VINILINK_EN

Sandoz Vins & Cie

Village: Neuchâtel
AOC: Neuchâtel
Winemakers: Patrick et Roger Sandoz

History
The first vintages were bottled at the Sandoz winery in 1934. The family business is now run by Patrick, 4th generation Sandoz, and his father Roger, who is set to retire soon. Patrick graduated from the renowned oenology university in Changins in the canton of Vaud, which educates wine specialists in western Switzerland. He had the opportunity to work his way through the trade before taking over the family business. In particular, Patrick gained experience at Domaine Carinae in the Argentine wine-growing region of Mendoza. There, he learned the art of ageing wines in oak barrels, which led him to triple the barrel capacity after his return to Switzerland.

Philosophy
The Sandoz winery embodies a successful mix of modernity and tradition. Some steps in the winemaking process are mechanized, but the harvest, for example, is done by hand. The topographical diversity of the plots makes work in the vineyards sometimes complicated. The family only uses treatments with synthetic products in case of extreme need to save a harvest. Low yields and the use of natural practices allow an integrated production, all respectful of nature, characterizing the winemaking at Sandoz. All their white wines, with an exception of the desert ones, are vinified in stainless steel tanks and do not undergo malolactic fermentation. This process results in lively and fresh white wines, favouring the purity of the fruit. In recent years, the grapes from the different plots have been vinified separately and then assembled, allowing in-depth work to highlight the characteristics of the different terroirs.

Production
Sandoz cultivates 6.5 ha of vineyards and produces wine from 10 ha. Grapes are purchased from long-term, trustworthy wine growing partners, with some of them worked for more than 40 years. Sandoz Vins produces 11 different wines and markets a little less than 100'000 bottles a year. Their flagship is a classic Pinot Noir that benefits from manual maceration, giving this wine a dense and subtle texture. It was awarded first prize (selection excellence) by La Sélection des Vins de Neuchâtel. Sandoz Vins offers 2 Chasselas wines, one of them unfiltered. Of the 3 Pinot Noir wines, one is produced in the classic style, one in the barrel and one as Oeil-de-Perdrix. A Chardonnay, Viognier and Pinot Gris each come from the stainless steel tank. There is also an almost syrupy Pinot Gris wine and one made of Mara, a red grape growing vine produced in Changins, which is harvested at low yields and matured in barrels over a long time.

Winery of the week