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Wines of California (Mitchell Beazley Pocket Guides) Hardcover – 14 Feb 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley (14 Feb. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840003936
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840003932
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,613,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

If California was a country, points out Stephen Brook, it would be the fourth largest wine producer in the world, after Italy, France and Spain. Consequently The Wines of California is a hefty tome, taking nearly 700 pages to explore this vast quasi-nation. The very special qualities that characterise Californian wines, however, are summed up by Brook in a single word: Generosity. It is the near-perfect climate that ensures the reliability of the harvests and the "rich, full- bodied, fleshy, opulent" qualities that Brook so prizes and which he communicates with such enthusiasm to his readers. His dedication and profound knowledge of the region are apparent everywhere and the result is an invaluable companion to the buying and drinking of Californian wine. California is sometimes seen as a wine- producing monolith. This book offers a useful corrective, discussing production at a local level.

Divided into three main sections, The Wines of California covers first the main wine regions. The crucial matters of geography, geology, soil structure and climate are discussed and the individual American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) and their sub-appellations profiled. A lengthy and fascinating account of Grapes and Wines covers growing and wine-making methods, and (usefully, given the Californian obsession with varietal wines) the grape varieties planted, including California's own grape, the fabulous Zinfandel. Finally, the most substantial part of the book comprises a gazetteer of wineries with a short profile of each--not, as Stephen Brook remarks, likely to provide racy reading, but of great interest. There are few discussions of individual vintages, which, given the fact that Californian wines are made to be drunk young, would be of limited usefulness, but Brook is free with his opinions and his judgements on some of the makers are sharp. --Robin Davidson --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Stephen Brook is a leading writer on wine, gastronomy and travel, specialising in the wines of California and Bordeaux. His book Wines of California (Faber & Faber) won the Glenfiddich, Prix Lanson, and Veuve Clicquot awards for best wine book 2000. He has recently published Bordeaux: People, Power and Politics (Mitchell Beazley).

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
Maybe one shouldn't say so, but this is exactly the kind of guide to Californian wines that I, as a European, have been waiting for. Those who are fed up with James Laube's "More, more, more" will find this book refreshing and balanced as well as stimulating. Brook manages to be both enthusiastic and critical at the same time, and the book is as thorough as the best Faber & Faber regional guides. The only minus is the maps. For instance, the two Sonoma maps don't really make sense unless you know how they fit together. Then again, I suppose most people who are likely to buy this book, already have a proper wine atlas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
Maybe not the newest, but among the best books on California wine 29 Dec. 2014
By san franciscan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Though now a bit dated (15 years have passed since it was published), Wines of California ranks among the best and most comprehensive books on California wine available.
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