What is Dôle?
A. A fruity, licoricey, bitter-edged wine made with dolcetto grapes in Piedmont, Italy
B. The nickname for the system in apartheid-era South Africa whereby the jobless were given bulk wine as a portion of their unemployment benefits
C. Sparkling pineapple wine produced by Tedeschi Winey, a partnership between California vintners and Ulupalakua Ranch on Maui, Hawaii
D. The most popular red wine blend in French-speaking Switzerland
Dôle, a light and fruity red wine blend, meant to be enjoyed in its youth, is based on two of the most widely planted red grapes in Switzerland’s Valais wine region—pinot noir and gamay. In the late 1950s, Dôle became a protected appellation in the Valais. The blend must be comprised of at least 85% pinot noir and gamay, with pinot dominating. Other red grape varieties including syrah and the indigenous varieties humagne rouge and cornalin are also allowed. Valais is the largest of Switzerland’s six wine regions and extends over 60 miles (100 kilometers) along the river Rhône.
And here are three fascinating facts about Switzerland wine country:
• Switzerland is primarily a red wine producer
• There are roughly 1650 producers in the country
• It has some of the steepest vineyards in the world