The famous classifications of Bordeaux (discussed in our Meeting of the Minds webinar on June 22nd) are based on properties – privately owned land entities whose boundaries are subject to change. Of more significance to French wine as a whole, though, are the land classifications based on the notion of the cru or ‘growth’: an entity which rarely coincides, Bordeaux excepted, with private property boundaries and which thus might be considered a community asset.
Crus also function as terroir units, in effect – and yet their definition ranges widely depending on the region in question. In Burgundy, they coincide with climats and lieux-dits; in Champagne, they coincide with whole villages or communes; while in other regions (such as Languedoc and the Rhône) multi-village appellations are considered to be crus. Is this satisfactory – or a blemish in France’s wine administration? What, too, of the hierarchisation of crus into ‘Premier’ and ‘Grand’ – of colossal economic significance in Burgundy and Champagne, but much less so in Alsace, and actively discouraged by INAO in other regions.
Should Burgundy be regarded as a model for the rest of France, or might other regions be best advised to ‘keep it simple' and avoid the dangers of entrenched classification systems?
Joining Andrew Jefford to discuss these and other questions concerning classification are:
Robin Kick MW is originally from the Chicago area, Robin is a Master of Wine who is presently based in Lugano, Switzerland, where she works as an independent wine consultant, wine judge, journalist and educator. In the 20+ years of working in the wine business, she has held a number of different positions including wine auction specialist for Christie’s in Beverly Hills, California and fine wine buyer for a pre-eminent London-based wine merchant with an award-winning Burgundy list. In 2014, after many years of study and a successful dissertation on whole cluster fermentation in Pinot Noir from the Côte d’Or, she became a Master of Wine. Her main wine passions are Burgundy, Champagne, northern Italy, particularly Piedmont, Switzerland and Jerez.
Jon Bonné is one of the leading American voices on wine and food. He covers dining across the country and around the globe, including for Resy and American Express, and spent nearly a decade as the wine editor and chief wine critic of The San Francisco Chronicle, where he co-edited its award-winning Food & Wine section. He also has served as the lifestyle editor and wine columnist for MSNBC, the U.S. columnist for Decanter magazine, and the wine consultant for JetBlue Airways. He is a three-time winner of the prestigious Roederer Award for wine writing — the most ever won by an American — and has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation nearly a dozen times. Bonné is also the author of The New California Wine (2013), The New Wine Rules (2017), and has spent the past eight years completing his next book, The New French Wine, due out in spring 2023.
Charles Curtis MW is an author, journalist, and consultant. He is the former Head of Wine for Christie’s auction house in both Asia and the Americas. He joined Christie’s in 2008 from Moet Hennessy USA, where he was Director of Wine and Spirit Education. In 2012 he set up his fine wine consultancy WineAlpha to provide advice on varied topics of interest to wine collectors and the trade. His first book, The Original Grand Crus of Burgundy, was released in 2014, and the second, Vintage Champagne 1899 – 2019 in 2020. He is a board member of the Institute of Masters of Wine, North America and the Appraiser’s Association of America, and is a frequent contributor to Decanter magazine and other publications. He began his professional career as a chef, training at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and apprenticing there at the Crillon Hotel and at other restaurants. He hung up his toque at the age of thirty to pursue a career in wine.
Charles Curtis MW is the founder of CurtisMW, a fine wine advisory serving private, trade and institutional clients with an interest in the market for fine and rare wine. Former Head of Wine for Christie's in both Asia and the Americas and a Certified Member of the Appraiser's Association of America, Mr Curtis has a wealth of experience with the world's most luxurious wine, and deep contacts with the collectors who love them and the people who sell them. Curtis joined Christie's in 2008 from LVMH, where he held the post of Director of Wine and Spirit Education for Moet Hennessy USA. He has held a variety of posts in the wine trade over the years, and his professional career began as a chef who trained at the Cordon Bleu Paris, working in restaurants around the world.
Curtis earned his Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust of London, and in October 2004 became the 22nd Master of Wine in the United States. Through the years, he has garnered a number of honors, including the prestigious Bourse Andr Crispin in 2002, presented by the Commanderie de Bordeaux aux Etats-Unis, of which he is now a member, along with the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne. He is a member of the board of the Institute of Masters of Wine (North America) and continues to work on their behalf, speaking at their annual Education Seminar and helping to organize events such as the Institutes Annual Champagne Tasting which he founded. Curtis has been a guest lecturer at a number of universities, and is presently a guest professor at the University of Jinan Quancheng College in Penglai, China.
Explore Champagne at the deepest level with the Champagne Master-Level program and Champagne study wine tour.
This webinar will provide an introduction to collecting and investing in fine wine, including a short history of wine collecting, an overview of the leading categories of fine wine traded on the secondary market with examples of each, and a discussion of the return on investment over time. Categories to be discussed will include Bordeaux, red and white Burgundy, the wines of California, the Rhone Valley, Italy, Champagne and dessert wines.
Charles Curtis MW is the founder of CurtisMW, a fine wine advisory serving private, trade and institutional clients with an interest in the market for fine and rare wine.
From LVMH, where he had held the post of Director of Wine and Spirit Education for Moet Hennessy USA, Charles became Head of Wine for Christie’s in both Asia and the Americas
In October 2004, Curtis became the 22nd Master of Wine in the United States. He is a member of the board of the Institute of Masters of Wine (North America) and continues to work on their behalf, speaking at their annual Education Seminar and helping to organize events such as the Institute’s Annual Champagne Tasting which he founded.
He writes a regular column for the Chinese version of La Revue du Vin de France and other magazines and has been a contributing editor to trade and consumer works on wine.
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