I’ll Drink To That: Geologist Françoise Vannier

Episode 483 of I’ll Drink to That! features Françoise Vannier, a French geologist who has made a multi-decade study of the vineyards of Burgundy. In this interview, she shares the unexpected findings she has unearthed in the course of her research.

What if I told you that most everything you thought about Burgundy vineyards was wrong? Defined hierarchies of quality that are based on rocks. Cru boundaries that are defined by fault lines. Clos walls that are more picturesque than consequential. Villages with a unified character. Vineyard soil undisturbed by man. And an unbroken slope of vineyards all facing east? Yep, those ideas are all in fact… incorrect. These and other mountains of misunderstanding are broken down by Françoise, one after another, in an interview that will change your very conception of Burgundy. In their place, she presents a map of the Côte d’Or that is defined by features that are often overlooked. A map that is the result of decades of research into the small details and minutiae of vineyards, and work at a scale that had never been completed before. Every Burgundy lover should be thankful to Françoise for this study. Every Burgundy lover should listen to this interview.

The wonderfully distinctive image of Françoise Vannier above was shot by photographer Michel Joly.

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I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine