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GIGONDAS, its wines, its land, its people

I have been involved in writing a fair chunk of this book over the past two years, as well as translating it back from English into French. Voulez-vous, sang Abba. I cannot say I did as I waded through the text. My section covers the vintages from 1959 to 2009. When I started out on the wine trail, my first tastings at Gigondas and in Aix-en-Provence involved the very first vintage of the new appellation cru of Gigondas, the 1971. Thus I have some notes going back all that way, the whole life of the appelltaion in its current status.

It has been an honour to work in detail on this project, which also covers the History of Gigondas, the Geology of Gigondas, and the Domaines of Gigondas. I re-tasted a lot of old vintages, so there is a neat comparison between at the time and now, de nos jours. The cost of the book is £35, inc postage from Gigondas. The book came out on December 12, 2011 or so. When ordering the French edition of the book here, please may I ask you to send me an email stating that you wish the FRENCH language version at jll@drinkrhone.com Meanwhile, here is some official speak on the book, fasten your seat belts for that, please.

The Rhône Valley appellation of Gigondas obtained "cru" status forty years ago, but vines and winemaking have been present here for many centuries. The picturesque village of Gigondas sits in the foothills of the majestic peaks of the Dentelles de Montmirail, surrounded by a unique geological formation. These terroirs of extreme diversity, marked by the omnipresence of limestone, have become its passport to success.

In collaboration with the Union des Maisons de la Vallée du Rhône, the Gigondas appellation has created this comprehensive work about the AOC, entitled Gigondas, its wines, its land, its people.

Historian and Doctor of Literature Jean-Baptiste Amadieu, journalists John Livingstone-Learmonth (the renowned British wine writer) and Véronique Raisin, geologist and Rhône valley specialist Georges Truc, photographer Ilka Kramer and wine producer Louis Barruol tell the multi-faceted story of the Gigondas appellation, taking the reader on a wine- and geology-focused tour of the birthplace of these wines, recounting their illustrious history and amusing anecdotes. Some 50 vintages are tasted and noted, with 82 Gigondas domaines described and pictured.

With special thanks to Josh Raynolds, Ned Goodwin, Kermit Lynch, Andrew Jefford, Lincoln Siliakus, Alain Senderens, Alain Passard, Christophe Tassan and Kelly Mc Auliffe [a mixture of sommeliers, chefs, wandering minstrels, scribes, who have all written pieces about what they like about Gigondas].

" Tastings over the past five decades strongly indicate that Gigondas is fresher, and therefore more stimulating, to drink than the wines from most other Southern Rhône vineyards: just like the Roman legionnaires found it, no doubt ", John Livingstone-Learmonth

" Thankfully, Gigondas is no longer a new love but an eternal friend ", Ned Goodwin

" Gigondas is unique ", Andrew Jefford

" and for me, a dream came true. I was proprietor ... of one of the south's enchanted sites ", Kermit Lynch

" The wines of Gigondas have a soul ", Kelly Mc Auliffe

" Personally, I feel relaxed when I open a Gigondas wine ", Alain Passard

" Gigondas... It has always occupied plenty of space in mine (cellar), and it always will ", Josh Raynolds

" This harsh place has forged a generous but resilient people... ", Lincoln Siliakus

" Don't tell anyone that Gigondas is a haven of peace ", Christophe Tassan

" The heart of Gigondas lies in the plain, but its spirit is in the mountains ", Georges Truc