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An Ideal Wine: One Generation's Pursuit of Perfection - and Profit - in California Hardcover – June 28, 2011
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From the Back Cover
From the author of the acclaimed Angels’ Visits comes an inside look at how a handful of ingenious winemakers has transformed—and been transformed by—the California wine industry over the past four decades.
In the 1970s, a group of idealistic baby boomers was attracted to the seemingly romantic world of winemaking. Over the course of nearly forty years, however—as competition from abroad increased, wine eclipsed beer and spirits as American adults’ beverage of choice, critics came to control the marketplace, and corporatization took over the industry—these young aesthetes would learn that wine is an unforgiving business. They would have to be clever to survive in an increasingly cutthroat atmosphere, and no one was more innovative than Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard—the court jester and bleeding conscience of California wine, its most original and amusing figure. But Grahm is only one of the restless visionaries who, having chosen wine as the vehicle through which to fulfill their dreams, ended up changing the rules of the industry by adapting to its demands. From high technology to hardball entrepreneurship, from handicapping scores to holistic farming, each vintner operates by his or her own definition of an ideal wine.
In this lively, sweeping account that spans the early seventies to the present day, David Darlington employs a sharp journalistic eye to profile a group of wine pioneers. A tale of vision and disillusion, brinksmanship and pragmatism, nature and business, politics and culture, An Ideal Wine is a fascinating look at an ever-evolving industry that reflects the values of our society and our civilization.
About the Author
David Darlington is the author of four books: In Condor Country, Angels’ Visits (published in paperback as Zin), The Mojave, and Area 51. A special correspondent for Wine & Spirits and a recipient of a 2008 James Beard Foundation Award for Writing on Spirits, Wine, or Beer, he also won a National Magazine Award for Public Interest in 2009. He lives in Berkeley and Mendocino County, California.
Top customer reviews
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Some may try and use technology to overcome vineyard limitations and many are driven by greed.
The exciting producers are going back to natural methods and I believe this will only be more important with fine wine drinkers going forward.
This book should be required reading for ANYONE who has ever bought a bottle of wine, it is truly an epiphany inducing read that transcends just wine.
The author masterfully skips between winemakers so as to compare and contrast methods and philosophies.
I have visited the Benziger Winery (a champion of Natural Wine) mentioned in the book and it is the closest I have been to Eden!
A great intro to Biodynamics (sustainable farming) this book is a MASTERWORK documenting the collision of art, commerce and personalities in the world of wine!
A MUST READ!
Equally humorous is the quest for true terroir, as exemplified by the Bonny Doon's charismatic philosopher/creative writing genius Randall Grahm.
This book is sure to become a classic, just as Darlington's other books have - I also recommend Angels Visits, about zinfandel. You need not care about zinfandel to enjoy it.
An Ideal Wine is an artful kiss and tell about the wine industry in California - a story anyone (not just wine lovers) can heartily enjoy.
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