Essential Reading The Wines of Provence – Tricolour
Elevated Wine Knowledge
Göran Boman, the author of The Wines of Provence – Tricolour, is based in Sweden, far from Provence’s vineyards. His studies at Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology led to a career with large international companies. Before retiring, Göran monitored the quality of nuclear fuel transmitted from EDF France to Sweden.
About 25 years ago, he joined Munskänkarna (“Cup-bearers”) for wine tastings and education. The association is the world’s largest, non-commercial wine tasting group with 30,000 members, mainly in Sweden and Provence.
We asked Göran Boman about his wine knowledge and the guidebook:
As a member of Munskänkarna, I have led many wine tastings, typically a presentation followed by the sampling of 5-6 representative wines. My favourite subjects for wine tasting are Provence and rosé, Champagne and sparkling wine, and wines from northern Italy.
For seven years, I was chairman and responsible for Munskänkarna’s educational programs in my hometown in Sweden. During that period, I led wine education at different levels, from an introduction to wine to the highest level, the so-called “third level.” Other classes included sparkling wine and combining food and wine. By running these courses, my knowledge gradually increased, so I passed the “third level” exam, which in the wine world is a higher level than the sommelier education.
Attracted to Provence
My wife Maria and I have spent many pleasant summer holidays travelling around Europe by car, and this is a great way to explore a country as you must coordinate everything. We usually had rather loose planning and often ended up in either Provence or Tuscany. Both areas have beautiful scenery, fascinating history, good food and excellent wines!
We like Provence with its hectic lifestyle near the coast and the slower pace and beautiful landscapes inland. Fifteen years ago, we bought a house in the region, and now we live between the Alpes Maritimes and Sweden.
In my opinion, the hallmark of quality wines from Provence, in all three colours, is the freshness and elegance provided by the favourable terroir. Wines from other hot regions of France, as the Southern Rhône and Languedoc, rarely have this freshness, and thus these wines are perceived as heavier.
If you, like me, love the Provence wines, The Wines of Provence – Tricolour is for you. Within the pages, I cover 58 wine producers and recommend 338 wines, not just rosé wines. Use the book as a guide to discovering these wines and the producers. My goal is to deepen your knowledge of everything worth knowing about the wines of Provence.
The book is unique; there is no similar publication in English or even in French. The Wines of Provence – Tricolour received a Gourmand Award in 2020 and is now in the “Best in the World” within the French Wine category.
If you are planning a wine-focused trip in Provence, this book is an excellent resource. Dedicated to tips on wine touring, chapter 13 also includes information on finding free wine tastings. Within this chapter, there are examples of regular events such as wine walks in the vineyards, Fête du Vin Nouveau and Fête du Millésime (Bandol in December).
Throughout The Wines of Provence – Tricolour, there is contact information for large and small family-owned producers. I find that the most rewarding visits are usually at the small, not so lesser-known, producers. Often on these properties, one person is responsible for the whole chain, from planting vines to marketing. The appendix includes an extensive list of wine terms and related French words to facilitate discussions with the vineyard worker and winemaker.
Who Should Read the Book?
I would say that the book is both for experts and beginners. The experts will find many facts and interesting details as well as recommended producers and wines. Despite all the facts, it is an easy-to-read, richly illustrated book. The beginner learns in chapter 9 about wine terminology, information on grape varieties, and typical aromas. Chapter 8 covers the vineyard operations and winemaking processes for all three colours.
The layout of The Wines of Provence – Tricolour is traditional, starting with geography and wine history in the first section. Read about the success of Provencal rosé and the wide range of associated colours and aromas. Chapter 5 covers the positive developments in the last 30 years and those organizations supporting the wine industry. There is also a feature interview with Lars Torstenson, a famous Swedish winemaker in Provence.
Terroir – the importance of geology, soil and climate – follows the book’s introduction. The Wines of Provence – Tricolour has information on grape varieties and making wines. I also include advice on finding your favourite wine and a vintage assessment.
The remaining 60% of the book covers all wine regions, the so-called appellations, and wine producers. Included are details about the 58 wine producers and my tasting records of 338 wines. At the end of the section, there is a summary of each wine producer, making it easier to find your favourite wine.
Provence More than Rosé
Now that rosé wine is a serious wine understand that there are styles suitable for aperitif or pairing with food. Provence has been in the lead for improving the quality of the rosé wine, and the light-coloured wine with a fresh aromatic nose of fruits and refreshing taste is now the benchmark in the world.
The downside is the dominance of the rosé wines and the fact that the category gets all the attention. Provence has fantastic grape growing conditions, the terroir, for making premium white and red wines. It’s my opinion that superior rosé wine rarely reaches the same level of complexity as high-quality white or red wines. I wish there were more focus on the other colours of wine.
Buy a Copy
“Provence is the rosé wine world leader, but less well-known for fantastic red and white wines. This is not a coffee table book but a guide to the wonderful world of wine in one of the most beautiful regions of France. It is easy to read, richly illustrated and filled with facts to help you find your favourite wines or plan a visit to a region where they have been making wine for 2600 years. It includes the history of wine in Provence, facts about the all-important terroirs and appellations, the grape varieties, work in the vineyard, vinification of white, red and rosé wine and the different characteristics of each.”
The Wines of Provence – Tricolour (click on the title or book cover to order your copy)
The book was recently acknowledged in La Revue du Vins de France:
Provence – Wine Book of the Month!
Europe’s oldest and France’s leading wine magazine “La Revue du Vin de France” designates a “Book of the Month” in each issue. In the latest issue, Göran Boman’s “The Wines of Provence – Tricolour” was named book of the month. It is extra remarkable because it is the first time that a non-French language book receives this nomination!
The rationale for the appointment: “…Note! The red and white wines, often forgotten, are especially mentioned here… from Arles to Nice, the region has no secrets for him. His contacts with winegrowers and professionals are many and useful.
The structure is impeccable: everything is examined, the fifteen Provencal grape varieties, the appellations, the IGP areas and 57 selected producers, with several hundred wines to choose from.”
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