No country is more closely associated with wine than France - it is the land of Champagne, of Burgundy and Bordeaux and so much more. Certainly, no other country has as many regions that can be considered an entire category of wine, and yet, France can be baffling precisely because it is so rich in wine. Where to begin? From dry wines to sweet, quaffing wines to fortified wines and what many consider the greatest white wines in the world (Bonjour Montrachet!), the greatest rosés (Bienvenue à Provence!), the classic evocation of syrah (Rhône is where the heart is), and the archetypal examples of cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir among others, France has it all.
For this reason, no wine lover's education is complete without a solid grounding in the vinous diversity of France. When leading a WSET Level 2 course and I pop up a map of France, it always amazes me that we can show nearly every climatic possibility within this one country - the three main wine climates (Mediterranean, Continental and Maritime) are all here and flourishing. From Champagne, the most northerly region in Europe where quality wine grapes can be grown, to the far South of France, we span an enormous range of temperatures and sunshine. Grapes need sunshine to ripen, so we have cool climate varieties like pinot noir and sauvignon blanc, and varieties that like the heat, like grenache and cabernet sauvignon. It's all here - from riesling in Alsace to syrah in the Rhône, nearly every international classic grape variety can be found in France.
And here's the good news: we taste them all - more than 35 wines - over two days in Fine Vintage's exceptional course called The French Wine Professional. I'm going to debut the course for American wine lovers in September in Chicago, and will roll it out in other markets where I teach (Atlanta, Boston, Miami and New York) in early 2019. If you love wine, you owe it to your palate to join me for this course. You'll need your WSET Level 2 certification because we will be doing some in-depth tastings. You'll also need your curiosity turn up high as we taste premier and grand cru Burgundies, classified growth Bordeaux, classic wines from the Loire and Alsace, the great wines of the Rhône and the Loire Valley and more.
For a more detailed explanation of the course, check out my French Wine Professional page on this website, and make plans to join me in Chicago on September 22 and 23 for the US debut of this wonderful tasting experience.