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A History of Wine in America, Volume 2: From Prohibition to the Present Paperback – September 3, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this comprehensive sequel to his History of Wine in America: From the Beginning to Prohibition (1989), Pinney delves into the legislation that has produced, and hampered, the creation of great American wine. It is a story of setbacks, confusing laws, bankruptcies and buyouts. Figures and statistics about all parts of the industry-from growers to wine makers to middlemen to connoisseurs-expand the focus beyond Napa. The tragic story of New York's Finger Lakes wineries sits alongside statistics on Washington's humble berry-wine beginnings, for example. After a careful analysis of the Volstead Act, Pinney traces the shift in grape plantings (from fine wine grapes to shipping-friendly seedless grapes) that resulted in a dominance of sweet fortified wine for decades after Prohibition. The Supreme Court decision in May that wine could be shipped across state lines makes this book particularly timely since confusing state laws and how they've created or destroyed local winemakers is a reoccurring theme. While Pinney's focus on law rather than on luminous personalities or colorful terrine can result in some dry chapters, his sentences often sparkle with wry humor: "the fact that he prospered at brokering stocks during the Depression says a great deal about him" he writes about Martin Ray, an obsessive gentleman winemaker in California's early history. And the final chapters still have the feeling of magic about them: so much of American's wine future is yet unwritten.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

More than a decade after his history of the beginnings of American winemaking appeared, Pinney brings his comprehensive treatise up to date with a second volume covering the period from Prohibition to the present day. The explosive growth of winemaking, particularly in California, since the middle of the twentieth century has been recorded anecdotally in many an introduction to wine appreciation and in any number of vintners' memoirs, but Pinney's work scrupulously documents how vineyards multiplied and adds careful research and statistical measures to the record. Most of this history addresses wine professionals and economists, but some of Pinney's prose will intrigue the more casual reader. His account of Prohibition's impact on wineries, as growers went gradually from initial despair to active involvement and unprecedented success in actually repealing a constitutional amendment, provides an object lesson for other change movements. Although the volume's narrative focuses on California, Pinney in no way neglects the Great Lakes and other lesser-known grape-growing regions. Extensive footnotes and bibliography. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 548 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (September 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520254309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520254305
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,248,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David A. Chambers on May 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No book can ever come close to capturing all the details of history, let alone something as convoluted as the history of wine in America. But this tome (the second in the series) does about as good a job as one could hope for. It is meticulously researched and annotated, with the latter making up the last 100 pages or so of this 400+ page book.

It reads fairly easily, for what it is. But it will not appeal to those not already interested in American wine and its history, as it is largely a collection of facts objectively told. A great reference book.
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A History of Wine in America, Volume 2: From Prohibition to the Present
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