The Geology and Wine of France:
March 23, 2018
Petroleum Club of Shreveport, 16th Floor
Reception – 6:30 p.m.
Presentations & Dinner – 7 p.m.
With Kevin Hill, geophysicist,
and featured guest
Herve Augustin of Reims, France.
The round-trip tour through France will include the terroir and wines of Champagne, Chablis, Burgundy, Rhone, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne (again).
$99 per person includes food, wine, tax, and tip.
Seating is limited. Reservations must be paid in advance.
Hervé Augustin is the nephew of Bernard de Nonancourt, owner & founder of Laurent Perrier Champagne. His grandfather owned Champagne de Castellane in Epernay which used to be an important House with a very high quality reputation. Castellane was selling more than 1Mb in 1950 when all Champagne was 30Mb and Laurent Perrier only 50 000 when Bernard took it over. Hervé’s father started with his grandfather and left in 1965. His grandfather died in 1970. Then Castellane experienced a lot of difficulties and was bankrupt in 1983, when the family gave Hervé a one-way ticket to try to restore it. Four years later, they were again profitable and developed a policy of corporate sponsorship in Art with the creation of a few museums in the cellar & the building (having some parts of it listed as Historic Monuments) and a strong partnership with artists. One year after leaving the family Group, Hervé joined Bollinger as n°2. He wrote under a pen name – Hervé Saint Julien – the Bollinger Book: “Bollinger, a certain idea of Champagne”. When Society Jacques Bollinger, the holding company of the Bollinger family, took over Ayala on January 31st 2005, Hervé was sent to Ayala as CEO.
Kevin Hill is a consulting geophysicist with a degree in Geology from LSU. He has been in the oil business for over 40 years, and president of Hill Geophysical Consulting for more than 30 years.
Kevin’s hobby is studying geology around the globe. He explores how the subsurface influences everyday life through agricultural systems that produce food and wine.
He has shared the fruit of his research with the Shreveport Geological Society in an annual dinner meeting for nine years. The first of these presentations was “How Geology Influences Burgundy Wines.” Kevin has also presented talks on the geology and wine of Oregon, Israel, Paso Robles, Spain, Northern Italy, Eastern France, Australia and Texas.
The Shreveport Geological Society’s 10th annual Geology and Wine evening will again be led by Kevin B. Hill with a very special guest, Hervé Augustin of Reims, France. The event begins at 6:30 pm on Friday, March 23rd on the 16th floor of the Petroleum Club. The subject will be “My Favorites – France” with all of the wines coming from the cellar of Kevin and Mary Virginia Hill.
A round trip of the greatest wine regions of France will be undertaken. The geology of each wine area will be covered by Kevin Hill with a more in-depth description of French history, people, passion and business being covered by Hervé Augustin.
The trip will start in the chalks and limestones of Campanian and Kimmeridgian age in Champagne. An Ayala Brut Majeur NV Champagne, produced by Mr. Augustin, will be shared. A short trip to the south exposes the Jurassic soils of Chablis, and a 2014 Chablis will show how Chardonnay grapes grown in a soil of shell fossils yields a truly great wine. Traveling down in the geologic section to the southeast takes us to Burgundy, with a stop in Chambolle-Musigny of the Côte de Nuits. A fun red with interesting pedigree, and an even more interesting wine maker, will be served. Moving south to the mish-mash of uplifted granite and metamorphic basement rocks with the Miocene terrace deposits of the Côtes du Rhône includes a stop to enjoy a 2015 rouge. From the Rhône, participants will travel to Bordeaux in western France. The geology of Bordeaux has many factors that influence the grape vine. Specific grapes grow better in certain soils. To experience this, there will be eleven different 2005 wines poured to compare and contrast. The trip continues back northeast, to the Côte de Beaune area of Burgundy. The geology of the Saint-Aubin vineyards have the same rocks as the adjacent vineyards that produce the most expensive white wines of the world. Different white Burgundy wines, at their peak of greatness, will be tasted. The conclusion of the trip will be north, and back to Champagne. An estate grown Grand Cru (the best) Rosé of the Montagne de Reims will bring the evening to a close.
Chef Eddie Mars of the Petroleum Club has worked closely with Kevin Hill and Hervé Augustin to match a French menu to the wines. Seven courses of food and wine is sure to convince you that France’s geology produces some of the world’s greatest wines. Come hungry and thirsty, and be sure to have your Uber or Lyft driver ready for the ride home!