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The New Connoisseurs' Guidebook to California Wine and Wineries Paperback – 27 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (27 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520253132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520253131
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 459,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"An essential reference book for those interested in America's most important producer of wine." Chow 20101208 "Very personal compendium of California wineries, a solid leg-up for the aficionado." Zester Daily 20101217 "Indispensable... This new Handbook should prove to be one of my library's most important and most used editions for some time to come." Tom Wark 20101109 "Those planning a visit to CA wine country might just find it an indispensable and time-saving reference." 1 Wine Dude 20101020 "I still have, use and enjoy my 1982 edition. Charlie is the dean of California wine writers!" Steve Heimoff 20101109 "Supplies what the websites don't: objective, blind-tasting notes and expert opinions on the wines. A very helpful guide." Miami Herald 20101202 "Accessible to the wine novice and the experiences taster alike." Alaska Airlines Mag / Horizontal Air Mag 20101201 "Simply indispensable if you want to know the who's who of California wineries. " Santa Barbara News-Press 20101202 "Provides detailed information on the state's producers and provides an in-depth history on wine production in the state... Insightful." Cheers 20110301

About the Author

Charles E. Olken is the publisher and editor of the monthly Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, described by the Los Angeles Times as the "oldest, most prestigious reviewer of California wines." Joseph Furstenthal is a writer, wine collector, and marketing specialist.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It's OK 15 Feb 2011
By M. C Cardoso - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, I understand this book has been periodically reviewed for decades now and reflect the deep knowledge and passion of the authors for the subject. Having said that, it is not a visually appealing book and the organization could use some improvement. I am glad I read it and I plan to keep it for reference but I expected more from the book.

The good: Authors know what they write about; there are maps of the main wine growing regions of California (including AVA boundaries). Most chapters are organized as (for example) Napa Valley >>> overview of all AVAs included in Napa Valley >>> list of main wineries of Napa Valley by alphabetical order. Please note that the wineries list is far from complete and the choice reflects the authors' opinion. I believe if you refer to the wineries on the book you get a pretty extensive line-up to plan your upcoming wine purchases and trips.

The bad: Book is visually dull (no color pictures), the maps are functional but are placed in a somewhat confusing way. For example, a page for the Russian River AVA map nested between pages listing wineries from a different AVA. Wouldn't it be better to start each section with the relevant map?

Another thing I missed was recommendations on how to plan a visit to CA's wine countries. Maybe the authors were afraid to "play favorites", but wouldn't it be helpful for this guidebook to have a section "planning your weekend in Napa/Sonoma" with the must-see wineries? yes, they do comment at the winery profile "this is one of the most picturesque estates to visit" or something, but why not add a chapter that would make it more of a guidebook?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Still superb, but not as comprehensive 20 Jan 2011
By san franciscan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine and Wineries has been the gold standard guide for three decades and I have virtually every edition. This new edition continues that tradition of excellence. I applaud the fact that this wine guide has a true "point of view" and is not afraid to rate wineries - good and bad - in an honest manner. Unfortunately, this new edition is not as comprehensive as previous editions; a significant number of producers - some of which are sure to be important in coming years - are missing. I appreciate how much the California wine industry has grown in the 12 years (!) since the last edition and understand the challenge of writing such a guidebook amid such changes, but wish those missing wineries had been included.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another wine book 27 Jan 2011
By Richard Carney - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book for those who have yet to tour California wines. I fi you have already been there a few times, you will notice that the coverage is missing a few good wineries. Otherwise it does agreat job in presenting a broad perspective of the wines and the area.
Disappointed 12 Jan 2011
By Allen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I agree that this is a broadly useful book, I was disappointed with it. I found that the commentary was more related to geography and history than taste and that too many of the entries had no ratings, the ratings that are included are very general and there were few if any tasting notes. Also, a number of the wineries I looked for were not included.
A clear and evolving guide to the Califronian wine industry and markets 16 Feb 2013
By Verd Tomkinson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A most interesting approach to a complex market. The approach has been described by the authors and is a very logical progression covering the role of the guide, its unique quality rating methodology and in the layout of the various AWA and winery establishments included in the text. The book also details the various supporting services available from the same team. Services that include a website, blog and newsletter. In combination a significant body of information.
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