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.
What is France’s greatest undiscovered wine region? Where do you find the greatest value for money in French wine? Where would you look around France to find potential fine-wine quality at affordable wine prices? Three questions … and from me the same answer to each: South West France.
As a wine region, Burgundy embodies both the past and the future. On the one hand, Grands Crus that have been celebrated for centuries remain in the hands of multi-generational family domaines. On the other hand, outside investment, adjustments to the appellation system, and the realities of climate change (which have necessitated adaptations in viticulture and winemaking) have all combined to bring about change in recent years. This duality lies at the heart of modern Burgundy, and here to sort much of it out for us is acclaimed wine writer and Wine Scholar Guild’s Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford. Below, he takes a look at the numbers that have shaped Burgundy’s recent history, and what that means for its future.
In the second part of our three-part series, acclaimed wine writer and Academic Advisor for the Wine Scholar Guild Andrew Jefford surveys the latest wine trends in Alsace. From larger vineyards to the prospect of Premier Crus — not to mention the impacts of climate change on the region’s bevy of varieties — let’s take a look at Alsace’s recent history and where the region as a whole is headed.
Read Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford’s Keynote Speech to the 2020 Vancouver International Wine Festival in this specially prepared written version for the Wine Scholar Guild blog. Andrew is happy to respond to any questions or comments you may have about this post. Use the "Comments" feature at the bottom of this page.
As an accomplished wine writer — and now as the Wine Scholar Guild’s Academic Advisor — Andrew Jefford has decades of experience watching the French wine industry evolve. Here, he takes a look at the wine trends that are shaping the Champagne region, its landscape, its climate, the industry and ultimately, how winemakers are adapting in the cellar.
From vineyards on the best-exposed limestone slopes of the Prealps, Savoie wines are made from a plethora of grape varieties, which are proving to be ideal in the face of climate change.
Wink Lorch published her second book, Wines of the French Alps: Savoie, Bugey and beyond in 2019, and it has already received rave reviews from Eric Asimov, David Schildknecht and the team at jancisrobinson.com.
Wink, known for her knowledgeable and entertaining presentations, will help unpick the somewhat complicated appellations of the tiny French regions of Savoie and its neighbours Bugey and Isère. She will focus especially on the story of the grape varieties and why the fresh, ever-improving wines of Savoie are only now emerging from their Alpine homeland for us all to enjoy.
Wink is a wine writer and educator from the UK, who lives part of her time in the French Alps.
For over 25 years she has taught, entertained and written about wines of the world, contributing to many books and journals.
She has been a member of the Circle of Wine Writers for many years and is currently editor of its newsletter.
She was a founder and first chairman of the UK-based Association of Wine Educators, taught for over a decade on the WSET’s Diploma course and regularly speaks at seminars, especially on her speciality subject, the Jura.
Her first book, Jura Wine, was self-published in March 2014 and won the prize for best wine book in the 2014 André Simon Food and Drink Book Awards as well as being shortlisted for best book in the 2014 Louis Roederer Wine Writers' Awards.
She has published her new book, "Wines of the French Alps: Savoie, Bugey and beyond" in 2019.
"Wines of the French Alps: Savoie, Bugey and beyond", published in July, is the second book from Wink Lorch, following her award-winning Jura Wine book. The new book turns the focus on the French Alpine regions of Savoie, Bugey and Isère, along with the Diois (home to Clairette de Die) and the obscure Hautes-Alpes further south.
As well as parts on history and local foods, the book includes a solid technical part, with chapters on the appellations, terroir, grape varieties (more than 45 of them, many indigenous!) and winemaking with a special section on sparking wines.
The largest part of the book includes profiles on almost 120 producers, with the greatest number those in Savoie and Bugey.
This 384-page book is illustrated by over 250 photographs, plus 13 original maps and geological diagrams. These wines are beginning to turn up on the lists of independent wine stores and restaurants around the world, so the timing is ideal to have an in-depth book giving the back-story.Learn more & order here: www.winetravelmedia.com/shop.
WSG members enjoy a 20% discount off the price of book! Get your coupon code HERE
Learn more about Savoie wine by joining our French Wines Study program.
This wine map of Bordeaux 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.