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Wine Books: Rosemary George

Rosemary George started off in the wine trade in London and Bordeaux, before turning to writing in the early 1980s. She covers many regions for Decanter and other publications, but seems to have a penchant for the wines of the Languedoc, Roussillon and Provence.

Rosemary GeorgeThe Wines of the South of France: from Banyuls to Bellet (2001)
Rosemary George
Faber and Faber
Available from Amazon (UK) and Amazon (USA)
ISBN-13: 978-0571192670

I have the utmost admiration for anyone brave enough to take on a text covering the wines of the South of France. Rosemary George has done just this, and she has done it well. It's no surprise that this is a fairly weighty tome, numbering just over 750 pages of almost pure text, interspersed with a small number of maps. There are no other images, as with some of the more recent releases from the Faber and Faber stable, perhaps in this case as an attempt to keep the book a sensible size and weight. After beginning with two sections on history and vineyard/cellar practice, Rosemary George launches into detailed accounts of the notable producers of the vast swathe of vineyards that stretch, as the title tells us, from Banyuls on the border with Spain to the west and Bellet, near Nice, to the east. Division into the broad regions of Corsica, Roussillon, Languedoc and Provence helps to break the book up somewhat, although the latter two account for far more pages than the former. Each section contains a chapter for each important appellation, and each chapter contains an informative and well written introduction before dealing with the domaines and estates that George has visited during her research. I think this is a landmark text for the wines of this collection of continually improving wine regions, and vital for those that wish to explore it in any detail.