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North American Pinot Noir

By John Winthrop Haeger
University of California Press, pp.445 (Hardcover - $22)

There is much hype about pinot noirs following the movie Sideways, and much buzz about product placement in movies, theatre and even the media. But few books have been written specifically about pinot noir, and even fewer focused on pinot noir in North America. John Winthrop Haeger, a former columnist for national magazines and a professor of Chinese language and history at the Claremont colleges, has written an engaging and comprehensive reference book about the ultimate food wine and its legendary capacity to reflect the terroir where it is grown. The book, based on extensive research, includes extensive historical and viticultural background on pinot noir and profiles six dozen prominent producers in major pinot-producing regions in the New World: California, Oregon, British Columbia and New York.

Journey to The Chianti
Getting to Know an Ancient Tuscan Region

By Leonardo Castellucci
Photography: Gian Luigi Scarfiotti
Florence Packaging, 208 pp (Hardcover - $41.50)

The latest book of the renowned Food and Wine Italian writer of "Living in Tuscany," "Pasta and More," and "The Palaces of Power in Florence, Lucca and Pisa…" among other books, is a gorgeous travelogue through the Chianti countryside with its old markets, its village eateries, its wineries at the end of roads lined with chestnut trees and rows of poplars. We can actually perceive the sweet smelling flora that grows on the slopes it shares with vineyards and olive trees; we can see the old Roman bridge over the Arno. The author writes about Boccacio, churches, culture and artists, and about the contrasts between the land of olive trees with its interior rhythms conducive to meditation, and between the lush land of vines crowded with shrubs, foliage and large bunches of ripe grapes which make you feel in the center of a Renaissance feast where the legendary Tuscan wines flow

The Winemaker's Dance: Exploring Terroir in the Napa Valley

by Jonathan Swinchatt and David G.Howell
University of California Press, 230 pp. photographs and graphics (Hardcover - $25)

There is a saying among winemakers that "great wine beings with dirt." From this premise, The Winemakers' Dance embarks on an exploration of "terroir" in California's Napa Valley. The authors weave a tale that beings millions of years ago with the clash of continental plates and go on to show how Napa Valley with its myriad microclimates, complex geologic history; and its dedicated winemakers, came to produce world class wines. The book is animated by the voices of Napa's winemakers talking about their craft: how specific winemaking practices can bring out or mask aspects of terroir. With beautiful photographs the books contains two driving tours through the Valley that highlight the landscapes and the wineries.

The Wines of Bordeaux: Vintages and Tasting Notes 1952-2003

by Clive M. W. Coates
University of California Press. 720pp. (Hardcover - $40)

Bordeaux produces some of the best and most expensive wines in the world. In this volume, the author, who has been traveling and tasting in the Bordeaux region for over 40 years and who penned Côte D'Or: A Celebration of the Great Wines of Burgundy (2004), and Encyclopedia of the Wines and Domaines of France (2000) among many other successful titles on the subject, describes the unique characteristics of each region: Haut Médoc, Saint Estèphe, Pauillac, Margaux, etc… He meticulously profiles several hundred estates and their wines, with accurate and clear tasting notes from the leading Châteaux to the up-and-coming estates with potential. A must for anyone interested in wines and in Bordeaux.

Great Wine Terroirs

by Jacques Fanet.
University of California Press. 240 pp, 20 maps, 53 diagrams, 230 photographs (Hardcover - $37)

Interviewing growers and researchers in France, Spain, Italy, California, Chile, Australia and South Africa, Fanet looks for the soil in the soul of each wine. He takes us back millions of years to show how movements, volcanic activities and cataclysms in the ancient bedrock contribute to the precise and individual character of each terroir. This highly specialized book provides the readers with "everything they ever wanted know about" different soils and climates, the relationship between international grape varieties and the soil in which they grow and how these factors affect the taste of the wines.

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