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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent starter book for new grapegrower/winemaker
The new revision is an excellent book for anyone putting in a new vineyard, or thinking about winemaking. The two most certainly go hand in hand, however, if you are just interested in improving your knowledge of growing grapes, then it provides much very usefull information. On the other hand, if you are a new or aspiring winemaker, the section on making wine is...
Published on June 11, 1999

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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From Vines to Wines
I found that Jeff Cox's book to be an excellent "short" guide for growing grapes and making wine. The book is targeted towards the backyard gardener and hobbyist. His examples of trellis construction is excellent with its illustrations of construction techniques. The section on disease and pest would have benefited by including color photos. I would...
Published on October 12, 2000 by Charles L. Butler


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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent starter book for new grapegrower/winemaker, June 11, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (Paperback)
The new revision is an excellent book for anyone putting in a new vineyard, or thinking about winemaking. The two most certainly go hand in hand, however, if you are just interested in improving your knowledge of growing grapes, then it provides much very usefull information. On the other hand, if you are a new or aspiring winemaker, the section on making wine is filled with up to date, smart information, and can also be a stand alone reference to winemaking. By combining the two related fields, grape growing (specifically for winegrapes), and winemaking the winemaker will better understand what he should be looking for in winegrapes for his resulting wine. Conversely, the grape grower will have an understanding of how to grow his grapes to achieve the best possible product for the winemaker. If you are a grower of French Hybrid grapes, or the newer selection of American crosses from Elmer Swenson, David MacGregor, the University of Minnesota, New York Experiment Station named and numbered varieties, et al, then you do NOT want to pass up this book. A.J. Winkler's book "General Viticulture" is a bit outdated and a good revision would help... this one is right on the money.
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95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information for the home winemaker, October 17, 2000
This review is from: From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (Paperback)
As an avid home winemaker, I was thrilled to find this book. It doesn't get bogged down in long technical descriptions and pages of history. Instead, with sections like "Problems in the South", it gets right into what will and will not work for your home winemaking efforts.
The intro has a glossary of terms and a basic overview of winemaking which is very helpful for those new to the fun. Tables list which kinds of grapes work best for different regions, so those who are planting vines have a best-case scenario laid out for them. Clear instructions tell how to plant the vines, how to prune them, what a trellis looks like, and even harvest details.
That's just to start. Now the books goes into the winemaking process, and it shines here as well. The conversational tone makes it easy to follow discussions of pH and brix and pomace. The book offers various normal situations winemakers find themselves in, and solutions to fix them. There is even information on barrel usage and aging techniques.
The back appendix section offers places to buy wine supplies, wine societies, common vine pests and treatment, and much more.
In all, this is a fantastic resource for the home vine grower and winemaker. Grab a copy if you're either one!
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent survey of all aspects of winemaking, April 11, 2001
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This review is from: From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (Paperback)
This is an excellent introduction to the topics of growing grapes or winemaker hobbyist. Cox does an admirable job of providing enough information and tips for the backyard grapegrower or basement/garage winemaker. Other books may go into more detail but this is a comprehensive overview that encompasses each aspect of growing and winemaking.
As a wine enthusiast, I have given thought (more than once) to learning more about the complete wine-making process. Reading this book has given me just enough confidence to try this as a backyard/basement hobbyist. It's not that I believe I can grow and make world-class wine -- rather, I expect to be able to appreciate the effort that goes into making a world-class wine. And, with any luck, I'll be able to make something worth drinking. The sections of the book on choosing grapes appropriate to your region, growing and training tips, fermentation, aging, bottling are all clearly written. The supply sources listed in the back are comprehensive enough to be able to find the basics. All in all, a very solid effort.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From Vines to Wines, October 12, 2000
By 
Charles L. Butler (Arlington, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (Paperback)
I found that Jeff Cox's book to be an excellent "short" guide for growing grapes and making wine. The book is targeted towards the backyard gardener and hobbyist. His examples of trellis construction is excellent with its illustrations of construction techniques. The section on disease and pest would have benefited by including color photos. I would recommend that this book for anyone that is interested in starting a small (less then 200 vines) vineyard.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the "Bibles" for backyard grape growers., March 5, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (Paperback)
Cox's "From Vines to Wines" is probably one of the best introductions to backyard grape growing and basement winemaking available today. From selecting vine stock to harvesting the crop, the first half of the book covers all the bases for grape growing. The second half is dedicated to winemaking, from first establishing what type of wine you want to create to labeling the bottles. This book is definitely oriented towards the hobbyist - readers with designs for a large vineyard (1+ acres) will want to start with this book but move on to more detailed texts. Personally, I found the section on site selection and soil analysis a little thin - fine if you're limited to the space on hand (your backyard), but lacking if you want to buy acreage dedicated to a vineyard. No data was provided on small scale commercial operations or basic vineyard economics. Cox's winemaking chapters are probably the best I've seen. He goes through the whole process and highlights potential trouble areas. Overall, a very good book for the hobbyist.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the best, May 16, 1999
This review is from: From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (Paperback)
Of all the books I have read on growing grapes and making wine, and I have read a few this is the most comprehensive and useful. Jeff Cox is a master at making even the most difficult aspects of viticulture easy to understand. I recomend this book to anyone looking for an all in one guide to turning vines into wines.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reference for all things grape, February 3, 2006
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This review is from: From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (Paperback)
This book is not just a one-time read. It will become your reference for all things grape. I bought the book about two years ago in hopes of starting my own vineyard. There's so much information and it's so complete that you really don't have to know much about wine or the growing process. If you have an interest, it's all here from siting of your grape vineyard, to planting, to pruning, to fermenting and cellaring, to enjoying the finished product. Read through the chapters and you'll feel like an expert. I took a long-distance learning course on wine growing from UC Davis (THEE school for wine growing) that cost more than $1,000. I enjoyed it, but learned more reading Jeff's book. You won't be disappointed.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book period., August 17, 2000
By 
Glaze (American Fork, Utah USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (Paperback)
This is an excellent book. It completely explains the whole wine making process from the best grape variety for your area, proper growing techniques and care of the plants to making excellent wine with the fruit. I could not find a more complete A to Z book of the whole wine making process than this one.
Unfortunately I live in an area which is too cold to grow the wine grape variety Cabernet Sauvignon. That is the variety I wanted to grow the most, but this book pointed out that this variety will not do very well through the short growing season in my state and will have allot of difficulty through the very cold winters here. Excellent information which will save you future dissapointment and point you in the right direction. Since reading this book I've done extensive research for a red wine grape variety which will do extremely well in U.S. states with short growing seasons and harsh cold winters. A good choice not covered.. I searched the net for several days to find this information, so I thought I would share it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to growing & making wine, July 4, 2005
By 
Joel (Oak Hills) - See all my reviews
This review is from: From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (Paperback)
I have acreage in california that I want to use for growing and making wine (I also live there, it's not a commercial venture). I have been doing research on what to grow, what to plan for etc. and this book has been, by far, the most helpful resource so far. Cox covers all aspects from site selection, planting, training, harvesting, and the wine making process itself.

This book won't answer every question you have, but it answers far more than most. Highly recommended!
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book on making wine, January 14, 2005
By 
This review is from: From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine (Paperback)
I like this book for my winemaking and think it has been very useful over the years. The author does a nice job of explaining the entire process of making wine here from starting with a bare plot of ground to picking the grape varieties to grow, spacing the plants, pruning, harvesting, crushing, fermenting, and finally bottling.

He also makes the point that winemaking is as much of an art as it is a science, there is more than one way to do most things and he explains some of them in this book.

I happen to use some different methods to growing the grapes than he recommends in this book though due to the climate I live in, such as using shoot thinning which he advises against. He leans more towards cluster thinning and I can't come to the task of removing grape blooms when that is the whole point in grape growing. Instead I remove the new shoots with no grape blooms and leave only those shoots that have them. I have found this to be the best way to get full crops in my climate, however with heavy bloomers his method may be more appropriate.

Also he advises to fertilize and I don't do that either as it leads to rank growth and more severe pruning later on, but as I said those are minor points I do differently.

The chapters on fermenting the grapes and producing wine are excellent as well, I would only say that my experience shows he tends to go too light on adding preservatives and I have found it is better to use a little more than he suggests as the wine tends to go cloudy with too little.

He also explains the importance of sugar content and acid and how they are related in the grape juice, also in testing before fermentation and how this is key to producing consistent fine wines. I completely agree here and that is the hard part as he mentions, one year is usually better or worse than the next, and keeping notes is important so if that year is the best you try to copy the methods again. The weather is different though so that changes things again, but as he says the key is to do your best and this book helps do that!

Finally for those that only want to make fruit wines this book would be helpful for the section on fermenting and bottling alone as I have made excellent fruit wines [mostly plum] using these methods. Just keep good notes on weights of fruit to the amount of water you add, also final sugar content, acid level and even the wine yeast you use.

I would also suggest anyone going the route of growing grapes from scratch to start with making fruit wines the first couple years as the vines mature [it can take two to three seasons to get enough grapes in some climates to make wine] so you have already made wine before pressing your first grapes. Also you may find the fruit wine as good or better in some cases.

So overall this is a great book for ideas, I recommend it highly!
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From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine
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