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Saturday 12 September 2020

Mapping the whole world of wine

Map designer Martin von Wyss has just released his most ambitious project: an atlas of the world's 1800+ wine regions. 

Wine lovers will recall the wine maps of Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania that he published with Max Allen and Graeme Phillips, along with a gin map that sits just above my desk. 

The new online atlas World Wine Regions is designed to be both useful and fun for wine enthusiasts, educators, publishers and wine sellers. Anyone, in fact, who wants to drill down on the places where grapes are grown and wine is made.

The business plan for the atlas is to license maps in the atlas to publishers. A customisable map can let readers explore by zooming in to see the vineyards and zooming out to see the region's location in the bigger picture. 

Von Wyss can add geology overlays, climate overlays, and so on. 

World Wine ranges from the 606 AOCs and IGPs in France to the single Nashik region in India, plus emerging, yet-to-be declared regions in Bhutan and China, among others.

Map readers can zoom in to see individual vineyards or zoom out to get a global perspective.

“The revelation, for me, was seeing how the regions of one country abut the regions of a neighbouring country," said von Wyss. "Borders are meaningless to the terroir that shapes our wines.

"The atlas also includes climate details, and all map information sits on a base that reveals the landforms and terrain that influence how vines are exposed to rain, wind, and the sun’s rays."

vW Maps is the publisher of the Australian Wine Maps series and trusted cartographer for National Geographic and publishers including Penguin, Bloomsbury, Hardie Grant and Melbourne University Publishing

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