From Publishers Weekly
Heimoff, West Coast editor of Wine Enthusiast
, knows far more about California wine, how it's made and those who make it than the average wine buff. His meandering tour of Sonoma County's wine world along the Russian River in 2003 is not for bargain-bin devotees. Heimoff's wine descriptions are tantalizing, and he includes a useful list of recommended wines and producers for those looking to develop knowledge of the region. His reportage on the development of certain grapes in the area, such as Alexander Valley's cabernet sauvignon and Russian River Valley's pinot noir, is nicely balanced between anecdotal and factual. And his descriptions of encounters with prominent growers and vintners, some of which include photos, are particularly enjoyable. However, densely detailed prose intended to include readers in the author's travels along the river is occasionally superfluous and distracting (e.g., "The sun was getting hot on my head, so I put on a baseball cap"). Those with a casual interest in wine can certainly benefit from Heimoff's intensive exploration of Sonoma County, but full appreciation for this carefully researched paean to the geological richness, colorful history and continuously evolving wines of the area is reserved for true wine aficionados, committed viticulturists and curious local historians. (Sept.)
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From the Inside Flap
Entertaining and well written, this comprehensive look at a very important wine region provides the sweep of history and personal portraits of the key players. Anthony Dias Blue, author of Anthony Dias Blue’s Pocket Guide to Wine
"The ultimate achievement for any wine is to express its place of origin. And tasting that "place" in a wine is the ultimate turn-on for any wine lover. Steve Heimoff has done a most excellent job of capturing the intrigue of the Russian River region and of making its wines come alive. For anyone who's passionate about California wines, this book is a must read."Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible