, Switzerland

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ABOVE: Two views of the Maison de la Crausaz in Grandvaux.

The red and white wines of Lavaux, in Canton Vaud, are little-known outside of Switzerland for a simple reason: The Swiss buy nearly all of the wines produced along the shores of Lake Léman.

Fortunately, you don't have to be Swiss to enjoy the wines of Dézaley, Epesses, St-Saphorin, and other villages in the Vignoble de Lavaux. You can order a glass or a bottle in most Swiss restaurants, or--better yet--you can visit the winegrowers' caveaux or tasting cellars for wine and, in some cases, food.

photoOne such caveau is the Maison de la Crausaz in Grandvaux, which is owned by the brothers Michel and Jean-François Dizerens, who bottle their wines under the name J&M Dizerens.

photoThe tasting room has tables with seats for up to 40 guests, a terrace with outdoor tables and chairs, and--best of all--a superb video and diorama presentation (available in multiple languages) that describes the soil and flavor characteristics of each appellation in Lavaux. You can taste examples of the Dizerens brothers' wines (with food, on request), and you can buy wine by the bottle or case to take home. Wine prices are quite reasonable, since you're buying direct from the grower: During my visit in fall, 2005, most bottles were priced between 10 and 20 Swiss francs.

Michel, the charming host (at right in the inset photo above), claims not to speak English. His wife does, however, and the maison can welcome small or large groups in four languages: French, English, German, and Italian.

The Maison de la Crausaz is on the Chemin du la Creuse in  Grandvaux, just downhill from the village center. Like most tasting cellars, the Maison de la Crausaz is open by appointment; e-mail [email protected] or phone +41 (0)21 791 34 97 to schedule a visit. The multilingual J&M Dizerens Web site has road directions (click "Domains") and more information about wines available at the caveau.

Related article: Lavaux Vineyards



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