A very cool book – really super photos from Jon Wyand – it also looks like he’s been flying a very sturdy kite, given some stunning aerial shots…
I initially thought it would be fun to do something like this, but it was very hard to do with French data protection rules etcetera. Anyway, it seems that Christophe Tupinier at Bourgogne Aujourd’hui has got around all that. There are 3 or 4 vineyards treated in this way in his latest (#116) issue.
Well done them, I’m really looking forward to many more of these…
As far as I can tell, this book is self-published.
You can buy it from Athenaeum in Beaune.
Philippe Remoissenet, together with Canadian, Mark O’Connell, bought the monopole 1er cru Volnay vineyard of Clos de la Chapelle from Louis Boillot in 2011 – it seemed that his children had no wish to continue as wine-producers – did they have prior warning of the 2012 and 2013’s hail? I bought this book during the 2013 harvest, and for tired eyes, its many short chapters, crammed into less than 100 pages, was exactly what I needed before drifting off to sleep each night. I only returned to it this month, finishing the last 1/3rd of the book in double-quick time.
Remoissenet and O’Connell have entrusted the vines (and wine) of Clos de la Chapelle to Maison Champy, whilst Philippe Remoissenet (I don’t know if he related to the family that ran the eponymous Burgundy merchant…) embarked on what seems like an extensive research for the material in this book. Philippe must have written his ‘original’ in French, as Caroline Hudnut is listed as delivering the English translation – there is an occasional clunk, but generally it is well-done – though I’ve not seen a French version!
This work delves into the history not just of this vineyard, but also of Volnay. There is plenty of social history here and just a bit of copy and paste about biodynamic production 😉 Overall it would be a welcome little ‘stocking-filler’ at Christmas time. I’m happy it’s on my bookshelf!
Ooh! Another day another book – it’s an avalanche! A nice delivery this morning – just leave it with me for a couple of weeks to digest 😉
oh, and yet another DRC fraud story broke cover yesterday too…
I spotted a fantastic new book while I was doing the vendanges, not cheap at €69 in Athenaeum in Beaune, but once the pages are thumbed you are (I was!) compelled to buy.
Let’s be clear, it’s in French, but who cares with such wonderful new maps from Sylvain Pitiot – but wait, how can they have made such a mistake with such a beautifully presented (and expensive) book? There are two maps of Gevrey-Chambertin! Indeed there turns out to be two maps of most communes! Eventually the penny drops; one map is for the climats of that village e.g. Chapelle-Chambertin, the other is for the lieu-dits e.g. Gemeaux! Ooh! now that’s useful. There are also tables that define each climat (village lieu-dits too) to 4 decimal places (hectares) and list (for instance) exactly which lieu-dits make up Fixin’s Clos de Perrières. Add to that a list of the producers (almost, there is an occasional ‘missing’) who declared a particular Grand Cru in 2011 and this is a pretty terrific reference work.
I spoke with somebody at the BIVB, and they told me that there is another book with descriptions of the climats by the producers that is currently going through final ‘proofs’ – should be available in time for (my!) Christmas stocking. If they are indeed companion copies, then the locals are clearly trying to wrest the guru title back from Jasper Morris – though this book’s scope is narrower, and for most of the world, they will have to think about English versions for that to happen 😉
PS Sorry about the site being down yesterday – but my hosting company (it was them not me) didn’t feel the need to rush into doing anything remedial, after-all, it was only MIA for about 18 hours and nothing moves in Switzerland on a Sunday…!
Subtitled ‘The Road to Burgundy’
Published by Gotham Books (Penguin).
On trains and trams for the last couple of months I’ve been dipping into this book – Ray kindly thrust it into my hands the last time I saw him – and despite ~290 A5 pages, the chapters are relatively ‘bite-size’, so it was a perfect fit for such travel arrangements!
I’m pretty sure that most people here now know of Ray Walker; at his Maison Ilan he’s single-handedly redefined what an outsider can achieve in Burgundy, and his wines are quite good too! But a book? What next, a film? He’s already been practicing his camera-facing skills!
Not getting too far ahead of ourselves, let’s concentrate on the book… ‘Ray does Burgundy‘, as I shall henceforth refer to this book, is very much (to a British ear) a Disney book (or film? 🙂 ) of apparent worthiness, but this is also a fleeting tenor, because I was quickly wrapped up in the story, as opposed to the storytelling – and given the detail the book covers, Ray must have a hell of a memory for events and dialogue. Actually I knew quite a lot of the story from various meetings with Ray, but had assumed much of it wasn’t for print – how wrong I was – but Ray tells a good tale!
Of-course I know many of the book’s actors, but Ray does Burgundy is anyway a fascinating story, indeed book: It’s about destiny, the journey, serendipity, the odd psycho (clearly better than rogues, or at least in this particular case) and relationships, like wine, forged. Actually I think that Ray was more than a little lucky in his various dealings, as there are clearly more rogues than psychos – perhaps it was all good character judgement on his part!
Whilst many see Ray’s progress as nothing short of a miracle, I personally I have the impression that Burgundians are more open to outsiders than their fellow locals and I’ve no doubt that this was in Ray’s favour – had he not met a Leflaive or a Gouges (etcetera) there may have been other willing substitutes – but there can be no discounting that it takes effort, sacrifice, enthusiasm and eventually attention to detail, to do what Ray has done. In most things Ray clearly prefers, where possible, to have control of the narrative, but in the end (good book or bad book – though it IS a good book), Ray is first and foremost a wine-producer, so this is how I judge him, and given the quality of his wines, to-date, Ray seems to have that taped…