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,
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 2019 vintage in France.
The beat goes on. The 2019 vintage in France marked five continuous years (since 2015) of warmer-than-average weather. Global warming is with us and accelerating – but so far, for the wine growers of France, it has been merciful.
Where are we headed? This is a question which all of us have probably asked ourselves at some point during 2020, as a global pandemic unfolds chaotically across a planet experiencing runaway climate change. Both challenges have directly affected French wine growers, with trade tariffs imposed by the USA on European winegrowers forming a third stress-inducing headwind.
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.