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Basically this is an indespensible text for anyone in the wine industry of wishing to expand their technical wine prowess. I am a Master of Wine student and this is one of the three cornerstones of my library including the Oxford Companion to Wine and the Sotheby's Wine Encylclopedia. The maps are a bit much for beginners but that is what the colorful Sotheby's maps are for. These maps highlight elevation and exposure as well as vineyard land and forested land, all are important aspects for advanced wine studies.

This edition expands upon the notable regions, including a massive increase in the US and Australian sections, Hugh Johnson giving a nod to the increasing popularity and success of these countries.

This should be one of the first three books purchased for any wine enthusiast.
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VINE VOICEon November 29, 2008
The editorial notes for this listing refer to the 5th edition, but the listing itself is actually for the new, 6th edition. I own the 5th and have gone through the 6th in some detail. It is worth buying the newer edition if you have an earlier edition. The authors have not only added a couple dozen entirely new maps, but the format itself is nicer, in my opinion, and of course, the contents have been comprehensively updated. New editions of this book are not as frequent as the annual pocket guides (co-author Hugh Johnson's is excellent - Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2009: 32nd Edition (Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book). The 5th was published in 2001, and I would not expect the 7th edition for several years.

This is a favorite wine book, and, unlike ratings-focused books, not quite so readily replaceable by software and not particularly suited for mobile devices. A wonderful use of this book is to read about a region then go buy a few representative wines, which will help enormously in fixing the reference information in your mind as well as increasing the enjoyment of the wine itself. It's also a nice companion to wine articles in Wine Spectator and other magazines to supplement the tasting and travelogue information typical in such articles.

It is a shame that there isn't a "Look Inside" for this book. If you are unfamiliar with it, the World Atlas' maps are quite wonderful. Not just plain-Jane maps, but viticultural maps, with chapters and pages of accompanying commentary to help you understand the unique characteristics of each region as it pertains to wine. It is a delightful book to leave lying around, as you can read a page or two casually - each region stands on its own, i.e., this is not a book you have to slog through cover to cover.
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VINE VOICEon October 27, 2007
At 400 pages, British wine experts Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson have created their most exhaustive atlas yet, and a tremendous resource. The book is gorgeous - with a generous amount of color illustrations, photos, and maps, including 2 page spreads. All told there are 48 extra pages over the previous edition.

The 6th edition contains 200 maps, all revised and updates, including 20 new maps. The introduction contains essays on wine in the ancient world, vine types, grape varieties, weather, terroir, the wine growers calendar, how wine is made, etc. etc. Robinson has said this new edition took two years of concentrated effort. It was worth it!

Then the authors dive deep into wine regions organized by country. Each region or country covered has a colored map, an essay about the characteristics of the reason, vital statistics, and a few wine labels. France has the most with 55 regions featured, indeed, a quarter of the volume (100 pages) is on France. Italy features 18 regions. Spain 9. Portugal 6. Germany 12. United States 17. Australia 12. New Zealand 4. Other countries covered include: England and Wales, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Western Balkans, Bulgaria, Romania, Former Soviet Republics, Greece, Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, South Africa, China, Japan, and the rest of Asia. I find the information scant on Chile and Argentina, which is odd given their increased market exposure and rising excellence of wines.

The authors have expanded New World coverage, in keeping with expanded exposure and quality of the wine produced in these regions, for Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, South America, and South Africa. These are additions, with nothing taken away from the previous fabulous coverage of Old & New World wine regions.

Since the first edition in 1971, the World Atlas of Wine has sold more than 4 million copies and I'm happy to add this new 6th edition to my library, especially at such a reasonable price. It's always a pleasure to look up some background information on tonight's glass of wine.
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on December 12, 2008
While there many quality books out there that provide more detailed information about a particular type or style of of wine (Bordeaux, California, etc.), none approaches the scale and scope of this phenomenal book.

Now in its sixth edition (and the third edition I've purchased), The World Atlas of Wine, just keeps getting better and better.

If you are looking for an overview of the world of wine, information on the geography and provenance of different wines from around the world, this is the book you must have.

For instance, after returning from Italy a couple of months ago, I wanted to learn more about Italian wines, an area I understand less about than the wines of the USA or France, which I have studied and tasted extensively. I wondered about the difference between Barolo vs. Barbaresco in Piedmont, and the difference between Brunello di Montalcino vs. other Sangiovese-based wines from Tuscany. With just a few pages of reading and studying the maps, I learned more about these wines than I could have ever imagined.

If all you care about is a certain type of wine, there are better and more comprehensive books available to you. But, if you want to learn about the WORLD of wine, there is no better place to start than The World Atlas of Wine.
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on October 30, 2013
I ordered this book for my son at Christmas time. He is a somalier (professional wine taster) and has traveled the world, tasting wines and rating them. He really enjoyed this book. It's the perfect book for any wine lover.
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on January 3, 2013
Every important region is mapped in detail, even with topo and clear location of chateaus. Great history and story of winemaking. This is truly and encyclopedic effort that I applaud. If you can read the entire book over a period of time, sampling a wine from each region as you go along, you're halfway to achieving your goal of being a hobbyist sommelier. With this, and perhaps Kevin Zraly's and Rajat Paar's books, you have plenty of wine knowledge, thus only requiring the wisdom to be gained from tasting as many bottles as you can afford (both in time, money, and liver condition).
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on October 2, 2012
If I were limited to only one book on wine it would be the new edition of The World Atlas of Wine. It is the one book no collection of wine books should be without. An absolutely beautiful book, it full of fascinating information on wine regions throughout the world. What ultimately makes the essential reference book is that it combines the wisdom and knowledge of the two most authoritative writers we have on the subject. Among the thousand books available on the fascinating subject of wine, this is the most complete, entertaining and useful book for anyone having even the vaguest interest in the subject.
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on August 19, 2011
I love wine...and I sell it, too! I had seen this book while out in the market, and had to get it for myself. The maps are very detailed. One minor drawback is that it seems selective in what it highlights, it details certain regions, while leaving some out - some that I think are important. Still, a great resource!
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on September 10, 2008
I am a Master of Wine Student. I have own 5 editions of this atlas during my wine career. I thought I wouldn't need to upgrade to this new edition because, well, honestly, I didn't think this book could tell me any more than I already knew. Wow, I was wrong. The details of New World regions alone is reason to buy this book. The maps are always the BEST, but now they are more informative and more realistic of the wine world at large. You can also see the maps on the [...] site, but the book is still a great reference.
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on February 14, 2013
The main interest in this book are regions, maps and tipe of wines. Every single wine region is explained and commented. But you also get to see an introduction to wines. The proccess, tipe of grapes, and so on. It is a must-have if you want to learn all about the great world of wine. And you get to understand why Hugh Johnson is a master in this field.
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