Friday, 19 April 2013

WSET Diploma, semester 2, day 4

The road to Cote Rotie

As I missed day three due to previous commitments, we pick up from day two here.

The session tackled the Rhone (North & South) and "Southern France" (Languedoc, Rousillon, Provence) and was brought to life in a wonderfully auto-biographical style by a charming man who, in a selfless act of martyrdom, has gone to the trouble of spending a good amount of time in that particular part of the world, adding colour to his explanations of the region.

What you'll need:
At least 8 glasses, pen, paper. I found it useful to have the maps at the back pages of the handbook available.

What to expect:
Gregory Bowden (AIWS from GDBO) leads an entertaining romp around the south of France. Having returned many times to the region over the past 30 years or so he was able to offer true insight into the developments of the regions during their recent history. It's a day of terroir, viticulture and vinification, so probably a good idea to make sure you're up to speed on those subjects.


Pleasant surprise of the day: new words, and some hilariously obscure facts. For example, did you know that in 1954 a law was passed forbidding the flying, taking off or landing of flying saucers in Chateauneuf du Pape? No, neither did I, but it's true. Even Wikipedia says so (about a 1/3rd down the page).
Super-versatile word of the day: garriegue ("ga-reeg") meaning 'dry, herbaceous aroma', relating specifically to the aroma released by low-lying herbaceous plants which grow wild in the region when trodden underfoot. It's a very useful term! (Please use responsibly).

The famous pudding stones of Chateauneuf du Pape

On to Day Five...

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