Chateau d'Aigle: House of Vine and Wine

April 21, 2011

Chateau d'Aigle: House of Vine and Wine

April 21, 2011
Posted in: Totally Random | Reading Time: 3 minutes

A few weekends ago, Mr. Wild Dingo and I visited Chateau d'Aigle, a museum of vine and wine that featured a renown collection of wine labels dating back as far as the 1800's. Unfortunately, that exhibit was closed due to relocation, but the chateau and museum did not disappoint.

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It was a Saturday afternoon. Not a soul in sight. We had the castle almost entirely to ourselves making it a serene and magical visit.

The Swiss really have a way with elevating simplicity to an art-form.  The artistic and interactive representation of vine and wine was utterly divine and breathtakingly inspirational. We were able to see, touch, feel, listen to and smell every aspect of wine-making.  A stunning blend of art and science, it almost made me want to change my career from a professional hobbyist to a grape grower and farmer. Almost.

The first two rooms of the castle welcomed the visitor with a history of its geography and an extraordinary film of aerial landscape, planting and harvesting combined with inspiring music that echoed throughout the castle. I was so moved, I wanted Mr. Wild Dingo to quit his job and crush grapes with me. Instead we opted for buying the music. Probably a good choice for us.

The photo above shows the original beams dated 1644. On the walls close to the ceiling are counting marks for the harvests.

Like all castles in Switzerland, Chateau d'Aigle has seen many owners and felt many wars. It was built in the 12 century by the Eagle Knights, or Allio, as a fortified tower. Soon it was surrounded by a variety of buildings and walls. Of course the Bernese had their way here as well. The bears above the entry door are their way of saying "the Berner's were here."

And like most chateaus, it was once used as a prison as well. It seems even the prisoners had talent. Above is one bit of graffiti left by a prisoner.

Mr. Wild Dingo loves to capture light and shadow and wrestled the camera from me to get this shot.

Me? I love my window shots.

It feels like I'm in another world and in another time. There's only me, Mr. Wild Dingo, the vines and the music. It's intoxicating.

Mr. Wild Dingo is surrounded by walls. The sun peaks through the windows behind him. The Alps loom in the distance. He pleads me to hurry as the final interactive adventure awaits.

Did you think we wouldn't partake in the final and most inviting sense?

A glass of wine and views of the vineyards, town and Alps complete a magical day.

Mr. Wild Dingo walks back through town to the car.

But this was my ride home.

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7 comments on “Chateau d'Aigle: House of Vine and Wine”

  1. What a beautiful Saturday you had. Perhaps you should add "Travel Writer" to your list of things you're good at!! Were all shoes present and accounted for upon your return to Chez Dingo?

    -The Rotties

  2. Wow, that is sooo beautiful!! I think my human would want to hang out there all day! She is a total wine lover!

    Holly

  3. A wonderful two-fer: great experience and great memory to store away. Love the landscape through the leaded glass window. And the car at the end; is it really yours or just another wonderful memory? What's with all the prisons in medieval Switzerland, though? Seems like every castle you've been to didn't just have the regulatory dungeon in the basement, but actually functioned primarily as a prison at one time or another. This one must have housed at least one philosophical prisoner - a political prisoner? - to have inscribed that sentiment on the wall.

    Jed & Abby

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