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World Atlas of Wine Hardcover – October 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for the Fifth Editionof The World Atlas of Wine:
“This is the best collaboration of two Brits since Lennon and McCartney.”    — Ben Gilberti, Washington Post

About the Author

Hugh Johnson is acclaimed as the worlds favourite wine writer. Since his first book, Wine, appeared in 1966, he has been making the subject of wine approachable to all with his witty and humorous style. His other books include the bestseller Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book. He is also President of The Sunday Times Wine Club. Jancis Robinson MW is internationally renowned for her witty, authoritative wine writing and her books Vines, Grapes and Wines, and Oxford Companion to Wine are among the most important in wine literature. She is acclaimed as awesomely intelligent (The Guardian) and a writer of breathtaking clarity (The Spectator). She lectures, makes regular television appearances, is the Financial Times wine correspondent and writes for several magazines.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mitchell Beazley; 6 Rev Upd edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845333012
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845333010
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.5 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Barrett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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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