GRAPETIONARY: Agiorgitiko to Zweigelt
Remember "Julie & Julia” – that book and movie whereby a food writer attempts to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s book? I’m attempting the wine version (sort of). Based on Master of Wine Jancis Robinson’s tome, "Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours,” I’ve put together a tasting event: GRAPETIONARY A-Z: Agiorgitiko to Zweigelt – 26 varietal wines representing each letter of the alphabet.
Debuting Friday, June 2 at the 6th annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, I’m leading a masterclass in the AFWF's "Vineyard in the City,” the first pop-up vineyard in the US. I’ve assembled 260 bottles (26 wines from 13 countries), a panel of 4 somms and a sold-out crowd of 100. We’ll run through grapes A-H, transition to a seated lunch prepared by Chefs Scott Crawford, Rob McDaniel, Annie Petry, Vishwesh Bhatt and Lisa White as we discuss grapes I-V, and then we'll finish with W-Z. Registrants are over the moon…and my somm friends think this is somewhere between brilliant and crazy. It’s definitely historic.
Have a peek below at the 26 grapes I've gathered from around the globe. Meanwhile, joining me on the panel...
Bartholomew Broadbent, Broadbent Selections, Inc.
Scott Crawford, Master Sommelier
Julie Dalton, CWE
Looking at the list of wines Jason has assembled, I’m hugely impressed by the breadth of the selection.
– Jancis Robinson, MW
The field is set and tickets are sold out, but follow along via Twitter and Instagram as we uncork these gems from A-Z.
More from Jancis:
First of all I’d like to thank Jason Tesauro very much indeed for the amazing amount of work he has put in to organising this very special event. I am thrilled that so many people around the world share the enthusiasm of me and my co-authors Julia Harding MW and Dr José Vouillamoz for the wonderfully inspiring range of grape varieties available to winemakers and wine lovers.
There was a time, in the mid 1990s, when I feared that most of the world’s vineyards would be planted over to just a handful of international varieties. But now, I’m delighted to say, the pendulum has swung very firmly in the other direction. From Chile to Australia via all corners of Europe, curious growers and vintners are hard at work discovering and experimenting with local and historic varieties. In fact, so much work is going on - especially in Spain and Italy - that I suspect that a second edition of Wine Grapes might well be profiling not 1,368 varieties but approaching 1,500.
Looking at the list of wines Jason has assembled, I’m hugely impressed by the breadth of the selection. Writing from Europe, I can report that Vermentino has already become a hugely popular varietal wine(!) here. Petit Manseng from Basque country was one of the first less-common white wine grapes to make an impression on me for its individuality, tanginess and ageworthiness. I was delighted to see it enthusiastically adopted in Virginia, and I see by examining our 130,000 tasting notes on JancisRobinson.com that it can now be found in Australia, Bordeaux, China, Languedoc, New Zealand, Portugal, Uruguay and an array of American states including here in Georgia.