Displaying items by tag: wine trends

Wednesday, 25 September 2019 16:28

Finding Value in Burgundy with Tim Magnus

Over the years I’ve had many discussions with people who insist that there’s little good value to be found in Burgundy. While I’d be the first to admit that the big names like Roumier & Rousseau are wildly overpriced, largely due to the speculation on the secondary market, I’ll never admit there’s not great value to be found if time and energy are invested searching for it.

Join me for an exploration of great terroirs and producers who offer truly meaningful wines at incredibly fair prices.

Presenter: Timothy Magnus Dip WSET - Weinakademiker

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.

Learn more about Burgundy:

Published in Bourgogne wines

Without exaggeration, the Languedoc is the region of France that has undergone the most dramatic transformation during the first two decades of the 21st century.   

Work in both cellar and vineyard has evolved, as it has all over the world. Wine styles are changing, with over extraction a thing of the past and freshness or fraicheur now the key word. White wine from the Languedoc is developing, with the introduction of new grape varieties, or the revival of old varieties. Organic viticulture, and also biodynamics and natural wine are becoming more important, with the advantage of a dry climate.

However, climate change and drought are prevailing issues; so are alcohol levels, and vine diseases such as esca. The commercial face of the Languedoc is changing, with cooperatives and traditional négociants less important and greater emphasis on the independent wine growers. The attraction of the Languedoc is enormous, especially to people who come to wine as a second career.

In a nutshell, the Languedoc has come of age... join us to learn more!

Presenter: Rosemary George MW

Rosemary George is the author of 12 books, most recently The Wines of the Languedoc, published in April 2018 by Infinite Ideas, and her other work on the South of France, includes the Wines of Faugères, published in 2016 also by Infinite Ideas and The Wines of the South of France: From Banyuls to Bellet, published in 2001 by Faber & Faber, and now part of Mitchell Beazley’s Classic Wine Series.  She is about to embark on a third book on Chablis, which was also the subject of her very first book, published in 1984, and she has also extensively written about Tuscany and New Zealand.  Rosemary was one of the first women to pass the Master of Wine exams back in 1979 and worked in the wine trade for nine years before becoming a freelance wine writer.  She writes a blog about the Languedoc, where she spends part of the year, at   and she is president of the Circle of Wine Writers.

Rosemary's new book: The Wines of The Languedoc

The first vineyards of the Languedoc were planted by the Greeks in the 5th century BC. Viticulture has flourished in the Languedoc ever since, particularly in the nineteenth century, when it became France’s largest vineyard area. It still claims that honour today, but its profile is very difficult. Gone are the days of industrial mass production. The Languedoc of the twenty-first century is a vibrant, innovative wine area, where everything vinous is possible.

For the purposes of The wines of Languedoc, the Languedoc stretches from the appellations of Malepère and Cabardès to the west of Carcassonne as far as Sommières, to the east of Montpellier, including better known appellations such as Faugères, St Chinian, Minervois and Corbières, as well as the more recently recognized like Terrasses du Larzac.

Master of Wine Rosemary George discusses the recent developments in the region, before covering each appellation, with its history, geography and terroir. She profiles a personal selection of wine growers, including some more established names, but focusing above all on the newcomers, of which there are many, and the potential future stars of the region.


Thursday, 12 October 2017 17:58

Green Bordeaux with Jane Anson

Bordeaux is the largest AOC quality wine region in France, and is home to some of the best known names in the world of wine.

Its oceanic climate allows the grapes a long, slow growing season that delivers complexity of flavours and long ageing potential in bottle, but also poses challenges in terms of keeping the grapes healthy during the season.

Jane Anson, long-time resident in Bordeaux and correspondent for the region for Decanter magazine, takes a look at the green revolution that is slowly unfolding in Bordeaux, led by high profile estates such as Chateau Pontet Canet in Pauillac and Chateau Palmer in Margaux, but spreading across all appellations.

She looks at small estates championing the natural wine movement and discusses the challenges in the commercial structure of the region that need to be overcome.

Anson is the author of Wine Revolution, out October 26 2017 with Quarto Publishing, highlighting the best organic, biodynamic and natural wines worldwide - and this webinar looks at how Bordeaux fits into this global movement.

Presenter: Jane Anson

Jane Anson is Bordeaux correspondent for Decanter, and has lived in the region since 2003.

She is author of Bordeaux Legends, a history of the First Growth wines (November 2012 Editions de la Martiniere as Elixirs (French title) / April 2013 Stewart, Tabori & Chang, English version), the Bordeaux and Southwest France author of The Wine Opus and 1000 Great Wines That Won’t Cost A Fortune (both Dorling Kindersley, 2010 and 2011).

Anson is contributing writer of the Michelin Guide to the Wine Regions of France (March 2010, Michelin Publications), and writes a monthly wine column for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, where she lived from 1994 to 1997, and a weekly column for

Accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux Ecole du Vin, with a Masters in publishing from University College London, WSET qualified, Diplôme Universitaire d'Aptitude à la Dégustation des vins (DUAD) from Bordeaux Faculty of Oenology (2013).

Published in Bordeaux wines

Join Nick Bielak for a punchy introduction to some of the important buzz words of contemporary Italian wine… what’s exciting and what to look out for. 

Going beyond Italian Wine 101 (basics of Italian wine, main varieties and regions, culture and pronunciation), Nick will discuss hot topics including: menzioni geografiche aggiuntive in Barolo, the noble Italian red varieties, top Italian whites, the emerging south, the awakening of the giants– Italian coopertives.

These are just some of the most exciting developments in Italian wine production. Don’t miss out for a session on tradition and transition in Italy!

Presenter: Nick Bielak

After several forays to Italy, Nick emigrated in 1996 and inevitably became involved in wine, working for a Puglian winery until 2003.

After exploring the length and breadth of Italy’s vineyards from Alto Adige to Sicily, he returned to London with a view to disseminating the message of the exciting world of Italian wine to international markets.

After a short experience at Bibendum as an Italian specialist, he started working with Nicolas Belfrage MW in 2006.

Since then, he has had the privilege of working with this significant protagonist of the modern Italian wine époque, roaming Italy's vast expanse of DOCs and DOCGs, consulting with producers and ecologists, judging at major events (including Decanter for the last 8 years).

He currently spends half his time in Italy, and half in London, whilst being challenged by the Institute of Masters of Wine.

Learn more about Italian Wines:

Published in Italian Wine 101

As Market Advisor to the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) for North America, Mary is in the perfect position to provide us with an in-depth look at Bordeaux's white wines.

Presenter: Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW

Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW is a New York based Master of Wine. She is also a businesswoman, with 17 years’ experience in a range of environments from multinational corporations, to start-ups as well as Government agencies.

Today Mary is Market Advisor to the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) for North America – a position that combines her passion for wine with her extensive international business expertise.

Mary became a Master of Wine in 2011, a distinguished title held only by 310 people worldwide. She was also awarded the Viña Errazuriz Award for excellence in the Business of Wine exam paper. During the course of her MW studies Mary was the recipient of the Trinity Champagne Scholarship and the Constellation Brands Award – international prizes for MW candidates.

In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L’Ordre des Côteaux de Champagne.

As one of the foremost Wine Educators in the United States, Mary is a Board member of the Society of Wine Educators and a member of the North American Education committee for the Institute of Masters of Wine. She also teaches the globally recognized WSET wine programs. 

Fluent French speaker with excellent communications and editorial skills, Mary has a highly trained wine tasting palate and international experience in wine judging, reviewing and scoring. She is a judge at the Decanter Wine Awards, the Ultimate Wine Challenge and the Dallas Morning News/TexSom international wine competitions. Between 2008 and 2014 she was the wine columnist for the highly trafficked lifestyle website Apartment Therapy.

Mary has a BA (Honors) in Languages and International Marketing from Dublin City University, and an MBS in International Marketing (First Class Honors) from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business (University College Dublin), where she was awarded both the Dean’s List Award & the Sir Charles Harvey Award for academic excellence in post-graduate studies.

Delve into Bordeaux with the insight of Bordeaux experts and masterful instructors..sign up for the Bordeaux Master-Level program and Bordeaux Study Trips. Learn more about French wines with the French Wine Scholar study & certification program.

Published in Bordeaux wines
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 05:00

Postmodern Winemaking with Clark Smith

In this intriguing discussion on winemaking in the modern era, Clark Smith will discuss the principles explored in his book, Postmodern Winemaking, named Wine & Spirits Magazine 2013 Book of the Year.  He will share his views on the causes of the rift between wine lovers and winemakers and how it might be healed, and will illustrate application of postmodern principles through the production of Eurocentric wines in California under his own WineSmith label.

Presenter: Clark Smith

Clark Robert Smith is one of California’s most widely respected winemakers.  He has built many successful brands, consults on five continents, judges wines at several competitions, teaches wine technology at CSU Fresno and online Wine Appreciation for Professionals at Florida International University and directs the curriculum of the GrapeCraft Wine Academy.

After attending M.I.T. and graduating as the top student at U. C. Davis, Smith served as the founding winemaker for The R. H. Phillips Vineyard for its first seven years, where he implemented night harvesting and published ground-breaking research on vineyard variables affecting wine quality.

In the 1990s, Smith went on to patent reverse osmosis methods for alcohol removal and volatile acidity correction, founding the world’s largest wine technology provider, Vinovation, and pioneering the implementation in American winemaking of micro-oxygenation, ultrafiltration, tartrate stabilization through electrodialysis, alternatives to sterile filtration, and a host of other wine quality enhancement techniques, serving for a decade with the international body O.I.V’s. Groupe d’Experts sur la Technologie du Vin.  He sold Vinovation in 2008 to concentrate on winemaking, writing, music and exploring the new American wine scene.

In 1993, Smith started WineSmith to explore a range of California terroirs with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Roman Syrah made in a European style, emphasizing balance, structural integrity, aromatic integration, profundity and graceful longevity. In 2007, he began making the wines for Diamond Ridge Vineyards, a unique high altitude site in Lake County. He is actively engaged in production consulting for some two dozen wineries on an ongoing basis.

Smith is recognized as a leading authority on the enhancement of wine structure and a vocal proponent of living soil and barrel conservation.  His popular class on Fundamentals of Wine Chemistry has been attended by over 4,000 participants since 1986.  David Darlington’s biography of him in Wine & Spirits magazine won the James Beard award, perhaps a more dubious distinction for the subject than the author.  He directs the Best- of-Appellation wine evaluations for, and writes a monthly column, “The Postmodern Winemaker,” for Wines and Vines magazine.

In recent years, Smith has become increasingly interested in the study of the relationship of wine and music cognition.  A composer and vocalist, he is currently engaged in the production of a CD of original songs about real life in the Wine Industry.  He resides in Santa Rosa, California.




Published in Vinification

BONUS: Download background notes from Jeffrey Davies on most of the wines discussed on the webinar (for 2013 vintage)

Join Jeffrey M. Davies, longtime Bordeaux resident and wine merchant, for the inside scoop on Bordeaux: changes among the big names, excellent producers that fly under the radar, and undiscovered treasures…

Find out which stars are rising, which are falling and which are ready to go supernova!  Unlike the picture painted by the press, there is true value to be found in Bordeaux at every price point. This webinar is a "must" for everyone who collects or drinks Bordeaux! 

Presenter: Jeffrey Davies

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, 90 minutes from the Napa Valley, Jeffrey developed an early predilection for the (fermented) fruit of the vine. By the time he hit the university, he was hooked. This led him to spend his junior year at the Université de Bordeaux, where, much to the chagrin of his professors, he spent considerably more time in the vineyards than in their classrooms.

After graduating with honors from the University of California, he returned to Bordeaux to enroll at the Institut d'Œnologie. Those were the last two years during which world-renowned enologist, Professor Emile Peynaud, taught at the Institut from which Jeffrey would become one of the first two Americans to graduate. They became good friends.

After graduation, Jeffrey worked in the retail wine trade in Bordeaux then in New York City. Later, he moved to the Midwest, where he was hired to set up an import division focused on European wines. The portfolio he built there included many fine Bordeaux estates, the wines of Aubert de Villaine, the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Etienne Sauzet from Burgundy, and an extensive range of outstanding German producers. At the same time, he served as Midwestern Regional Director for Les Amis du Vin, for which position he was "hand-picked" by its co-founder, Robert Gourdin.

In 1979, he returned to France with his Bordeaux-born wife and began writing for the respected wine and food magazine, "Gault Millau", for which he was the first American contributor. That period also marked the beginning of his association with the premier American wine periodical, "Friends of WINE Magazine", for which he served as the French Editor from the late 1980's to the early 1990's.

For 35 of the last 40 years, Jeffrey has worked in France, cultivating close relationships with growers in Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, the Languedoc, and the Rhône. His focus is on discovering, introducing, selling and marketing exciting new wines to markets worldwide, concentrating on North America, Europe and Asia. In this connection, he has enjoyed the support of the international wine trade and the specialized press, especially Robert Parker, Stephen Tanzer, James Suckling, La Revue du Vin de France, Katsuyuki Tanaka, etc. (A short list of wines launched by Signature Selections is attached).

Profiled in Stephen Brook's superbly researched book, Bordeaux: People, Power and Politics (Mitchell Beazley - 2001), Jeffrey is also a recurring figure in William Echikson's Noble Rot: A Bordeaux Wine Revolution (W. W. Norton & Co. - 2004), and is regularly quoted in newspapers and magazines ranging from "Le Figaro Magazine", "Le Monde", and "Libération", to "The New York Times", "The Wall Street Journal", and "The San Francisco Chronicle". Jancis Robinson, the FT's wine critic, praised his pioneering work in the Languedoc. France's top wine critics, Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, called him "l'un des meilleurs négociants actuels, l'Américain Jeffrey Davies (Signature Selections)." ("Currently one of the best wine merchants, the American, Jeffrey Davies, owner of Signature Selections," company he founded in 1986).

Acquire a profound knowledge of Bordeaux with the Bordeaux Master-Level program and Bordeaux Study Trips. Learn more about French wines with the French Wine Scholar study & certification program.

Published in Bordeaux wines
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