Jancis Mary Robinson OBE, ComMA, MW is a British wine critic and wine writer. She writes a weekly column for the Financial Times, writes for her website JancisRobinson.com, updated daily. She provides advice for the wine cellar of Queen Elizabeth II. Robinson was born in Cumbria, studied mathematics and philosophy at St Anne's College, University of Oxford, worked for a travel company after leaving university. Robinson started her wine writing career on 1 December 1975 when she became assistant editor for the trade magazine Wine & Spirit. In 1984, she became the first person outside the wine trade to become a Master of Wine. From 1995 until she resigned in 2010 she served as British Airways' wine consultant, supervised the BA Concorde cellar luxury selection; as a wine writer, she has become one of the world's leading writers of educational and encyclopedic material on wine and was described by Decanter magazine as'the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world'. The Oxford Companion to Wine, edited by Robinson, is considered to be the most comprehensive wine encyclopedia in the world.
The first edition was published in 1994, took five years to write after she was signed on as editor in 1988. In addition, The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Robinson is one of the world's leading wine atlases. In 1995, Jancis Robinson appeared in a 10-episode wine course on BBC 2 television; this series was reissued on DVD. A book titled Jancis Robinson's Wine Course was written to accompany the series and has gone through several editions. In 2015 she launched Mastering Wine - Shortcuts to Success, on www.udemy.com. She has an honorary doctorate from the Open University, was made an OBE in 2003, among numerous other awards for her writing, her accolades include multiple Glenfiddich Awards and André Simon Memorial Awards, a selection as the Decanter "1999 Woman of the Year". In 2016, she was made an Officier de l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole, was given the German VDP association's highest honour and won for fourth James Beard Award in the US. Following a difference of opinion with Robert Parker over the 2003 vintage of Château Pavie, the following media coverage described a "war of words" between the two critics.
Less dramatic than the predominant press view and Parker have a cordial relationship. In 2012, Allen Lane in the UK and Ecco in the US published a 1,200-page book called Wine Grapes co-authored by Robinson with Julia Harding MW and Jose Vouillamoz which won every major wine book award; the book won six major wine book awards. Robinson is married to author of The Art of the Restaurateur. Officer of the Order of the British Empire, United Kingdom Officer of the Order of Agricultural Merit, France Commander of the Order of Entrepreneurial Merit, Portugal Robinson, Jancis; the 24-Hour Wine Expert. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-141-98181-9. Robinson, Jancis. American Wine. University of California Press. ISBN 978-1-84533-528-1. ISBN 978-0-520-27321-4. Robinson, Jancis. Wine Grapes. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1-84614-446-2. Johnson, Hugh; the World Atlas of Wine. Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1-84533-301-0. Robinson, Jancis, ed.. The Oxford Companion to Wine. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-870538-3. Robinson, Jancis. Jancis Robinson's Wine Course.
Abbeville Press Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7892-0791-3. Robinson, Jancis. How to Taste Wine. Conran Octopus/Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-84091-520-4. Robinson, Jancis. Confessions of a Wine Lover. Penguin/Viking. ISBN 978-0-14-023529-6. Robinson, Jancis. Vines and Wines. Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1-85732-999-5. List of wine personalities Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages Jancis Robinson articles in Financial Times Podcast of Jancis Robinson discussing "Writing about wine" at the Shanghai International Literary Festival Live blogging interview with Jancis Robinson Interview with Jancis Robinson
A grape is a fruit, botanically a berry, of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten fresh as table grapes or they can be used for making wine, juice, grape seed extract, raisins and grape seed oil. Grapes are a non-climacteric type of fruit occurring in clusters; the cultivation of the domesticated grape began 6,000–8,000 years ago in the Near East. Yeast, one of the earliest domesticated microorganisms, occurs on the skins of grapes, leading to the discovery of alcoholic drinks such as wine; the earliest archeological evidence for a dominant position of wine-making in human culture dates from 8,000 years ago in Georgia. The oldest known winery was found in Armenia, dating to around 4000 BC. By the 9th century AD the city of Shiraz was known to produce some of the finest wines in the Middle East, thus it has been proposed that Syrah red wine is named after Shiraz, a city in Persia where the grape was used to make Shirazi wine. Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics record the cultivation of purple grapes, history attests to the ancient Greeks and Romans growing purple grapes for both eating and wine production.
The growing of grapes would spread to other regions in Europe, as well as North Africa, in North America. In North America, native grapes belonging to various species of the genus Vitis proliferate in the wild across the continent, were a part of the diet of many Native Americans, but were considered by early European colonists to be unsuitable for wine. In the 19th century, Ephraim Bull of Concord, cultivated seeds from wild Vitis labrusca vines to create the Concord grape which would become an important agricultural crop in the United States. Grapes are a type of fruit that grow in clusters of 15 to 300, can be crimson, dark blue, green and pink. "White" grapes are green in color, are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape. Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the color of purple grapes. Anthocyanins and other pigment chemicals of the larger family of polyphenols in purple grapes are responsible for the varying shades of purple in red wines.
Grapes are an ellipsoid shape resembling a prolate spheroid. Most grapes come from cultivars of Vitis vinifera, the European grapevine native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. Minor amounts of fruit and wine come from American and Asian species such as: Vitis amurensis, the most important Asian species Vitis labrusca, the North American table and grape juice grapevines, sometimes used for wine, are native to the Eastern United States and Canada. Vitis mustangensis, found in Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma Vitis riparia, a wild vine of North America, is sometimes used for winemaking and for jam, it is native to the entire Eastern U. S. and north to Quebec. Vitis rotundifolia used for jams and wine, are native to the Southeastern United States from Delaware to the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 75,866 square kilometers of the world are dedicated to grapes. 71% of world grape production is used for wine, 27% as fresh fruit, 2% as dried fruit. A portion of grape production goes to producing grape juice to be reconstituted for fruits canned "with no added sugar" and "100% natural".
The area dedicated to vineyards is increasing by about 2% per year. There are no reliable statistics, it is believed that the most planted variety is Sultana known as Thompson Seedless, with at least 3,600 km2 dedicated to it. The second most common variety is Airén. Other popular varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Tempranillo and Chardonnay. Commercially cultivated grapes can be classified as either table or wine grapes, based on their intended method of consumption: eaten raw or used to make wine. While all of them belong to the same species, Vitis vinifera and wine grapes have significant differences, brought about through selective breeding. Table grape cultivars tend to have large, seedless fruit with thin skin. Wine grapes are smaller seeded, have thick skins. Wine grapes tend to be sweet: they are harvested at the time when their juice is 24% sugar by weight. By comparison, commercially produced "100% grape juice", made from table grapes, is around 15% sugar by weight.
Seedless cultivars now make up the overwhelming majority of table grape plantings. Because grapevines are vegetatively propagated by cuttings, the lack of seeds does not present a problem for reproduction, it is an issue for breeders, who must either use a seeded variety as the female parent or rescue embryos early in development using tissue culture techniques. There are several sources of the seedlessness trait, all commercial cultivators get it from one of three sources: Thompson Seedless, Russian Seedless, Black Monukka, all being cultivars of Vitis vinifera. There are more than a dozen varieties of seedless grapes. Several, such as Einset Seedless, Benjamin Gunnels's Prime seedless grapes and Venus, have been cultivated for hardiness and quality in the cold climates of northeastern United States and southern Ontario. An offset to the improved eating quality of seedlessness is the loss of potential health benefits provided by the enriched phytochemical conten
Gamay is a purple-colored grape variety used to make red wines, most notably grown in Beaujolais and in the Loire Valley around Tours. Its full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc, it is a old cultivar, mentioned as long ago as the 15th century. It has been cultivated because it makes for abundant production; the Gamay grape is thought to have appeared first in the village of the Gamay, south of Beaune, in the 1360s. The grape brought relief to the village growers following the decline of the Black Death. In contrast to the Pinot noir variety, Gamay ripened two weeks earlier and was less difficult to cultivate, it produced a strong, fruitier wine in a much larger abundance. In July 1395, the Duke of Burgundy Philippe the Bold outlawed the cultivation of the grape, referring to it as the "disloyal Gaamez" that in spite of its ability to grow in abundance was full of "very great and horrible harshness", due in part to the variety's occupation of land that could be used for the more "elegant" Pinot Noir.
Sixty years Philippe the Good issued another edict against Gamay in which he stated the reasoning for the ban is that "The Dukes of Burgundy are known as the lords of the best wines in Christendom. We will maintain our reputation". Gamay is a vigorous vine which tends not to root deeply on alkaline soils resulting in pronounced hydrological stress on the vines over the growing season with a correspondingly high level of acidity in the grapes; the acidity is softened through carbonic maceration, a process that allows the vibrant youthful fruit expressions reminiscent of bright crushed strawberries and raspberries, as well as deep floral notes of lilac and violets. Gamay-based wines are light bodied and fruity. Wines meant to be drunk after some modest aging tend to have more body and are produced by whole-berry maceration; the latter are produced in the designated'Cru Beaujolais' areas where the wines have the flavor of sour cherries, black pepper, dried berry, as well as fresh-cut stone and chalk.
In addition to being well suited to the terroir of Beaujolais, Gamay is grown extensively in the Loire Valley around Tours, where it is blended with Cabernet Franc and Côt, a local clone of Malbec. These wines are similar to those of Crus Beaujolais but with raspberry notes and the signature fresh-peppery nose of the Cabernet Franc. Gamay is the grape of the Beaujolais nouveau, produced from the more alkaline soils of Southern Beaujolais where the grape is incapable of making drinkable wines without aggressive carbonic maceration; the acid levels of the grape grown in the limestone Pierres Doreés of the South are too high for making wines with any appeal beyond the early release Nouveaux. Gamay is grown in the Niagara Peninsula in Canada, some producers being in the Short Hills Bench, Beamsville Bench and St. David's Bench to mention a few, as well as in Prince Edward County. Château des Charmes in Niagara-on-the-Lake has a regional clone which they discovered, Gamay Noir Droit, a recognized mutation.
It is grown by a small number of wineries in Australia to make a range of wines including light bodied red wines suitable for early drinking. Gamay has been introduced into Oregon's Willamette Valley wine region, a place known for its wines made from Pinot noir, another Burgundian grape, it was introduced by Amity Vineyards in 1988. In 1991, Rebecca's Vineyard was one few Oregon vineyards selling the grapes. LaBete winery was the first to make a vineyard designate of Gamay from Rebecca's Vineyard. Since Rebecca's Vineyard stopped selling Gamay to those who would only blend into their Pinot Noir for flavor and color enhancement, to only sell to those who would produce stand alone Gamay. Younger wineries like Division Winemaking Co. who are now the largest producer of Gamay in Oregon, have helped raise awareness and availability of the grape in Oregon. Significant new plantings are underway in the Willamette Valley and there's a festival called I Love Gamay held in nearby Portland. Tasting notes published by the vineyards at Amity, WillaKenzie, Division and Methven describe wines that match the basic profiles of Crus Beaujolais.
The Gamay name has become attached to other varieties grown in California, which at one time were thought to be the true Gamay. The grape'Napa Gamay' is now known as Valdeguié, the name Napa Gamay has not appeared on labels from 2007 onwards. Gamay Beaujolais is considered to be an early ripening Californian clone of Pinot noir. Despite similar names the grapes Gamay du Rhône and Gamay St-Laurent are not the Beaujolais grape either but rather the southwestern France grape Abouriou. In 1929, Gamay was crossed with the table grape Seidentraube to produce the white wine grape Regner
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
The Oxford Companion to Wine
The Oxford Companion to Wine is a book in the series of Oxford Companions published by Oxford University Press. The book provides an alphabetically arranged reference to wine and edited by Jancis Robinson, with contributions by several wine writers including Hugh Johnson, Michael Broadbent, James Halliday, experts such as viticulturist Richard Smart and oenologist Pascal Ribéreau-Gayon; the contract for the first edition was signed in 1988, after five years of writing it was published in 1994. The second edition was published in 1999 and the third in 2006; the fourth edition, published in 2015, contains nearly 4,000 entries over about 850 pages with contributions from 187 people. Entries for individuals are limited by the strict criteria of "a long track record" and "global significance". There is no entry for Jancis Robinson herself. Eric Asimov of The New York Times has noted that with the wine world's increasing rate of evolution, "this encyclopedic work keeps pace with new information on issues like climate change, biodynamic viticulture and globalization, emerging wine regions like Canada and eastern Europe".
Having received several awards, including the André Simon Memorial Award and the Glenfiddich Award, it has been described as "the most useful wine book published", "the one essential book for any wine-lover". OUP The Oxford Companion to Wine information Oxford Companion to Wine Online
Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, is a species of Vitis, native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes though only a few are of commercial significance for wine and table grape production, it is a liana growing to 32 m with flaky bark. The leaves are 5 -- 20 cm long and broad; the fruit is a berry, known as a grape. The species occurs in humid forests and streamsides; the wild grape is classified as V. vinifera subsp. Sylvestris, with V. vinifera subsp. Vinifera restricted to cultivated forms. Domesticated vines subsp.. Sylvestris is dioecious and pollination is required for fruit to develop; the grape is eaten processed to make wine or juice, or dried to produce raisins. Cultivars of Vitis vinifera form the basis of the majority of wines produced around the world. All of the familiar wine varieties belong to Vitis vinifera, cultivated on every continent except for Antarctica, in all the major wine regions of the world.
Wild grapes were harvested by early farmers. For thousands of years, the fruit has been harvested for both nutritional value. Changes in pip shape and distribution point to domestication occurring about 3500–3000 BC, in southwest Asia, South Caucasus, or the Western Black Sea shore region; the earliest evidence of domesticated grapes has been found at Gadachrili Gora, near the village of Imiri, Marneuli Municipality, in southeastern Republic of Georgia. Grape pips dating back to the V-IV millennia B. C. were found in Shulaveri. C. were found in Khizanaant Gora, all in the Republic of Georgia. Cultivation of the domesticated grape spread to other parts of the Old World in pre-historic or early historic times; the first written accounts of grapes and wine can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, an ancient Sumerian text from the third millennium BC. There are numerous hieroglyphic references from ancient Egypt, according to which wine was reserved for priests, state functionaries and the pharaoh. Hesiod in his Works and Days gives detailed descriptions of grape harvests and wine making techniques, there are many references in Homer.
Greek colonists introduced these practices in their colonies in southern Italy, known as Enotria due to its propitious climate. The Etruscans improved wine making techniques and developed an export trade beyond the Mediterranean basin; the ancient Romans further developed the techniques learnt from the Etruscans, as shown by numerous works of literature containing information, still valid today: De Agri Cultura by Cato the Elder, De re rustica by Marcus Terentius Varro, the Georgics by Virgil and De re rustica by Columella. During the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, the long crisis of the Roman Empire generated instability in the countryside which led to a reduction of viticulture in general, sustained only close to towns and cities and along coastlines. Between the 5th and 10th centuries, viticulture was sustained exclusively by the different religious orders in monasteries; the Benedictines and others extended the grape growing limit northwards and planted new vineyards at higher altitudes than was customary before.
Apart from ‘ecclesiastical’ viticulture, there developed in France, a ‘noble’ viticulture, practiced by the aristocracy as a symbol of prestige. Grape growing was a significant economic activity in the Middle east up to the 7th century, when the expansion of Islam caused it to decline. Between the Low Middle Ages and the Renaissance, viticulture began to flourish again. Demographic pressure, population concentration in towns and cities, the increased spending power of artisans and merchants gave rise to increased investment in viticulture, which became economically feasible once more. Much was written during the Renaissance on grape growing and wine production, favouring a more scientific approach; this literature can be considered the origin of modern ampelography. Grapes followed European colonies around the world, coming to North America around the 17th century, to Africa, South America and Australia. In North America it formed hybrids with native species from the genus Vitis. North American rootstocks became used to graft V. vinifera cultivars so as to withstand the presence of phylloxera.
V. Vinifera accounts for the majority of world wine production. In Europe, Vitis vinifera is concentrated in the southern regions.