Wine and Vineyards of Burgundy by Camillo Favaro and Giampaolo Gravina
So, would you ever reach for a book on Burgundy penned by two Italians?
Well, why not? We reach for wine books about France and Italy written by Brits all the time.I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book cover to cover and recommend it highly.
It’s still a bit of a surprise to find such a good book on Burgundy by two sons of Enotria. Wines and Vineyards of Burgundy by Camillo Favaro and Giampaolo Gravina* is an excellent introduction to Burgundy and a handy reference book for the more experienced.
The book makes few assumptions about the reader’s knowledge, which is refreshing. There are concise chapters on the geology and soils, the climate and history, the grapes, the vintages, the monks and the Revolution, an explanation of the important word ‘climat’, and another of the classification and appellation systems. Then the book moves into its main section – the profiles of 200 producers, and reviews of 800 of their wines. These profiles are arranged by village, and cover the Côte d’Or logically from north to south, each section prefaced by a page or two – again pleasingly concise – to introduce the place to the reader. So Chablis first, then Fixin, Marsannay and Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey to Chambolle, and so on down through Volnay and Meursault to the Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais.
At the back of the book is an excellent selection of colour maps so that you can quickly look up the places being discussed in the text. There’s also something most wine books don’t have: a mini-guide to places to eat, drink and visit. Covering 32 pages, it also treats restaurants and the best specialty shops of Beaune. And the authors asked winemakers to name their favourite things to do around Burgundy: favourite walks, sightseeing points, cycle paths, etc. Really useful stuff for the visitor.
Inevitably, not all of your favourite winemakers will be among the authors’ selection – there are so many that the task of choosing is invidious – but it’s a pretty good selection.
A bonus is that there’s a section of beautiful, and quite arty, photographs of the countryside and the people, shot with a moody palette, which communicate an authentic visual taste of the region.
Oh, and did I mention it was translated into English by the granddaddy of English language writers on Italian wine, Burton Anderson?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book cover to cover and recommend it highly.