Sadly, time has marched on, since the fantastic Bourgogne Immersion Trip I took with the Wine Scholar Guild lead by Andrew Jefford, October 23 – 28, 2016. Everyone on the trip was definitely a “wine nerd” but the group was composed of a mix of wine industry professionals, wine students of all levels that had “day jobs” and just wine appreciators. I had been on a few wine trips previously that were organized by friends or non-winegroups like Backroads (biking and wine). However, I had never gone on such a blockbuster, action-packed wine trip as this one. So for future participants here are 5 items to keep in mind so you have an incredible trip.
The Wine Scholar Guild is starting 2019 with a bang. Andrew Jefford, award winning author and columnist for Decanter, has joined the WSG education team as Academic Advisor. This marks an exciting new chapter in the Guild’s evolution and growth. Julien Camus, WSG President, comments, “We are thrilled to have Andrew come on board and are looking forward to his contribution towards our goal of becoming the preeminent provider of specialized wine study programs.”
Meeting Andrew Jefford today could easily lead one to believe that he was born knowing enormous volumes of information about the wines of the world, and has always been able to explain them in the manner of a poet laureate. As the leader of a 2016 Wine Scholar Guild study tour of Southwest France, his presentation (with global parallels) to a small but diverse group of educators and wine professionals was quite natural, charming, articulate, insightful, and generous. Group feedback about Andrew includes these admirable qualities: knowledgeable about local context, well prepared, flexible and adaptive, clear "voice" (speaking and writing), exceedingly patient, gifted at capturing the essence of ideas with beautiful words, an amazing ability to write great tasting notes in record time, erudite yet accessible. In short, it is a privilege to be tutored in person while traveling with Andrew Jefford.
Summary: WSG Membership Manager Mary Kirk welcomes Andrew Jefford, WSG’s Academic Advisor and one of the world’s finest wine writers to discuss the release of his new book “Drinking with the Valkyries”. Andrew also leads the WSG Confidential events, hosting and interviewing personalities in the wine world, but this time the tables are turned and you will have an
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.
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.
WSG Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford was recently interviewed by Gavin Smith for the blog of wine merchant Fine+Rare. Words from Andrew on this thought-provoking interview: "I asked him to leave out the softballs, as 'polite' or 'respectful' interviews are tedious. He didn't actually lay into me
Summary: Did you enjoy reading the Great Debate on Natural Wines by Simon Woolf and Andrew Jefford? We are following up their written debate with a WSG Live, and encourage participants to share their opinion or ask their questions directly to Simon
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.
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...
Summary: What are the main tasting methods and what are their key characteristics? How do different cultures, languages and sensibilities impact how wine tasting is approached? Can we envision a more overarching and universal tasting method? These are some of the
Summary: Can you taste ‘minerality’? What do we mean by ‘terroir’? Where do aroma and flavour come from? Is too much attention paid to the role of the soil in discussions of the aromas and flavours of great wines? How rare are truly great wine-growing sites? These are some of the questions we aim to discuss in the upcoming Meeting of the Minds on November 25th. Wine Scholar Guild
Summary: The famous classifications of Bordeaux (discussed in our Meeting of the Minds webinar on June 22nd) are based on properties – privately owned land entities whose boundaries are subject to change. Of more significance to French wine as a whole, though, are the land classifications based on the notion of the cru or ‘growth’: an entity which rarely coincides, Bordeaux excepted, with private property boundaries and which thus might be considered a
Summary: No one who has visited the classical vineyards of the Mosel, the Douro or Cote Rotie will ever forget the often dizzying experience of their steep slopes and tiny terraces – but these astonishing sites are also workplaces, too. What are these vineyards like to work? How profitable are they? Is the younger generation ‘heroic enough’ to follow their forbears up the steep paths? Should there be a ‘heroic
Summary Typicity is one of the most contentious topics in wine. For some, it is a crystallisation of tradition and the communal incarnation of terroir, meaning that perfect typicity would be one of the highest wine goals. For others, it is no more than a straitjacket which excludes innovation and creativity, and locks certain wine styles into immutable rigidity. Who’s right? Where do we go from here? Should typicity ever be prescriptive? Or should
Christophe Tassan is interviewed by Decanter Magazine’s Andrew Jefford about the Rhône Valley and its wines. “I was born in the dining room, in hospitality,” Christophe tells us, which seems appropriate, as this interview took place in a San Francisco restaurant around the corner from The Battery, where he is currently the wine director.
Award-winning author and columnist for Decanter Magazine and World of Fine Wine Andrew Jefford has joined the Wine Scholar Guild team as Academic Advisor in addition to his existing roles as seminar and immersion trip leader.
Decanter’s Andrew Jefford talks with us about Burgundy’s “Terroir Dreamland” or the Côte d’Or.
Decanter Magazine’s Andrew Jefford describes the diversity of the Languedoc-Roussillon region’s appellations, geography, and wine styles. Andrew is a Montpellier local, a webinar presenter for the guild, and an immersion trip leader. His enthusiasm for the region and its wines is as contagious as his expertise is vast.