Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson

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One of the inspirations behind this website was a TV program by Jancis Robinson, sometime around 1990. In the program she said something like
"If you come across a wine made from a variety you have never heard of then you should try it, because behind the wine is someone who has had the passion to do something different"

Since then I have read plenty of her books including Confessions of a Wine Lover and the World Atlas of Wine. And of course the Oxford Companion to Wine is always on my desk.

So I am delighted that Jancis, along with two co-authors has bought out this wonderful book.

Jancis Robinson, OBE and Master of Wine is one of the world's leading authorities on wine. She is Editor of the Oxford Companion to Wine, an indispensible reference to anyone serious about wine. Back in the 1990s she wrote Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes, but of course much has happened since then.

Now she has a new publication of special interest to all readers of this website. You will find a review of Wine Grapes by my friend Mark Greenaway below the image.

Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson

Review of Wine Grapes by Mark Greenaway

Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and Jose Vouillamoz, published by Ecco (Harper Collins Publishing)
The list price for this book is $175, but you can do a lot better than that. [Try for example Book Depository]

Firstly, I have nearly every book on wine grapes and I am not easily impressed. That said, this tome is expansive, exhaustive and impressive.

It covers nearly 1400 distinct grape varieties; has 1242 pages; a table of variety by country of origin; 14 pedigree diagrams; a large bibliography; and 80 colour plates taken from Ampelographie (1901-1910). This is the seminal French work, and even the 1991 reprint of the 7 volume work currently sells for about 1300 Euros.

Back to Wine Grapes.

Each variety has a description, grape colour, synonyms, origin and parentage, viticultural characteristics, where its grown and what it tastes like. There is at least 1 entry for every letter of the alphabet (for those fellow weirdos among you who are interested in such things).

This book looks very impressive, a solid hard cover book in an equally substantial sleeve. Its contents match its presentation.

This is an important piece of work that will appeal to everyone interested in wine and viticulture. For the serious student it covers the current grape genetics, thanks to the input of Jose Vouillamoz. For those of you that are trying to joining the "Wine Century Club", or upgrading to become a double, triple or beyond member, then this book is full of inspiration. For those just interested in alternative varieties, then this makes a great coffee table book to just pick up and read an entry.

In short, if you are only going to have one wine grape book, then this is it! (sorry Darby).

If you are looking for hints for Christmas presents, any wine lover would love to find this under the tree on Christmas morning, especially if they read Vinodiversity.

Well yes Mark, perhaps this book does put my publishing efforts in the shade. It is certainly a beautiful and informative publication

Have you purchased your copy yet? I recommend Book Depository. They have a wonderful range of books on all topics, including wine, prompt worldwide distribution, competitive pricing with frequent discounts and FREE international shipping. See more details here

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