Onneca at Terroirific

Terroirific Wine Bar, Cornavin

Return to the earth at Terroirific, recently opened wine and tapas bar in the heart of Geneva. “Terroir” means soil or land and is one of those French expressions that are so hard to translate, yet, when two foreigners use the word Terroir, you see a knowing look in their eyes meaning “yes, I too have experienced that, tasted it and loved it”. Wines, cheese, meats and any other produce “du terroir” have been created following a long, local tradition of using an in-depth knowledge of the land of a particular region to harness its virtues and produce unique products that reflect the landscapes, light, scents, lives and people of a region; products that come from a land that has been observed, explored and respected by those who live and depend on its prosperity, and in return nurture it. People who love and value their land which is at the mercy of the natural elements and beyond man’s control.

Onneca at Terroirific

Onneca at Terroirific

Partners in wine, Onneca and Julio, are passionate in their artistic and innovative approach to promoting artisanal wine. It is in their blood. Julio’s homeland is the Douro region in northern Portugal, where his family have not only maintained vineyards, but also orange, olive and almond groves for generations. Onneca’s roots are in Navarra in northern Spain where her winemaking family, too, work closely with the soil and have been producing excellent wines since 1851. With a Master’s in Oenology, Viticulture and Wine Marketing, Onneca is an expert sommelier. She tells the story behind each wine sharing the personality within each bottle, the raisin d’être for each one (puns intended throughout).


At Terroirific you will find a truly original selection of wine. Pulso 1, 2 and 3 from Onneca’s family vineyard.

1Pulso, 2 Pulso, 3 Pulso

1Pulso, 2 Pulso, 3 Pulso

Organic wines. Artisanal beer. Playful wines that are quirky and cool: Wine on the Rocks Finkus Collection launched Lolita and MILF, two red Douro wines limited to just 666 bottles each. Also from the Douro are Niepoort’s Alice in Wonderland-inspired Drink Me wines. Terroirific houses wines that are not possible to find elsewhere in Geneva. Their concept is also unique in that the wine list changes according to season and availability (and whatever catches their fancy). Evenings themed according to wine region, grape variety, cork density (just kidding – but maybe an interesting concept?)… Swiss wines…Riesling soirées…Vinho Verde in the summer…Port tastings…Weekend Champagne brunches are on the cards…Wine cocktails (I’m intrigued).


DSC_7027I find Onneca and Julio’s energy inspiring. They are all about experimenting and sharing and creating memories. They invite their customers to be creative, to be transported by wine. I was surprised and impressed to learn that all of their wines are available by the glass, even limited editions; a telling sign that they want all the wines in their cellar to be accessible to everyone.


Prior to its opening, I often walked passed Terroirific on Boulevard James Fazy while it was being renovated. Tempting huge oak barrels were the only clue to what was in store. I love the décor: it’s warm and rustic, fresh and unpretentious with an eclectic music playlist. There is an old-fashioned safe upon which rests a leg of Spanish jamón serrano, the perfect accompaniment to a glass of Rioja. Books about wine and grapes are on the shelf should you wish to brush up on your grape knowledge. Terroirific is brimming with a “mi casa es tu casa” vibe and philosophy.


Terroir wine is served with some other tasty terroir produce: charcuterie, cheeses, olives and other tapas on offer, including homemade Spanish tortilla, Onneca’s grandmother’s secret recipe.


Terroirific is perfect for a quiet drink on your own (and it’s the kind of place where you can easily strike up a conversation with other oenophiles), with a few friends or for a fun group get-together (Terroirific hosts private events too).


Onneca and Julio have brought a unique experience into the city providing a space where we can return to our roots and reconnect with the earth through people and shared stories…and delicious wine.


“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”

Ernest Hemingway


Don’t miss Biskotti’s first “vin-tastic” event at Terroirific this April! See the B…Events section for details and how to register on the guest list.


Boulevard James Fazy 14

1201 Geneva


Tuesday & Wednesday 17h to 23h

Thursday to Saturday 17h to midnight

About the Author
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I arrived in Geneva in June 2012 and am really enjoying discovering all the fabulous bars and restaurants the city has to offer. Through Biskotti I'll be sharing all my foodie finds and look forward to hearing all of your suggestions too! Bon appétit et à votre santé!