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Wine Books: Anthony Hanson

Anthony Hanson puts his knowledge to good use with some no-nonsense words on Burgundy. Unlike many others with an opinion on the region, Hanson doesn't shy away from covering the whole gamut, from Chablis to Beaujolais.

Anthony HansonBurgundy (1999, reissued 2003)
Anthony Hanson
Mitchell Beazley
Available from Amazon (UK) and Amazon (USA)
ISBN-13: 978-1840009132

This text has a typical Faber wine series layout, being divided into two main sections, with a number of useful appendices. Part One deals with Burgundy itself - the history behind the region, the terroir, viticulture, etc. This is a tremendously informative section, and I was somewhat surprised by the depth in which Hanson probes matters such as clonal selection of vines, soil chemistry, and other scientific areas. But do not be afraid - it's all easy to understand, and it leaves you with an excellent feel for the region before proceeding to Part Two. Here Hanson covers the Burgundian appellations, from Chablis down to Beaujolais. The detail given for each of the producers discussed is excellent - the author clearly has an intimate knowledge of his favoured vignerons. If he has a vested interest, to his credit, he reveals it wherever appropriate. This section is vitally important if you are unsure of your Burgundy producers, and it can essentially be used as a reference piece - hopefully leading you to some happy Burgundy experiences. The appendices include a list of monopoles (vineyards under sole ownership - he lists just 150, for the whole of this vast wine region), an account of recent vintages (updated to 1999), a glossary of wine terms, a list of organic wine-growers in the Côte D'Or and some useful addresses.