Log in for prices and ordering

Academie du Vin Library

Académie du Vin is a boutique publishing house dedicated to issuing the finest wine writing of the past, present and future. It was established in 2018 by wine industry legend Steven Spurrier and wine-focussed publisher Simon McMurtrie and takes its name from Spurrier’s famous Paris wine school of the 1970s.

The Académie du Vin publishes two kinds of wine books: newly commissioned titles aiming to bring the reader the best of modern wine writing; and new editions of old wine texts that deserve a new audience. Above all, their aim is to choose publications for their readability and ability to enhance the reader’s drinking pleasure. 

They also offer a carefully selected collection of wine books from authors that share their passion and knowledge of wine regions, growers and makers. Publications include Andrew Jefford’s Drinking with the Valkyries, Stephen Spurrier A Life In Wine and The Life and Wines of Hugh Johnson. There is also a selection of compendiums on Champagne, California and Bordeaux. 

The Range

Drinking with the Valkyries by Andrew Jefford

Drinking with the Valkyries by Andrew Jefford

In the words of winemaker Randall Grahm, Andrew Jefford is “the most thoughtful person we have writing about wine”, so for many wine lovers, a new Jefford is the equivalent of the release of a new iPhone to Apple fanatics. In this beautiful and varied volume of essays, opinions and articles spanning 2007 to 2022, the author shares his fascinating observations gathered over decades of discovery. Jefford listened to and admires wine, wherever it comes from; old-school pretensions are turned on their heads, style points are disdained, stellar prices are dismissed and questions are asked... The book includes an edited copy of Andrew’s transcendental lecture to the Wine Communicators of Australia in May 2012: Wine and Astonishment. The aim of this, Jefford writes, “is to make wine strange for us again, and in so doing to freshen or re-make our mental relationship with it”. There is no other book on wine like it, except perhaps, one of the author’s previous works.

Drinking with the Valkyries: Writings On Wine Andrew Jefford Format: Hardback Pages: 272, 225 × 170 mm Published by Académie du Vin, 2022

Best Wine Books 2022 “For years Andrew Jefford has been one of the English language’s most thoughtful writers and stylists on wine… original and provocative, though not at all a provocateur… Mr. Jefford is a poet, and he’s far more interested in the poetry of wine — the transporting thoughts and dreamlike reveries it induces — than in the technical details… A pleasure to read.” Eric Asimov
The New York Times
Best Wine Books 2022 "Jefford’s essays are like that glass of wine at day’s end – restorative, uplifting and enlightening." Dave McIntyre
Washington Post
Best Wine Books 2022
Decanter
“A tumble of short stories, it reveals the kaleidoscope landscape of a staggeringly beautiful, complex mind, reflecting a staggeringly beautiful, complex world.”
Tamlyn Currin, JancisRobinson.com
Drinking with the Valkyries by Andrew Jefford
The Bordeaux Club

The Bordeaux Club

This is the story of twelve friends who gathered to share and celebrate the most extraordinary wines of Bordeaux. Neil McKendrick, member and minute-taker for fifty-seven of the Club’s seventy memorable years, weaves the tale of this convivial group with the rigour of a Cambridge academic and the humour of a born raconteur. He celebrates the beauty of top-class Bordeaux and the splendour of each setting—from glorious country houses to rickety Dickensian boardrooms—in which these men were lucky enough to dine, serving up memories of vintages the likes of which we will never see again.In The Bordeaux Club:• ‘Well over 1,000 bottles consumed…’: Bordeaux’ top wines described by the brilliant Hugh Johnson, Michael Broadbent and Steven Spurrier• Verdicts and opinions from the historian Sir John Plumb, ‘the rudest man in Cambridge’• 1865, 1929, 1945, 1961, 1985, 1990… the highlights of these six famous Bordeaux vintages are revealed• Haut-Brion, Lafite, Mouton-Rothschild, Margaux and Latour – the Médoc’s first growths appraised by the finest palates• From the grandeur of Saling Hall (Essex) to the extensively portraited Master’s Lodge at Caius College, Cambridge: 16 perfect settings for wine enjoyment• Keeper of the deepest cellar (and partner to most notorious wife), Lord Harry Walston’s irresistibly scandalous lifestyle explored• Notes of the author’s extraordinary £1 purchases from the Caius College Cellar (Latour 1928, Lafite 1945) – for sale at this low price because the dons couldn’t drink them with pineapple…• Abominations and anomalies, the wines that courted controversy: white burgundy, Moscato d’Asti and the contentious clarets of 1927

Hardback Pages: 348 Published by Académie du Vin Library 2022

“From a historical point of view, the book is fascinating… From a literary point of view, it’s eloquent … If you’re a bordeaux wine collector with deep pockets and a large cellar, it’s invaluable.”
Tamlyn Currin, JancisRobinson.com
The Bordeaux Club
On Bordeaux

On Bordeaux

When things turn out right for Bordeaux, as they frequently do, its wines can be sublime. They inspire thousands of tributes, from Samuel Pepys’ succinct reviews to the most rhapsody of Michael Broadbent’s tasting notes—in short, over 300 years of wine writing. On Bordeaux is a collection of the best bits from our best-loved wine writers, critics and commentators, set around ten themes that make Bordeaux tick. And who better to introduce the collection than Jane Anson, who writes in her introduction: “multi-layered, clear-eyed, moving and often extremely funny [this] collection of stories… celebrates, illuminates and renews our understanding of Bordeaux.”

• Hugh Johnson, Fiona Beckett and Baron Élie de Rothschild discuss dining out on Bordeaux: how best to serve it, with what and who with. • Mathieu Chadronnier, Christian Seely and Joe Fattorini shed light on the way we see claret today. • Ian Maxwell Campbell extols the virtues of 1871 and 1875, the last great vintages before the phylloxera plague. • Fiona Morrison MW explores Bordeaux’s great bounce-back and how the vintage of 1982 changed everything. • John Salvi, Bill Blatch and Peter Vinding-Diers reveal the wines that will lead the way to Bordeaux’s future. • Joe Fattorini serves up everything you need to know on running the iconic Médoc Marathon. • Hugh Johnson pays tribute to Bordeaux master Michael Broadbent. • Contributions from Stephen Browett, Margaret Rand, James Lawther MW, Cyril Ray, Nicholas Faith, Cyril Ray, Gerald Asher, Neal Martin, David Peppercorn MW, Edmund Penning-Rowsell, James Seely, Steven Spurrier, Edith Somerville, Martin Ross, Elin McCoy, Simon Gotelee, Jan

“If you want to know why Bordeaux is so much talked about, read this book from the most knowledgeable insiders and most entertaining outsiders.” Steven Spurrier
Steven Spurrier
“It’s a brilliant book, perfect to dip in and out of, or curl up with for hours in an armchair.”
Victoria Moore, The Telegraph
On Bordeaux
A Life in Wine by Steven Spurrier

A Life in Wine by Steven Spurrier

Steven Spurrier was one of the wine trade’s most influential figures. Over the years, he took the role of wine merchant, buyer, wine educator and lecturer; he wrote books, wine courses and over 300 columns for Decanter magazine. He also set up the breakthrough ‘Judgement of Paris’ in 1976. This memoir reflects Steven’s life charting the incidents, adventures, ideas and discoveries that formed his wine journey. Along the way, he had the privilege not only to taste the finest wines but to judge them and work with the winemakers who created them. HardbackPages: 288Published by Académie du Vin Library 2020

“A fascinating look back over a significant wine career – and the changes across the industry in that time.”
Decanter, Best Wine Books 2020
“Few people have so profoundly informed, guided and inspired generations through their journeys in wine. Steven Spurrier is one of England’s great modern renaissance figures and a colossus in the world of fine wine.”
Andrew Caillard MW
A Life in Wine by Steven Spurrier
The Story of Wine by Hugh Johnson

The Story of Wine by Hugh Johnson

Arguably Johnson’s most enthralling and enduring work, The Story of Wine is one of the essential volumes on every wine student’s curriculum. It tells with wit, scholarship and humour how wine became today’s global phenomenon, varying from mass-produced plonk to rare bottles fetching many thousands. It ranges from Noah to Napa, Pompeii to Prohibition to Pomerol—gripping, anecdotal, personal, controversial and fun. In his foreword the celebrated historian Andrew Roberts writes: “The genius of The Story of Wine derives from the fact that it is emphatically not a dry-as-dust academic history – there are dozens of those – but an adventure story, full of mysteries, art and culture.” This new edition includes Hugh’s view on the changes wine has seen in the past 30 years. It’s a cast-iron classic.

Flexibound Pages: 496 Published by Académie du Vin Library 2020

“To read it is like having a series of conversations with someone at once formidably knowledgeable and yet still excited by what they know so much about. That combination of vivacity and expertise is a rare thing. To encounter it is like opening a rare bottle retrieved from the back of the cellar, and, against all expectation, finding it in perfect condition.”
The Critic
“Who better to supply us with our first comprehensive historical survey than the wine writer with the magic pen, Hugh Johnson.”
Jancis Robinson MW
The Story of Wine by Hugh Johnson
The Life and Wines of Hugh Johnson

The Life and Wines of Hugh Johnson

First published in 2005 as ‘Wine, A Life Uncorked’, this new edition has been updated by Hugh to take in two decades of change in the wine world. In the world of wine writing, Hugh Johnson is a titan. No one writes so infectiously on every aspect of wine, whether human or cultural, technical or historical. This book is peppered with anecdotes and personal recollections, infused with the sheer delight Hugh finds in his subject. It is a book with a story and a mastery of wine to impart. In the book: • First published in 2005 as Wine, A Life Uncorked, this new edition has been updated by Hugh to take in two decades of change in the wine world. • The First Duty of wine: getting to know the luxury red wine icons Bordeaux and Burgundy (which has the lion’s share in Hugh’s cellar). • Technical Stuff: Hugh learns about winemaking the hard way: by growing and making it his own French Sauvignon Gris. • The Wilder Shores of Wine: tracking wine’s origins in Georgia, the cradle of viticulture. • The Bordeaux Persuasion: from the Médoc to Martha’s Vineyard – Hugh seeks out the world’s great Cabernet Sauvignon-based reds. • NEW Foreword by Eric Asimov • NEW Digestif! In this new chapter, Hugh reveals the wines that give him the most pleasure – the bottles he keeps in his cellar today. • NEW On ‘Bubbly’: Hugh finds sparkling wine perfection among the grandes marques of Champagne and the fashionable new fizz of English vineyards. Flexibound Pages: 351 Published by Académie du Vin Library 2022

In the book: • First published in 2005 as Wine, A Life Uncorked, this new edition has been updated by Hugh to take in two decades of change in the wine world. • The First Duty of wine: getting to know the luxury red wine icons Bordeaux and Burgundy (which has the lion’s share in Hugh’s cellar). • Technical Stuff: Hugh learns about winemaking the hard way: by growing and making it his own French Sauvignon Gris. • The Wilder Shores of Wine: tracking wine’s origins in Georgia, the cradle of viticulture. • The Bordeaux Persuasion: from the Médoc to Martha’s Vineyard – Hugh seeks out the world’s great Cabernet Sauvignon-based reds • NEW Foreword by Eric Asimov • NEW Digestif! In this new chapter, Hugh reveals the wines that give him the most pleasure – the bottles he keeps in his cellar today. • NEW On ‘Bubbly’: Hugh finds sparkling wine perfection among the grandes marques of Champagne and the fashionable new fizz of English vineyards. Flexibound Pages: 351 Published by Académie du Vin

“…it is an absolute joy to read Johnson’s writing. It’s not only that he is exquisitely articulate, playing words as a maestro violinist might play Bach’s Chaconne. It is that he finds so much joy in wine. He is an incurable romantic, an optimist, infectiously enthusiastic, infinitely curious.”
Tamlyn Currin, JancisRobinson.com
“Brilliantly written… no one writes tauter, tighter springier and fresher sentences about wine than Johnson.”
Andrew Jefford
The Life and Wines of Hugh Johnson
Show All

“Académie du Vin Library is kind of a cultural miner, prospecting for worthy-but-forgotten wine books to republish interspersed with occasional new works.” Eric Asimov, The New York Times

Country

England

Availability

National

While you're here