At 400 pages, British wine experts Huge Johnson and Jancis Robinson have created their most exhaustive atlas yet, and a tremendous resource. The book is gorgeous - with a generous amount of color illustrations, photos, and maps, including 2 page spreads. All told there are 48 extra pages over the previous edition.
The 6th edition contains 200 maps, all revised and updates, including 20 new maps. The introduction contains essays on wine in the ancient world, vine types, grape varieties, weather, terroir, the wine growers calendar, how wine is made, etc. etc. Robinson has said this new edition took two years of concentrated effort. It was worth it!
Then the authors dive deep into wine regions organized by country. Each region or country covered has a colored map, an essay about the characteristics of the reason, vital statistics, and a few wine labels. France has the most with 55 regions featured, indeed, a quarter of the volume (100 pages) is on France. Italy features 18 regions. Spain 9. Portugal 6. Germany 12. United States 17. Australia 12. New Zealand 4. Other countries covered include: England and Wales, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Western Balkans, Bulgaria, Romania, Former Soviet Republics, Greece, Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, South Africa, China, Japan, and the rest of Asia. I find the information scant on Chile and Argentina, which is odd given their increased market exposure and rising excellence of wines.
The authors have expanded New World coverage, in keeping with expanded exposure and quality of the wine produced in these regions, for Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, South America, and South Africa. These are additions, with nothing taken away from the previous fabulous coverage of Old & New World wine regions.
Since the first edition in 1971, the World Atlas of Wine has sold more than 4 million copies and I'm happy to add this new 6th edition to my library, especially at such a reasonable price. It's always a pleasure to look up some background information on tonight's glass of wine.