For centuries, wine has been associated with France more than with any other country. France remains one of the world’s leading wine producers by volume and enjoys unrivaled cultural recognition for its wine. If any wine regions are global household names, they are French regions such as Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. Within the wine world, products from French regions are still benchmarks for many wines.
French Wine is the first synthetic history of wine in France: from Etruscan, Greek, and Roman imports and the adoption of wine by beer-drinking Gauls to its present status within the global marketplace. Rod Phillips places the history of grape growing and winemaking in each of the country’s major regions within broad historical and cultural contexts.
Examining a range of influences on the wine industry, wine trade, and wine itself, the book explores religion, economics, politics, revolution, and war, as well as climate and vine diseases. French Wine is the essential reference on French wine for collectors, consumers, sommeliers, and industry professionals.
Rod Phillips teaches history at Carleton University in Ottawa and is the author of a number of books on European social history and the history of wine and alcohol, including Alcohol: A History and A Short History of Wine.
"Rod Phillips' comprehensive book, French Wine: A History, is an absolute tour de force, sure to be an instant classic."—Pam Strayer Wine Country Geographic
"Offers insight on France's modern rise to wine world prominence, taking us back through several eras (Enlightenment to the Middle Ages, and beyond) to show us that the country's current premiere status was hard-won. Wine does not exist in a vacuum, and Phillips touches on several of the industry's outside forces in France, including religion and politics — two things you want to avoid talking about when you're drinking, but should feel free to read about anytime."—Michael Austin Chicago Tribune
"This is a masterful survey of French wine that takes us from the Etruscans through the modern love affair with terroir
. For those interested in wine and wine history, Rod Phillips takes us on an adventure that will broaden both our historical knowledge and our palate."—Kolleen M. Guy, author of When Champagne Became French
"This is a landmark book. Phillips captures with great authority the ups and downs of the world’s most illustrious winemaking nation and tells the story of French wine from its beginnings 2,500 years ago to the present day. The history of France’s big three wine regions—Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne—are given special attention, but other regions are also part of the story. Lively, serious, and engaging, Phillips's book provides the only overview of French wine in English."—Noelle Plack, Newman University
"Written with an academic’s knowledge and a connoisseur’s understanding, this magisterial overview is the most authoritative and compelling history of the world’s most important and inspiring wine country."—Neil Beckett, editor of The World of Fine Wine
"“From the Celts to the Cistercians, claret to Chaptal, Rod Phillips tells the story of French wine with the detail and insight that also characterised his A Short History of Wine
. His new book is a brilliant overview of the greatest wine-producing country on earth.”—Tim Atkin MW