Unveiling the Winners’ Stories: Park Hotel Vitznau Tops the World’s Best Wine Lists

By | 6 February 2024

Sven Uzat, head of wine at Park Hotel Vitznau, explains how his team built its award-winning wine program.

By The World of Fine Wine Team

With entries now open for the 2024 World’s Best Wine Lists awards, we asked some of the 2023 winners about their approach to building an award-winning list. We start with Sven Uzat of Park Hotel Vitznau, Switzerland, which picked up four awards last year, including the overall Wine List of the Year.

What does Winning a WBWL award mean to you and the team at the Park Hotel Vitznau?

Winning the WBWL award is a significant achievement for our wine program. It represents a culmination of our dedicated efforts and a validation of our commitment to excellence in the wine industry. We are truly honored and grateful to have received this prestigious award. It is not just a recognition of our past achievements but a commitment to continue our pursuit of excellence in the wine industry. We are thankful for this honor and excited about the opportunities it opens up for us in the future.”

What are you trying to achieve with your list? 
At the heart of our wine list’s curation is our primary goal: guest satisfaction. We aim to create a wine list that not only complements our overall dining experience but also delights our patrons. In essence, our wine list is a reflection of our commitment to delivering an exceptional dining experience. It’s not just a list of beverages; it’s a carefully curated journey through the world of wine, designed to enhance our guests’ enjoyment and appreciation of their time with us.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of the Park Hotel list?
While it’s challenging to pinpoint a single biggest strength, we take immense pride in several key aspects that distinguish our wine list from others: Our wine list boasts an extensive and diverse collection of wines from Switzerland and France, with a particular emphasis on renowned regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône Valley, and Champagne. This diversity allows us to cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

One of our standout features is the inclusion of a substantial number of older vintages. We’ve carefully curated a selection of aged wines that provide our guests with the unique opportunity to savor the evolving character of exceptional wines. Notably, we house vintage collections from esteemed wineries like Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, and an entire vintage collection from the illustrious Château d’Yquem, spanning from 1890 to the present day. We believe in providing value to our customers. Our pricing strategy is fair and competitive, making exceptional wines accessible to a wide range of wine enthusiasts.

Name three wines on the Park Hotel list that you feel best represent what you’re trying to do.

The 1811 Château d’Yquem is not only a remarkable example of a legendary Sauternes but also one of the oldest drinkable wines from the Château still available in the market.

The 1865 Château Lafite-Rothschild. This vintage is a unique gem that showcases our commitment to offering wines with a rich history and distinctive qualities. It allows our guests to experience the magic of a truly exceptional wine that encapsulates the essence of the Château.

2019 Domaine de la Rochette Pinot Noir La Rochette: The hidden treasure from Neuchâtel in Switzerland.

What is your favorite wine and food pairing based on a wine and a dish served at the Park Hotel? 

At our establishment, the Signature Dish by Executive Chef Patrick Mahler at the Park Hotel is our preferred wine and food pairing. It’s an unusual combination of duck liver ice-cream, beetroot, and beef tartare, complemented by an outstanding wine from the Grisons region in Switzerland, the 2021 Donatsch Pinot Muté. 

Aside from the list, what additional details can you provide about your wine program?

We are thrilled to unveil our “Sommeliers Table” in the coming year. Set for a maximum of eight attendees, this unique occasion will be held twice monthly.

Wine Tastings: With our “Wein am See” tastings, we cater to a group of up to 15 participants, showcasing a variety of themes. Ranging from “Burgundy 2018”, “Swiss Pinot Noir 2019” to “Cathiard Sylvain”.

Private Cellar Tours: Presenting extensive insight into our wine cellars, we offer private tours for the curious. These tours exhibit our substantial wine collection, with guests given the opportunity to sample select wines during the visit. It serves as a full immersion into our wine program’s history and diversity.

The Expert Lineup: Our wine program at the Park Hotel is spearheaded by a zealous team of skilled sommeliers. I am privileged to collaborate with Marius Müller, Torsten Marmé, and Sebastian Lübbert. As a team, we strive for personalized advice, wine education, and creating an unforgettable wine experience. Our joint proficiency makes every patron’s visit a voyage of exploration and pleasure.

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