Log In / Join Now

California Grape Varieties Star in New Book

The University of California has put out a reference guide to more than three dozen grape varieties, including lush color photos.

Daniel Sogg
Posted: August 2, 2003

Grapegrowers, viticulturists and wine fanatics might want to make space in their reference library. Wine Grape Varieties in California, a 188-page volume published in July by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, provides a comprehensive guide to more than three dozen varieties grown in the state.

The book includes extensive information about recommended growing practices and technical issues, such as rootstock and clonal selection, trellising methods and disease susceptibility. But even wine-loving amateurs who don't know the difference between a Lyre trellis and a California Sprawl, will appreciate the color photos, which are the real stars of the show.

"We laugh about them because they're really centerfolds for viticulturists, so gorgeous and lush," said Ann Senuta, publications manager at ANR Communications Services.

The book does seem a bit like grape porn, with beautifully detailed, full-page spreads of 37 grape varieties caught at peak ripeness. There are also close-up shots of leaves and shoot tips. Photographer Jack Kelly Clark honed his methods over the last decade; grape clusters are difficult to shoot in full sunlight, so Clark developed a technique using reflected light.

Jim Wolpert, chairman of the department of viticulture and enology at UC, Davis, and one of the four technical editors of the book, thinks the volume will appeal to both industry professionals and impassioned amateurs. "A lot of people have tasted a lot of wines but have never seen the grapes on the vine," he said. "We believe this book has taken that to a new level."

Wine Grape Varieties in California costs $30 and can be ordered by phone at (800) 994-8849 or online at www.anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu.

# # #

Would you like to comment? Want to join or start a discussion?

Become a WineSpectator.com member and you can!
To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. Member benefits include access to more than 315,000 reviews in our Wine Ratings Search; a first look at ratings in our Insider, Advance and Tasting Highlights; Value Wines; the Personal Wine List/My Cellar tool, hundreds of wine-friendly recipes and more.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.