Our Wine Editor, Bill Shepard, has lived extensively in France and speaks French fluently. A college French major, Bill then had a Fulbright grant and taught at the Lycée Jean Giraudoux, Châteauroux (Indre). During his leisure hours, Bill served as translator at châteaux tours throughout the Loire Valley. He also notes that he missed by just a year having the actor Gerard Depardieu as his student at Châteauroux.
While a law student at Harvard, he led a college group for a summer in France, that featured bicycling throughout the Loire Valley and the French Southwest. He likes to note that his wine tasting career began then, with some iffy bottles of Algerian wine, an episode that he has detailed for the Wine Spectator.
His career as a diplomat included tours as Consul or Political Officer at our Embassies in Singapore, Saigon, Budapest and Athens. He then served as Consul General in Bordeaux, where he got to know each of the 20 départements of the Southwest region thoroughly. While Consul General, he spoke at the Universities of Poitiers, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Limoges.