Matt Walls is a freelance wine writer, author and consultant who contributes to various UK and international publications such as Club Oenologique, timatkin.com and Decanter, where he is a contributing editor. He also helps restaurants develop exceptional wine lists, judges wine and food competitions and presents trade and consumer tastings and masterclasses. He is Panel Chair for the Rhône at the Decanter World Wine Awards. He has recently returned to the UK after living near Avignon in southern France for two years researching his latest book Wines of the Rhône, which was shortlisted for the André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards 2022. Previously he was a wine buyer and manager at London wine retailer The Sampler and Fine Wines Manager for wine shipper Mentzendorff.
Is there a more misunderstood wine than Châteauneuf-du-Pape? The myths, legends and hearsay that surround this huge appellation are part of what gives it such mystique, but there comes a time for dedicated wine lovers and wine professionals to know with certainty which are true and which are false.
Matt is going to bust some of the myths that surround Châteauneuf, and use them as jumping off points to cover all the key points of the history and terroir of one of the greatest wines of France.
Matt Walls is a freelance wine writer and consultant based in London. He is a contributing editor at Decanter and writes regular articles for other magazines and websites such as Imbibe, Club Oenologique and timatkin.com. He won the Best Newcomer award at the 2013 Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards for Drink Me, his first book on wine, which sold over 10,000 copies. Matt is interested in all areas of wine, but specialises in those of the Rhône – he is Regional Chair for the Rhône at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
His most recent work, Wines of the Rhône, was published by Infinite Ideas as part of their Classic Wine Library series in January 2021.
When not writing, Walls advises restaurants on wine lists, hosts tastings, judges food and wine competitions and develops wine apps.
When it comes to the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape often hogs the limelight, but there are a further eight Crus that all have something unique to offer (Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Beaumes-de-Venise, Rasteau, Cairanne, Vinsobres, Lirac and Tavel). In this webinar we'll look at the terroir of each of these lesser-known Crus in turn, giving you an idea of how their styles of wine compare, and why they taste like they do.
Every wine appellation in France has a cahier des charges, a set of regulations that delineates the production zone and specifies viticultural practices and production standards.
In many instances, a single cahier des charges references one zone of production and multiple wine styles within it (e.g. Lirac red, white, and rosé; Rasteau dry red, plus red, white and rosé Vins Doux Naturels). Some single cahiers also incorporate complementary geographic denominations or dénominations géographiques complémentaires (DGCs) such as Languedoc Montpeyroux or Bourgogne Hautes Côte de Nuits. Other times, very different wines can be grouped under one single cahier as is the case for Beaujolais, Beaujolais Supérieur, Beaujolais + Named Commune, and Beaujolais-Villages.
This wine map of the Rhone Valley has been designed by Wine Scholar Guild to illustrate the French Wine Scholar™ study & certification program.
This map is made available for individuals to use for their own learning and edification. Any use of this map in online or print publications, presentations, apps or any other media is strictly forbidden without obtaining written permission.
Wine Scholar Guild's Education Director Lisa Airey speaks to events in the past that have shaped some of the regions.
There have been moments in my career as a professional winophile where I’ve realized I haven’t retained a bit of information that perhaps I should have learned in grade school had I been paying attention. Everyone needs a refresher once in a while and this series of blog posts aims to fill in possible gaps of knowledge that your grade-school mind may not have realized you would use in your fabulous wine career.
As an American student, French geography was sadly lacking in my education. An examination of the Massif Central (ma-seef cen-trale) was not taught alongside the study of The Rocky Mountains.
As autumn is drawing to a close and the wine presses have been washed and put away, the first wines tasted before being blended confirm what had been sensed: 2016 is going to be a fabulous vintage! And if some compare it to the magnificent 2010, some others do not hesitate to go as far as the famous star-vintage 1990… Either way, the evidence that we are witnessing the making of a great vintage is clear.