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10.11.2011

A Well Designed Wine Map of France

It's rare that my day job (design) and my night job (wine) overlap, but thanks to the Internets I occasionally get choice tidbits that nicely fill that little sliver of a venn diagram between two of my most important disciplines.

The latest intersection? This thing of beauty:

wine_map_subway.jpg
Click to make it bigger!

It's a subway-map-meets-wine-map that has some really clever design conventions that allow it to easily convey a lot of very complex, multi-variate information.

Specifically, it illustrates the wine regions, their appellations, the major towns and waterways near those appellations and the relative positioning of those appellations, and the primary grapes grown in each.

For any true oenophile, this map is but a curiosity, as it masks the true geography of the regions, and does not illustrate some of the more notable geographical aspects of French wine regions, such as their relative size, or topography.

However, for someone less concerned with exactitude and perhaps more concerned with some basic facts, it's a great learning device, since it reduces a number of factors to bare essentials, and removes a lot of the "noise" that can sometimes make it very difficult for people to get their heads around the complexity of French wine regions.

Now we need one for Germany, Austria, and Italy !

The map is published by Steve DeLong, a fellow wine blogger, as it turns out.

Thanks to Jack at Fork & Bottle for tipping me off to the blog post at bigthink.com about the map.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud