A year in a French vineyard: March 2019

Wines from Chilean vineyards are popular in the UK, but individual wine estates do not share the reputation of major French names (Meursault, Beaune, pictured inset)

Jonathan Hesford wonders if French vignerons are missing a New World trick

French versus New World mega wines

A year in the vineyard

I was back in the UK for Christmas and browsed the supermarket shelves for some wine to drink.

There were very few French wines on offer and only generic labels like a Côtes du Rhône, a Cahors or a Minervois. Meanwhile the selection of New World wines was much bigger. Dozens of labels from Australia, South Africa, Chile and the USA.

However, when I looked at the New World wines on offer, there was actually very little diversity. One could chose from the popular grape varieties, such as Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, from each country and with a number of different labels offering pretty much the same thing and made by only ...

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