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    Blog

    French Lessons for a Warming World

    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.

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    Wine Trends in 2020: Champagne by the Numbers

    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.

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    The Wines of the French Alps with Wink Lorch

    Abstract:

    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.

    Presenter: Wink Lorch

    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.

    About Wink's Latest Book

    "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 wines:

    Learn more about Savoie wine by joining our French Wines Study program.

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    Bordeaux Wine Map

    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.

    Want to receive a free sample chapter?
    Complete the form below for
    more information and receive a
    FREE sample chapter

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    Hot Yet Hopeful: A Quick Look at the 2019 French Wine Harvest

    After a generous 2018 French-wine harvest, nature has dialed back on its beneficence by around 12% in 2019: initial estimates put the crop at around 43.4 million hl compared to 49.4 m hl last year.  That’s not disastrous, though, especially since clouds have been gathering over the export scene in the last few months: the USA has imposed 25% tariffs on French wines under 14% abv, while sales to Hong Kong (often the preferred route into China for French fine wines) dropping by 26% over the last six months of political turmoil there.  The generally hot weather of 2019, of course, may give French wines a helping hand back into the US if those tariffs linger: it wasn’t hard to produce wine over 14% this year.

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    Learning and loving (without counting): a week in the hills and cellars of Alsace

    There’s no wine region I enjoy visiting more than Alsace. 

    It’s beautiful, of course – and not just the half-timbered houses around which a profusion of flowers seem to float, or the grand hillside vineyards romping up to the forested Vosges mountains, always somehow bigger and more imposing in scale than those of Burgundy. The growers are fascinating characters, too, as if their historical and geographical position, wedged between (and much fought-over by) France and Germany, has given them an independence of thought which eludes those with a more settled position in each wine culture. 

    Then there’s the wines. It’s commonplace to say that Alsace wines are underappreciated -- but it’s true. For me, no white wine region can offer more diversity and intrigue than Alsace, nor does any single regional range of white wines appeal more to my palate...

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    The 2018 Vintage in France, by Andrew Jefford

    Andrew Jefford, award-winning author and columnist in every issue of Decanter and World of Fine Wine, Co-Chair Decanter World Wine Awards; Vice-Chair Decanter Asia Wine Awards as well as Wine Scholar Guild Academic Advisor, gives us his insight about the 2018 vintage in France.

    As October 2018 got underway, wine-growing France let out an audible collective sigh of relief. After shortages due to repeated hail and frost traumas in recent years, 2018 marked a gratifying return to generosity for French wine growers.

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    Best restaurants for your Bourgogne wine tour

    Burgundy is a very dynamic region in a constant state of flux. On one hand it’s a region deeply rooted in tradition. Just take a look at the Fête de la Saint-Vincent tournante – a festival celebrating the patron saint of winemakers – and you clearly see that this is a region with one foot in the past. On the other hand...

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