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New Classic Winemakers of California: Conversations with Steve Heimoff Hardcover – November 5, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"This book is intellectual eavesdropping for wine lovers. Steve Heimoff asks all the right questions, and then wisely lets the winemakers take center stage."—Paul Lukacs, author of The Great Wines of America

About the Author

Steve Heimoff is the West Coast editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine and the author of A Wine Journey along the Russian River (UC Press, 2005).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (November 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520247221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520247222
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What a fun and informative book! When one starts reading Heimoff's interviews, they seem a bit slight and unfocused. But as one builds up momentum through the collection, the picture changes. Taken together, the interviews shine a steady beam of light on current winemaking personalities and trends. Heimoff manages to ask numerous winemakers the same sorts of questions (e.g., "What do you make of the recent higher alcohol levels in California wines?"), and the answers are interesting to compare. What comes across in the portraits of the various winemakers is their many interconnections in the world of wine, and their unyielding commitment to quality.

I have only two criticisms. First (not a major point), it would have been nice to include someone from the Santa Cruz mountains. Second, and more substantively, I wish Heimoff had avoided the subject of "cult wines." Do we really care if a tiny group of consumers can afford to pay $500 per bottle? No, we don't. The cult wine thing doesn't come up often in the book, but when it does the book takes on a pretension that is otherwise refreshingly absent.

On the whole, though, a very enjoyable read. Heimoff deserves our thanks for opening up a new window on California wine.
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Format: Hardcover
Robert Benson's 1977 book that interviewed California winemakers was one of the most important wine books "early in the game", that is the 1970s when California wine was coming into the mainstream of respectability. Those of us who were trying to learn more really wanted to have "conversations with the winemakers" to understand how they achieved quality and greatness in their wines.
I have been hoping for a modern version of Benson's book for 30 years now. So, congratulations to Steve for finally fulfilling this long-lived desire.
Steve is a penetrating journalist in addition to being very readable. He avoids the cliches and all the cuteness, we see too much of in wine writing today. He goes for the facts as well as the feelings. Here he provides a book that can sit on your desk to be dipped into from time to time, particularly after you have enjoyed wine from one of the subject wine makers. There is almost too much information to absorb in one reading, but in my case I did it, as I could not stop learning more.But here is a book that will last as long as Benson's and will become an essential classic of California wine literature. Glad Steve seized the opportunity to reinvent this good book idea. No one else seemed to have the courage or the initiative.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author does a good job of getting the individual winemakers' voice come through the interviews. Very interesting information about the winemakers.
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