When we visited Switzerland for the first time late last year it was like stepping into some kind of fairytale. The snowy mountain peaks, the countryside dotted with timber houses and fuzzy sheep, stunning waterfalls cascading through the clouds… it was magical!
Above all though, it was the lofty castles that really caught our attention.
So, having plenty of time to plan our next trip (we’re hoping it’ll happen before 2022), we’ve been scouring the internet for inspo on which Swiss castles to visit next.
Switzerland Tourism must have been following our browser searches, sending us the below list of enchanting lesser-known castles to whet our appetite. Best of all, they all have their very own wineries too! Trust us, you’ll want to file this post for later.
Winery Schloss Salenegg
Dating back to 950AD, the Winery Schloss Salenegg in the Canton of Graubünden is one of Europe’s oldest wineries. Producing award-winning wines since 1968, the von Gugelberg family who owns the estate blends traditional wine making processes with modern methods. Their Pinot Noir, for example, is mashed and fermented for 10 days in steel tanks before being transferred to traditional wooden barrels to develop character. The castle’s location, Maienfeld, famous as the setting for Johanna Spyri’s Heidi, is just over 1hr by train from Zurich.
Located in the Canton of Geneva, and just under 1hr from Geneva city by train and bus, the Château Du Crest or Crest Castle is the only wine producing château in the left bank of Lake Geneva. It was only 10 years ago that the region revived the old tradition of viticulture and has been produced its own wine ever since. Visitors can enjoy the sprawling 15 hectares of vineyards and the variety of wines produced from Chasselas to Cabernet to Merlot. The ancient tradition of pressing the grapes at the castle continues today, with the help of modern technology.
Towering at 60m high across six storeys, the impressive Vufflens Castle in the Canton of Vaud was once the residence of Michael Schumacher and his family. With a long history involving mysteries and robberies, the castle is today privately owned by the Saussure family. Surrounding the fortress is eight hectares of vineyards, and the wine is produced in the castle’s cellars by the House of Bolle. While the castle itself is not opened to the public, visitors can walk the through the vineyards and courtyard. By train, Vufflens Castle is 45 minutes away from Lausanne or 1hr from Geneva.
Château de Villa
Offering the most renowned specialities of the Valais, visitors can taste wines produced by more than 110 wine producers in the region. Wine enthusiasts can also sign up for their seasonally themed wine seminars to learn more about the local produce and locals. The château is 1:25hr from Lausanne or 2:16hr from Geneva.
Boasting a spectacular setting on the confluence of the Upper and Lower Rhine, the historic Reichenau Castle is today a working winery used by the Tscharner family. Dating back to the 17th century, the estate also includes an impressive garden to the west of the castle. Just under 2hr by train from Zurich, the recommended way to experience the Reichenau Castle is with a guided tour led by Gian-Battista von Tscharner, followed by a wine tasting.
Purchased by Luigi Zanini in 1998, the old farmstead was later transformed into the Castello Luigi that is standing today. Situated in the Canton of Ticino in the south and Italian speaking region of Switzerland, Luigi also constructed an 18.5m deep spiral cellar under the vineyard, ensuring all vinification work is carried out by gravity alone. Over the years, the vineyards extended to cover an area just over 125,000 sqm. To get there from Lugano takes under 1hr via a train and short bus ride.
Want to know more? Visit myswitzerland.com