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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Major Improvements to an Outstanding Wine Reference Guide!, 7 May 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 122,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Putting the brilliant wine writers Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson together to update the 4th edition of Hugh Johnson's classic work was an inspired choice. Each is superb on her or his own. Together, they are stunning in this, their first collaboration!
Whether you want to give a wonderful gift or simply to have a great wine reference, this book is an outstanding choice. The World Atlas of Wine will deepen your pleasure in wines you enjoy, and guide you to wonderful visits to outstanding vineyards and wineries during your travels. Hopefully, your tasting experiences will benefit as a result!
If you do not know the predecessor works, let me describe the book's layout. It begins with brief sections on the history of wine; basic facts about the influence of soil, temperature, varietals, wines, wine-making, storage, serving, and tasting; and has helpful information about how to read labels and interpret technical terms.
The heart of the book comes in individual essays about wine-growing regions around the world. These are very complete. France has 58 sections, Italy has 18, Germany shares 14, the United States is covered by 12, Spain is represented by 8, Australia has 7, Portugal has 6. Many other countries are covered as well, including parts of the former Soviet Union, the Balkans, North Africa, South America, and smaller countries in Europe.
Each individual wine-growing region is organized around an updated map. For this 5th edition, 148 maps were redrawn from the 4th, and 30 new maps were added. These maps show where the major wineries are, different vineyards, qualities of grapes, altitudes, major roads, and locations is cities within the area. In some cases, these maps are also supplemented by detailed examples of soil differences and temperature gradients. Each region has at least one beautiful color photograph to give you a sense of the geography. Within the accompanying essay is a detailed discussion of how the locale affects the taste and qualities of the wines that are produced there.
Anyone will find themselves learning a lot from this atlas. Even if you were familiar with a region ten years ago, chances are that it has changed. The atlas will bring you up-to-date. In addition, you can learn about new regions and wineries whose wines may interest you.
A nice feature of the book is a bound ribbon for marking your place.
Considering the remarkable quality of the contents and reproduction of the maps and images, this book is extremely fairly priced.
The predecessor four editions have sold 3.5 million copies over the last 30 years. I think we can safely assume that this volume will sell in the millions as well. If you already own the 4th edition, you would be well advised to buy this one also.
Where else can understanding local conditions help you appreciate more about what is going on? How can you gain that experience and knowledge?
Let curiosity pull you forth from old habits . . . into better ones!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable book for anyone interested in wine, 16 Nov 2006
By 
Bernard Smith (Somewhere, Europe) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
One of the first books I bought about wine was The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and the latest edition is even better. It was at its conception, and it remains, a fantastic concoction of information, wine labels, descriptions, and photos, all surrounding a map of a specific region or location. It does not really provide specific suggestions or scores on particular wines, but nevertheless it is a great read on a winters evening. The one abiding memory I have of this book is the way it conveyed to me the idea that wine can be made from a fantastic variety of grape and is produced in an enormous number of places and not just a few select locations in France (on a winters evening you can travel from Bergerac, through the Valais, to Stellenbosch).
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-quality reference book. Highly recommended., 17 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Pick pretty much any wine from the top quality racks of your local supermarket, and chances are you will be able to find the exact spot where it's made, and read some comments about it in this atlas. The maps are just superb. I have renewed my interest in the whole art of wine appreciation from this one book. Highly recommended.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful reference book, 8 Jun 2003
By 
Aaron Gatt Floridia (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This really is an excellent publication. As someone who has recently taken up an interest in the subject, I found the book to be a valuable introduction to the geographical origins and characteristics of the world's wines. The first section takes you through the genreal aspects of wine histrory, winemaking , tasting , grape varieties etc. Tbe rest of the book covers the world's foremost wine producing regions and describes each area in some detail.
The focus of the book is the regions ( this is an atlas after all .
The book quality is excellent... wonderful maps , good photos and detailed illustrations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 4 Mar 2007
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This is a great reference book for any wine lover no matter their level of expertise.

The depth of detail is perfectly balanced by the book's easily accessible style of writing which means that, as your knowledge of wine develops, the book still manages to inform.

This work deals not only with wine but also the effect of the "terroir" from which it comes thus giving a really comprehensive understanding of the art of wine.

The book is a perfect gift for anyone who enjoys a glass & wants to expand their knowledge; it's also an essential reference point for anyone wishing to have a career in wine.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding, 11 Mar 2006
By 
Mr. Hm Bennett "howardbennett3" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Everyone who loves wine loves this book.
I have seen criticisms from other reviewers which are in one sense valid e.g. poor coverage of Austria.
The reality is, it is almost impossible to buy Austrian wine of quality in this country lately, or Hungarian etc etc.
The wine market has changed and until things settle down a bit, this book gives the critical coverage that any wine fan needs for the core historic areas.
The edition of this book that comes in 5 years time will be something that all wine lovers can use but until the world settles itself down, this is the best choice in wine books that you can make
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a book..., 21 April 2003
By 
Mr. Samuel T. Owens (France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you only buy one book about wine, buy this one. Simply fantastic.
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24 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best wine book published in the last five years, 27 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Simply brilliant and accurate descriptions of all the world's wine regions. Fantastically well written and a must for every wine lover.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars majestic writing, 15 Dec 2001
Words cannot describe the accuracy and preciseness that is displayed in this book. I have found the content to not only be factually correct but also interesting and absorbing. Run and buy this as fast as possible!
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6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More information on Austrian wines, 4 Nov 2004
By A Customer
As in most wine books, I find that Austrian Wines are generally ignored or overlooked by the wine writers. This book is no exception. It does devote a few pages to the wines of Austria but perhaps because of the writers lack of knowledge, ignores the fantastic wine regions of the Weinviertel and Steiermark where some of Austria's best wines are produced. Nearly a third of the book is handed over to the wines of France; perhaps a bit more research should be spent on the other wine producing countries/regions of the world other than that of France which, are starting to dominate the world wine markets. A good read but certainly not worth a 5 star star rating.
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World Atlas of Wine 4th Edition
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