Chablis is very much its own place, part of Burgundy but in some ways quite different. Once frost protection methods were developed, previously precarious viticulture finally became viable. Chablis is now in the capable hands of a bright younger generation, inspiring a gentle evolution in their vineyard and cellars. Let us hope that climate change will not affect the unique style of the world’s most famous Chardonnay.
Rosemary George was one of the first women to become a Master of Wine just over 40 years ago, and she has been writing about wine for nearly as long. Her first book, Chablis and the wines of the Yonne was published in 1984; a second book on Chablis appeared 25 years later, with her third book on the subject, Chablis and the Grand Auxerrois, being published in 2019. This latest work includes many of the grandchildren of the wine growers in her very first book.
She also writes extensively about the Languedoc, including her blog www.tastelanguedocblogspot.com and a recent book, Wines of the Languedoc, published in 2018. She is currently researching her 14th book, The Wines of Roussillon, and has also covered New Zealand and Tuscany.
Chablis has a distinct identity amongst the wines of Burgundy. The gently sloping vineyards of this small, scenic region produce a remarkably diverse range of wines, even though all are made from just one variety – Chardonnay.
As in other parts of France, it was the Romans who introduced vines and the medieval Church which expanded the vineyard. By the twelfth century the wines of Chablis were already being celebrated in poetry. However, over the centuries a considerable amount of everyday wine also found its way via the river Yonne to the cafés of Paris. In its heyday of production towards the end of the nineteenth century the region encompassed 40,000 hectares of vines. But that was before phylloxera and oidium ravaged the vineyards and the railways brought competition from further south to the capital’s wine drinkers.
From a low point of 500 hectares just after the Second World War, the vineyard has now expanded more than tenfold, and quality has increased too. Wines in the appellation’s four categories – grand cru, premier cru, Chablis and Petit Chablis – are created by vignerons keen to work with the terroir to produce the elegant, mineral, long-lived wines for which the region earned its reputation. To this end, ever greater care is being taken in the vineyards and the routine use of chemicals is becoming increasingly uncommon.
The region’s history, unique soil, geography and climate are all covered in detail, but it is Rosemary George’s lively and insightful profiles of those who make the region’s wines that form the body of The wines of Chablis and the Grand Auxerrois. Through the lives of these vignerons – from the lows of disastrous weather to their love of the land – she paints a unique picture of a much-admired region.
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Bourgogne is a region full of contrast. Many villages produce wines completely different neighbouring villages due to differences in geology, exposition and microclimate. There are many examples to be found – Puligny-Montrachet/Meursault & Volnay/Pommard are great examples. In the Côte de Nuits, the great communes of Chambolle-Musigny & Morey-St-Denis are another example of this fascinating contrast. Chambolle makes wines of supreme elegance while Morey makes wines with markedly more power.
Join Tim Magnus for a comparison of the geology and crus of these two great communes and discover why their wines are so different from each other.
After growing up in Australia and falling in love with wine from an early age, Timothy Magnus spent several years working in the New South Wales wine region Hunter Valley. In 2007 Tim met a Swiss wine lover and it was truly love at first sight. They married in 2008 and now live near Zürich Switzerland with their 2 young children.
In 2012 Tim completed the WSET Level 4 Diploma through the Wine Academy Austria, becoming an Associate of the Institute of Wines & Spirits. In 2015 upon completion of his research thesis Tim received the title 'Weinakademiker' as well as winning the inaugural 'Swiss Wine Award' for his research thesis. He is also an Accredited International Bordeaux Wine Educator. Since 2011 Tim has taught wine courses for different companies and schools including Switzerland's largest and most famous.
Sharing his passion for wine is what Tim lives for, which is the reason for establishing Magnus Vinum.
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The Wine Scholar Guild welcomes the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) for a webinar presenting an introduction to the IMW and the Masters of Wine (MW) study programme to WSG members as well as past and current WSG students.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the most prestigious title in the world of wine.
Join this session to understand the appeal of joining the world's most influential wine community. The session will provide in-depth information about the MW study programme including entrance requirements, programme structure and assessment information as well as an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the programme from the Institute’s, Head of Study Programme and Development Olivier Chapman.
Olly is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the Master of Wine Study Programme, including promoting the programme across the globe, recruiting students, supporting those preparing to sit the MW exam and managing the Institute’s examination logistics.
Thinking about signing up for the French Wine Scholar program? Be inspired by what our students are saying about the program and the top ten reasons they give for enrolling.
In this episode, we are chatting with Rick Fisher, Spanish Wine Scholar Education Director, about Sherry styles and getting a behind-the-scenes peek at the forthcoming Spanish Wine Scholar Program.