The New French Wine

In The New French Wine (Ten Speed Press, 2019), Jon Bonné will tell the groundbreaking tale of the world’s greatest wine culture at a moment of profound change. (Lire en français.)

France is the soul of the global wine industry. And over the past 15 years, French wine has been simultaneously destroying and recreating itself, driven by a talented generation of pioneering winemakers. This new generation sees all the value of French terroir — its traditions, its famed vineyards, its renown. But they are also struggling to succeed against a bureaucracy that has done everything it can to undermine progress and to make life more difficult for the small independent vignerons who make up the backbone of French wine.

Indeed, all of French society is fraying — its socialist systems breaking down after decades of inaction, the failed dreams of the class of 1968 still taking their toll; its economy struggling to rebound, penalizing a young generation that’s overeducated and underemployed; its cultural fabric frayed from the change into an integrated, diverse nation.

French wine, once a beacon of culture, is paying the price. Its legendary appellations are being reconceived; places like Champagne and Beaujolais are in the midst of positive revolution, while while others like St. Emilion and Vouvray face upheaval and sometimes outright revolt. Many naturalist winemakers have rejected the rules entirely and make their wine outside the system, their wines appreciated by a generation keen to reject the ways of the old. After decades of reliance on chemical farming the country’s best winemakers now adhere to organic and biodynamic farming — but are often stymied by neighbors, and a government still stuck in the old ways.

The New French Wine will take readers inside this complex new world, and introduce them to the new stars and the important new regions that will define French wine for the next 25 years. As he did in his award-winning book The New California Wine, Bonné will combine impeccably-reported narrative with extensive reference material, and explore every region of France. It will be the indispensible resource for any French wine lover.

The following articles provide a brief preview of featured topics in The New French Wine:

“Can Wine Save Our Fading Love Affair With France?”
“Champagne’s Next Revolution Is Now”
“Why Burgundy Is Still the Greatest Place for Wine”
“Will the Real Jura Please Stand Up?”
“How Anjou Became the Capital of Natural Wine”
“Who Will Decide the Future of Beaujolais?”
“France’s Most Underrated White Wine Steps Out” (en Français)
“What Does It Mean for a Wine to Be Corsican?”
“The Wiz vs. Kanye of White Wine”
Can Northern Rhône Syrah Survive the Spotlight?
“Alsace’s Tangled Path to the Avant-Garde”
“Can the Savoie Become the Rhône’s Rival Sister?”
Saumur, the Loire Valley’s Powerhouse