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Wines and Wineries of Californias Central Coast A Complete Guide from Monterey to Santa Barbara Paperback – 8 Jul 2008

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About the Author

William A. Ausmus is a research scholar in the Communication Studies Department at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good resource guide, but take the ratings with a grain of salt 10 May 2009
By Ursiform - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides basic information about a large number of Central Coast wineries, including short histories and descriptions of most of them. I found these to be well done, and even learned a few facts about wineries I was quite familiar with.

I was less impressed with the author's ratings (on a one to five scale) of the wineries. Many (although certainly not all) of the wineries I am familiar with I would have rated differently. There are several potential reasons for this difference of opinion. One is simply that taste in wine varies, and the author and I may like different styles of wine. Another is that smaller wineries will have different wine lists available at different times, and what you think of them will depend on when you visit. Finally, some wineries are improving with time, and others are declining. This book was published mid 2008, but reading between the lines I suspect many of the tastings were two to three years earlier.

As with any such guide, you should use it to identify wineries or tasting rooms that might be interesting to visit, not to tell you if you will like someone's wine. This book provides URLs for wineries with websites, and it is always a good idea to check before a trip to see if they have changed their hours, and if the wines they currently have in release are varietals you might be interested in trying. With most wineries charging for tasting it is entirely reasonable to look at the tasting menu before committing to a tasting, and if it's not interesting just being honest and going elsewhere. You can only do a good tasting at a few wineries in a day, and it's a buyer's market with so many wineries competing for a shot at your business. So read up on options ahead of time, have some alternates available, and don't feel compelled to taste if the menu isn't of interest to you. (By the way, if you're with a friend or loved one, you don't need to choose the same wines. When the menu is something like five of eight you can use a couple of glasses to try the whole list. Or, if only a few appeal to you, buy one glass and taste only the few you care about. Wine tasting isn't about getting plastered on wines you don't really like ...) This book is a useful source for planning tastings in the Central Coast, but not a definitive guide to the area's wine.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Complete and clear 27 April 2009
By diego - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book during my recent visit of some areas of Santa Barbara wine country. I found all the information to be accurate. The guide is complete, including information about the smallest wineries. Well done!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good overview of Central Coast wines 20 Jun. 2008
By David J. Fleming - Published on
Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying that I am a little biased toward this book because the photograph on the cover is the view from my parents' living room. I did not take the picture but the oak tree and the grapevines in that picture have been a familiar sight for many years. This is a good overview of the wines and wineries of the Central Coast. It is a good place to start to build your own "Sideways" trip. I have my favorites as I am sure others have theirs. The Central Coast is often overlooked by many as a serious wine country but those who actually know what they are talking about know this region as the real wine country in California, not our Napa neighbors up north.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
comprehensive source 28 Sept. 2008
By HB - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is a very complete guide of wineries in central coast. The author spent time meeting the winemakers and providing some backgroud on the wineries in the discussion. Also provides recommendations for which wines are notable and a star rating (ratings, of course, are personal preferences and your own taste may be different than the rating.)
Great reference with history, geology, etc. 6 Jan. 2014
By n - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great reference book with great maps, interviews, history of the area, and a good lesson on the geology and soils of the area. This book is more than just a wine book, it also teaches you about the area.

Highly recommended.
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