Books written on California wines

The wines that gave a serious competition to their French sisters
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A Vineyard in Napa

by Doug Shafer

About the book:  At the age of 47, when he a successful publishing executive and living with his wife and four children in an affluent Chicago suburb, John Shafer made the surprise announcement that he had purchased a vineyard in the Napa Valley. In 1973, he moved his family to California and, with no knowledge of winemaking, began the journey that would lead him, thirty years later, to own and operate what distinguished wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. called “one of the world’s greatest wineries.” This book, narrated by Shafer’s son Doug, is a personal account of how his father turned his midlife dream into a remarkable success story.Set against the backdrop of Napa Valley’s transformation from a rural backwater in the 1970s through its emergence today as one of the top wine regions in the world, the book begins with the winery’s shaky start and takes the reader through the father and son’s ongoing battles against killer bugs, cellar disasters, local politics, changing consumer tastes, and the volatility of nature itself. Doug Shafer tells the story of his own education, as well as Shafer Vineyards’ innovative efforts to be environmentally sustainable, its role in spearheading the designation of a Stags Leap American Viticultural Area, and how the wine industry has changed in the contemporary era of custom-crushing and hobbyist winery investors.


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The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste

by Jon Bonne

About the book:  A comprehensive guide to the must-know wines and producers of California's "new generation," and the story of the iconoclastic young winemakers who have changed the face of California viniculture in recent years. The New California Wine is the untold story of the California wine industry: the young, innovative producers who are rewriting the rules of contemporary winemaking; their quest to express the uniqueness of California terroir; and the continuing battle to move the state away from the overly-technocratic, reactionary practices of its recent past. Jon Bonné writes from the front lines of the California wine revolution, where he has access to the fascinating stories, philosophies, and techniques of top producers. Part narrative, part authoritative purchasing reference, The New California Wine is a necessary addition to any wine lover's bookshelf.


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Zin: The History And Mystery Of Zinfandel

by David Darlington

About the book:  Here is the book that Frank J. Prial in the New York Times Book Review called "delightful…it weaves history, geography, wine, and some of the fascinating people who make it into a downright enthralling tale." It is the grape that has been stepped on, but never crushed. Long thought to produce workaday wines at best, the zinfandel grape has triumphed in the last decade, with stylish, sophisticated wines from the Ravenswood and Ridge wineries, among many others. In Zin, David Darlington delves into the murky and curious history of the wine and takes the story right up to the present, with portraits of the eccentric artisans who engineered the ascension of America's "native" wine. With an unerring eye for detail (a bedraggled vineyard in Sonoma County is described as looking "like a collection of fright wigs") and a gift for the on-target characterization (Sutter Home, for example, is called "the Sylvester Stallone among wineries"), Darlington has created a classic transcending its genre.


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An Ideal Wine: One Generation's Pursuit of Perfection - and Profit - in California

by David Darlington

About the book:  FromDavid Darlington, author of the acclaimed Angels’ Visits (published inpaperback as Zin), comes an inside look at howa handful of visionary winemakers has transformed—and been transformed by—theCalifornia wine industry over the past four decades. In the tradition of TheWidow ...


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Sonoma Wine and the Story of Buena Vista

by Charles L. Sullivan

About the book:  The beginning of history for California wine starts with 17th-century , but the industry and commercial powerhouse that commands 60 percent of the United States market was birthed 200 years later, the product of a Hungarian aristocrat, European grapes, and the Sonoma Valley. In this groundbreakin...


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A Very Good Year: The Journey of a California Wine from Vine to Table

by Mike Weiss

About the book:  A Captivating, Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Making of a Premium California Wine Situated amidst the lush soils of Sonoma County in the heart of California’s wine country, the Ferrari-Carano Vineyards produce some of the best-loved wines in America. Founded by casino mogul Don Carano and his...


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