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Grapes into Wine Paperback – June 12, 1976


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (June 12, 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394731727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394731728
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #682,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It serves for the beginning wine maker and for the advanced as well.
Peter P. Beltemacchi
Wagner discusses the grape and all its inherent qualities in clear, concise language.
Jack B. Keller, Jr.
Grapes Into Wine is a good introduction to most aspects of winemaking.
Renaissance Man

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Jack B. Keller, Jr. on October 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
Philip M. Wagner's earlier "American Wines and Wine-Making" became a bible for small producers and winemakers in America. First printed in 1933, it was revised several times and then completely rewritten over 40 years later under the current title. Although dated, it is still one of the more valuable resources for the small commercial or home winemaker intent on making excellent wine from grapes and grape concentrates.
Wagner discusses the grape and all its inherent qualities in clear, concise language. His treatment if both old French-American and new American hybrids is still a good historical and practical guide for grape selection. His appendix on wine grape varieties is a handy compendium for the single plant to small vineyard grower, while his appendix on "Wine Analysis Simplified" is invaluable to anyone wishing to make award winning vintages.
The "meat" of the book discusses the fundamentals of winemaking as an art. This is amply illustrated with chapters on making red, white, rosé, sparkling, and other fermentations. He discusses clarification, filtering, testing, blending, and bottling with the experience of someone who is at ease with their finer points. He devotes a chapter to the then growing interest in making wines from concentrates and another on what can go wrong. While not a tutorial or handbook, his treatment is more a dissertation that any but a master winemaker would find instructive and beneficial.
It is his chapter on wine tasting and drinking that sets his work apart, for these are the culminative activities for which all wine is ultimately made. His dissection of the anatomy and physiology of taste is a primer for any who aims to make really good wine.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Grapeguru (grapeguru@hotmail.com) on October 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
Mr. Wagner's love of grapes and winemaking enlightens the reader about man's long time fascination with grapes and wine. This book could have been called the grape lovers bible because of its complete coverage of grape growing and winemaking information and history. No serious grape grower or winemaker should be without it. If you love grapes now, you may become absorbed with them after reading this book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul S. Remington TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Philip Wagner's death in 1997 was a loss to the winemaking community. Wagner lived through a broad period of wine history. His significant life experience spans prohibition through an illustrious life as a successful commercial winemaker. Wagner practiced what he preached. His life honors a love for the grape and the art of turning grapes into wine.
His book, "Grapes into Wine," chronicles the history of winemaking told from the perspective of one who knows the subject. This book is not a step-by-step guide towards the process of making a fine wine; it's an exposition on the history and high-level science of grapes and grape growing (viticulture) and the cultivation of grapes, and the manufacture of wine (viniculture).
Wagner explains the origins of winemaking, from its earliest documented sources to the present. He describes the early French winemaking period, the effects of phylloxera and other diseases that practically wiped-out this industry, the emergence of east and west coast American wine making, prohibition, and winemaking in the modern world. He then delves into the process of winemaking, both commercially and in small lots. Sugar and bacterial (malolactic) fermentation are described historically and as a modern process. He discusses the entire process of winemaking, from pitching the yeast, to racking, cold stabilizing, fining, and finally bottling. Common pitfalls are cited with a description of how these problems are addressed on a small and large scale. Different wine types are discussed, including dry, sparkling, fortified, and sweet. The book ends with a brief discussion about wine tasting. A number of Appendices are also included as are numerous pictures that give a glimpse into historical periods, people, tools and machinery, and places.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on November 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book provides an interesting overview of the history of American winemaking. However, being written in the 1970's this text as a practical guide for winemaking is hopelessly dated. Much of the information is either contradictory to modern stylistic norms or simply innacurate. Better chioices for the home winemaker include Jon Iverson's "Home Winemaking, Step by Step" and Desmond Lundy's "Handmade Table Wine".
Cheers.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 1997
Format: Paperback
No one should start his or her first batch of wine without having read this book. Future winemakers will gain a historical perspective not found in other books, an appreciation of what it is they are about to become part of.

Wagner teaches the science in application - not theory. The author speaks from much experience and love of winemaking. This vintner makes no pretenses about creating only masterpieces. Wagner will teach the reader to consistently make admirable, drinkable wines. And with experience maybe an occasional gem.

Whether you want to make five gallons from a kit of concentrate or grow your own wine grapes, this book is the best place to start and it will become your trusted friend
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