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Is White Wine the Future of Bordeaux?

Is White Wine the Future of Bordeaux?

Let's face it: Bordeaux is struggling. A recurring theme during my latest visit was producers lamenting declining sales, despite their wines tasting rather delicious. In January, the Gironde Chamber of Agriculture reported that more than 1,320 winegrowers were facing financial challenges – a...

Sommeliers: Embracing a New Era

“The couple at number 12 wants to see you,” my assistant told me, returning from what I immediately knew was going to reveal itself as a tricky table to please. At the time, I was managing the wine list of a charming modern-British restaurant with rooms in the New Forest, a fairytale-like national...

Unearthing Tradition in Georgia

Zaza Kbilashvili's workshop lies in the village of Vardisubani, a short distance west of Telavi, the cultural centre of Kakheti wine country in Eastern Georgia. From the outside, Zaza’s home might seem unassuming, but once through the gate, its rustic yet elegant and bucolic appeal unfolds. A...

Study Italian Wine Essentials at Borgo San Vicenzo in Tuscany

WSG is proud to partner with Borgo San Vincenzo to offer an immersive experience for the Italian Wine Essentials program (IWS Prep). The program blends wine education with history, culture, cuisine, and much more in a real-world setting in the heart of gorgeous Tuscany. The inaugural course in...

Catalunya, Xarel·lo and Unmissable Wines: Q&A with Ferran Centelles

Ferran Adrià’s legendary restaurant El Bulli defined modernist cuisine. The restaurant had an undeniable influence on haute cuisine trends both in Spain and across the globe. For 13 years, its wine programme was led by sommelier Ferran Centelles. Ferran continues to work with Adrià at the...

Is Sherry at Risk?

Sherry producers like to say they deal with two types of terroir. “First,” says Fermin Hidalgo, owner of leading Sanlúcar de Barrameda-based Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana, “the ‘classic’ terroir we all know: climate, soil, etc. The second terroir is the one related to the wineries… Biological ageing...

Pascaline Lepeltier: Sommelière Moderne

Pascaline Lepeltier is one of the world’s most respected and modern sommeliers and restaurateurs. Her list of accolades and professional achievements is endless. In 2018, she was the first woman ever to obtain the Meilleure Ouvrière de France in sommellerie (this is a very prestigious award that...

A Measured Approach: Rational Sustainability in Sauternes

“We have a very particular history,” says Miguel Aguirre, vineyard manager at Premier Cru Sauternes estate, Château La Tour Blanche. “After his death, our last owner gave the estate to the French State asking to open a free school in return for his gift. That is why you see so many young people...

And the Water in All This...

Water: the source of life Since our return to Alsace ten years ago, my wife Céline, my daughter Zoé and I never tire of walking the countless hiking trails that crisscross the Vosges, often offering breathtaking panoramas of the mountains and the Alsace plain. On the days when the sky is at its...

To Graft or Not to Graft: The Value of Ungrafted Vitis Viniferas

Without Joker, could Batman ever be a real superhero? Or Sherlock Holmes the world’s greatest detective, if criminal mastermind Professor James Moriarty wasn’t a threat to his very own life? All heroes have nemeses, and vitis vinifera – certainly a real hero to many a wine lover – has one too:...

Ruché: Sweet Wine, Parish Priests and an Unforeseen Comeback Story

The Etruscans were the first to produce wine in northern Italy; beginning with wild varieties, they cultivated vines in Piedmont centuries before the Romans arrived. Nevertheless, it was the Romans who advanced commercial winemaking, significantly increasing the area under vine and using props,...

Vision, Values and Projects: A Q&A with the WSG Team

Earlier last month, I ran my first webinar for Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) — an overview of what it means to be a wine journalist and what it takes to turn this into a viable and successful career choice. Ahead of a series of stories I’m going to be regularly writing for the blog and a brand-new...

Priorat, The Wine of Life

Prioratans have a saying: Si ets calatà, de les pedres treuràs pa. Pero si ets a Priorati, treuràs vi. It means “The Catalan people make bread from stones, but the Prioratans make wine.” Their llicorella rock soils provide the kind of struggle that produces some of the most sought-after wines in...

The 2021 Vintage in France by Andrew Jefford

The vintage chart and harvest report provided by the Wine Scholar Guild give you the ranking for every French wine region and vintage from 2000 to today. The most recent vintage report is published two years following the vintage, i.e. the 2021 vintage report was published in 2023. Andrew Jefford...

Why Study Spanish Wine Scholar® in Málaga?

From April 16-21, 2023, Wine Scholar Guild will land on the shores of southern Spain to host a special session of our internationally-recognized Spanish Wine Scholar® study and certification program in the beautiful coastal town of Málaga. If the spectacular weather and roughly 112 miles/180...

Six Things I Learned in the Loire

On a blistering June day, my suitcase rattling over the hot cobblestones, I made my way by through the village of Amboise in the Loire Valley, where my tour with the Wine Scholar Guild was about to begin. That night, in an 18th century hotel decorated in a style my spouse describes as “manic...

10 Ways WSG Study Tours Have Changed My Wine Life

Curious about Wine Scholar Guild trips, dear reader? I’m no expert on wine tourism, but I have been fortunate enough to go on five (!) WSG trips: Alsace, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, and Rhône. Below I share my thoughts on why these trips were so great and why I keep coming back for more.

The Renaissance of Taurasi

Taurasi, Southern Italy’s greatest red wine, has enjoyed a spectacular and highly distinctive history. The wine is capable of extremely lengthy cellaring, as examples from the 1940s and 1950s prove even today; in fact versions from the 1928 and 1934 vintages are still

Top 5 AOCs to Discover in Languedoc and Roussillon

For wine lovers, there are two Languedocs...
The group at Château Margaux

Beginners Mind in Bordeaux: Participating in the WSG Bordeaux Wine Study Tour

In Zen, there’s something called "Beginner’s Mind". It’s a state of mind where you aren’t hemmed in by your judgements. You are able to see the world fresh--without pre-conceptions. That’s an apt description of how I was feeling as I began a weeklong deep-dive into Bordeaux with twenty Wine...