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Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by Tim York » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:47 am

Following up on her excellent book on the wines of the Jura region, Wink Lorch is now moving on to write about the wines of the French Alps, a less trendy region, perhaps, but one full of characterful wines made mainly from local grape varieties. As with her Jura book, I have promised a contribution to her new effort https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wi ... and-beyond .
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Re: Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by wnissen » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:50 am

I think of Jura and Savoie as two peas from the same pod, and these look like wonderful books. Backed!
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Re: Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by wnissen » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:55 pm

Just got my books yesterday, and am extremely pleased. So glad I saw this post. There is a ton of history and technical data, but also enthusiasm for the people, wines, and landscape. The cover is plain but the photography inside is generous and well done. I would love to put together a trip through Valle d'Aosta (not covered in this book) and Savoie some day.

One of the most noteworthy parts, I felt, was a discussion of how good transport affected the fate of the region. On the one hand, it created a lot of local demand, because of the difficulty of importing wines from other regions. On the other hand, when the train and steamship allowed transport from Alegeria and other regions of France, the area under vine shrunk dramatically, by something like 90%. It would really have been a shame if this region had fallen off the map entirely. Time to go off and see if I can source any IGP Isere, that was one I've never even heard of before.
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Re: Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by Tim York » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:03 pm

Mine arrived in the letter box a couple of days ago. Like the Jura book it is extremely thorough and well presented. It contains as much information as I am ever likely to need and more. There is a surprising lack of availability of these wines here in Normandy but I should now be able to make informed choices amongst what I see.

Wink must have put a enormous amount of skill and work into this book and it coincided with a sad bereavement when her partner died after a long illness. Congratulations, Wink, and why not turn your attention now to other regions like, say, Languedoc or Roussillon where I know of no good book.
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Re: Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by wnissen » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:25 pm

While I realize you're quite far across the hexagon, it's still surprising that you have distribution issues. The varieties are distinctive, so I don't feel like they really substitute. Though one thing commented on in the book is that many sites are only about the same elevation as Burgundy. Some are much higher, of course. I wonder if I can tell the difference in style between moderate and high elevation wines?

I had never heard of the Savoyard "sartot", meaning a little shack or cabin that one would rest or store farm implements in, located not at one's home, but rather at the row or two of vines that the family owned. Another fascinating aspect of viniculture brought to life by Ms. Lorch! There's a French wikipedia article about them with a massive table of regional synonyms.

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabane_de_vigne_(France)

I remember reading that a majority of "French" people didn't speak the French language until World War II, and you can see it in the table. All the local languages had their own term for this little home away from home.
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Re: Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:10 pm

Great write up on the book here.

https://wideworldofwine.co/
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Re: Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by wnissen » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:07 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Great write up on the book here.

https://wideworldofwine.co/


Ah, thanks for posting. Here's the permalink:
https://wideworldofwine.co/2019/08/08/w ... ench-alps/
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Re: Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:00 pm

David Crossley is on the UK forum. Sure knows his stuff and travels all over the world..I chat with him often.
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Re: Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by Rahsaan » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:52 pm

wnissen wrote:I remember reading that a majority of "French" people didn't speak the French language until World War II...


WWII or WWI? I always thought Third Republic started the big push for universal education at end of 19th century and WWI was the marker for when things had cohered. WWII sounds late.
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Re: Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by Tim York » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:11 am

Rahsaan wrote:
wnissen wrote:I remember reading that a majority of "French" people didn't speak the French language until World War II...


WWII or WWI? I always thought Third Republic started the big push for universal education at end of 19th century and WWI was the marker for when things had cohered. WWII sounds late.


I agree more likely WW1. Even before that, it's my guess that, for written and official verbal communication, e.g. for military orders, proper French was used even by people who spoke a dialect at home and in their own region.

Here in Normandy, I still find it hard to follow a conversation between locals using dialect words and accent, but they can all switch to slightly accented orthodox French when needed. Basque, Catalan and Breton are distinct languages but all mother tongue speakers of those languages in France also speak French. The Alsatian dialect is closer to German than French and I have met a few people there who have difficulties with French.
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Jura Kickstarters

by TomHill » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:52 pm

Reading the Jura book and the list of Kickstarter contributors...lots of familiar names there...including Dave Beucker and TimYork.
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Re: Wink Lorch's book on Wines of the French Alps

by wnissen » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:55 pm

Boy, I looked for a cite for that French speaker statistic, and I can't find it. I tend to have a mind for that sort of thing, and I'm certain it was not WWI, but take it with a un grand grain du sel. I'm sure it depends on what you consider an accent, dialect, and language. Germany didn't unite until late in the 19th century and even today speakers of Hochdeutsch complain they can't understand the Bavarians. But is it really a separate language? I'll let the linguists duke that one out.
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