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Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours [Hardcover]

Jancis Robinson , Julia Harding , José Vouillamoz
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 239.90
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Book Description

Oct. 29 2012

An indispensable book for every wine lover, from some of the world's leading wine experts.

Where do wine grapes come from and how are grape varieties related to one another? What is the historical background of each one? Where are they grown? What sort of wines do they make?

Using cutting-edge DNA analysis and detailing almost 1,400 distinct grape varieties, as well as myriad correct (and incorrect) synonyms, this book examines grapes and wine as never before. Here is a complete, alphabetically presented profile of all grape varieties of relevance to the wine lover, charting the relationships between them and including unique and astounding family trees, their characteristics in the vineyard, and—most important—what the wines made from them taste like.

Presented in a stunning design with eight-page gatefolds that reveal the family trees, and a rich variety of full-color illustrations from Viala and Vermorel's century-old classic ampelography, the text will deepen readers' understanding of grapes and wine with every page. Combining Jancis Robinson's worldview and nose for good writing and good wines with Julia Harding's research, expertise, and attention to detail plus Dr. Vouillamoz's unique level of scholarship, Wine Grapes offers essential and original information in greater depth and breadth than has ever been available before. This is a book for wine students, wine experts, and wine lovers everywhere.


Frequently Bought Together

Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours + The World Atlas of Wine + The Oxford Companion to Wine
Price For All Three: CDN$ 235.05

  • The World Atlas of Wine CDN$ 37.62
  • The Oxford Companion to Wine CDN$ 47.02

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Review

A fantastic Christmas present for any wine geek, and one that will provide an endless source of fiendish questions for quiz-setters (The Guardian )

From the Back Cover

An indispensable book for every wine lover, from some of the world's leading wine experts.

Where do wine grapes come from and how are grape varieties related to one another? What is the historical background of each one? Where are they grown? What sort of wines do they make?

Using cutting-edge DNA analysis and detailing almost 1,400 distinct grape varieties, as well as myriad correct (and incorrect) synonyms, this book examines grapes and wine as never before. Here is a complete, alphabetically presented profile of all grape varieties of relevance to the wine lover, charting the relationships between them and including unique and astounding family trees, their characteristics in the vineyard, and—most important—what the wines made from them taste like.

Presented in a stunning design with eight-page gatefolds that reveal the family trees, and a rich variety of full-color illustrations from Viala and Vermorel's century-old classic ampelography, the text will deepen readers' understanding of grapes and wine with every page. Combining Jancis Robinson's worldview and nose for good writing and good wines with Julia Harding's research, expertise, and attention to detail plus Dr. Vouillamoz's unique level of scholarship, Wine Grapes offers essential and original information in greater depth and breadth than has ever been available before. This is a book for wine students, wine experts, and wine lovers everywhere.


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reference Book Feb. 21 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Serious wine aficionados will love this very comprehensive Guide. It provides detailed information about all your favourite grape varieties. Amazing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy with this purchase! Dec 27 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Perfectly satisfied with absolutely everything about our purchase experience. Price was much lower online versus in-store (would have been 50% more at a retail store). Of course, shipping was quick and free.

This compendium is as beautiful as it is extensive, a veritable wealth of wine grape provenance information.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and comprehensive. July 15 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As are most of Jancis Robinson's books!
This is the closest thing to a bible about grapes and their origin.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars Sept. 3 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A giift
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  64 reviews
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Great Work BUT! Nov. 22 2012
By Ronald Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic piece of work by Jancis and her team, long awaited by me here in Hong Kong. I went for buying through the US amazon website. Here is the big BUT. Terrible printing and publishing. For a book of this price USD 120 by the time it got to me, the quality of the production of the book leaves a lot to be desired. Print is difficult to read due to poor black and white contrast. For anybody with eyesight issues I strongly advise you do not buy it. Many org charts (now available to download in Purple Pages website - thank you Jancis) are hidden the the spine of the book and hence not legible. What a shame. Hopefully the UK published version is better. As a book of reference I think it will go down in history as definitive but I would wait in the hope the publishers get their act together for future print runs. I would have given this 5 stars but ......
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent but imperfect Nov. 21 2012
By Ursiform - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For years I've loved Jancis Robinson's pocket-sized Guide to Wine Grapes, turning to it whenever I encounter a new wine grape. Alas, it is long out of print, and a bit dated in terms of the relationships between grapes.

Now comes this new volume, which is anything but pocket-sized. Massive and slip-cased, it has the gravitas of an aged Premier Cru. For each of nearly 1400 varieties there is an entry that gives you its color (from among five choices), common synonyms (for some widely grown grapes there are many), other varieties it is often mistaken for, and what is known of its origins and heritage (relying on recent, extensive, DNA testing of wine grapes). Then there is a brief summary of how it grows (vigor, resistance, when it ripens, and the like) and where it grows. As warranted, there is a discussion of what it tastes like and the quality of the wine it produces. Many of these grapes are actually very marginal from a wine making viewpoint, and are of interest for historical or relationship reasons. (I do miss the little sliding bar from the earlier book that suggested at a glance the likelihood of the grape producing a decent wine.)

The relationship information is fascinating. Selected grapes have a family tree associated with their entry. Looking at Cabernet Sauvignon we learn that Chenin Blanc is a sister of Sauvignon Blanc and, hence, an aunt of Cabernet Sauvignon. Freisa turns out to be a cross of Nebbiolo with an unknown grape. The foldout genealogy of Pinot Noir is remarkable. Who would have guessed that Lagrein is a granddaughter of Pinot, while Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are both great granddaughters? On a down side, the figure is sewn so deeply into the binding that part of the tree can't be read.

I decided to check on a grape of local (but not wine drinking!) interest. In the earlier book there is an entry for the Mission grape, the first wine grape brought to California; there is was associated with the Monica grape. The current volume doesn't have an entry for Mission (it has entries pointing you to a main entry for some synonyms, but not for others). Checking the index it turns out that Mission is actually Listan Prieto. (Which I'd certainly never heard of before.)

There are also beautiful color plates, originally published in France over a century ago, of selected grapes. (Interestingly, one is labeled "Mission"!)

But there are, alas, some imperfections. I've mentioned how the Pinot family tree is bound so that it is not all readable. While the paper in a volume this size is necessarily thin, the see-through on some pages is annoying; more opaque paper would have been nice. The label on the front of the slip case is somewhat crooked, and the one on the edge quite so. Production quality could have been better.

Had this been a standard book at half or even two-thirds the price it would have been an easy five stars. But in a slip-cased book at this list price you expect a little better attention to detail than this book manages. So I reluctantly drop my rating to four stars. Still an excellent investment for or gift to a devoted oenophile, it is not quite the value it could have been with a little better physical execution.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties Excellent Content, Unprofessional Production Dec 26 2013
By Doris Fanelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I don't work in the wine industry but my daughter does and I purchased this book as a gift for her. It's a standard text and it seems quite comprehensive. Why the bad rating? It is very poorly designed and produced. The book includes fold outs with part of their graphics bound deep into the gutter of the book making them unreadable. No excuse for this since there is at least 1" of unprinted area along the left margin of the foldout. A better book designer should have picked this flaw up and avoided it. It should have been a two volume publication. That would have eliminated so much of the graphics and text readability problems. Yes, two volumes would cost more than one; but this is a reference text that one keeps and the additional expense would be well worth it.
We're going to try writing to the publisher to see if we can get separate sheets of the full fold outs. After all, I paid for them.
This seems to be a very good reference that one would keep throughout a career in wine. No point in cheaping out on the book design and publication.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic reference tome, but some quibbles with the publisher Jan. 6 2014
By Allen Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Robinson, Harding, and Vouillamoz have clearly put in an extraordinary amount of research and editing to create this magnificent reference work. I will surely use and cherish it for the rest of my life. There are more than enough reviews here of the scholarship involved, but I just wanted to vent a bit on the publisher for two small annoyances.

One, there's a small white barcode/price tag on the back of the book (not the case). It consists of flimsy paper and a strong adhesive, which is a terrible combination, the result of which is you're left with a splotch of fileted paper if you try to remove it. There's no getting it all off. I should have let it be, despite the tackiness of a price tag on such a handsome book, but it simply shouldn't have been applied in the first place.

The second quibble is regarding the several fold-out pedigree charts. No consideration was given for the deep gutter, so you can't read the contents there! Bad form. Should have made them two-folded with the whole chart then viewable.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift to the wine world Dec 31 2012
By Martin C Knudsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The book has a wealth of useful knowledge for any wine scholar. There is no other book on grapes that I know of that comes close to the breadth and depth of this book. An instant classic reference.
My only complaint is that I'm really not a fan of the rigid binding though, it makes a few of the larger pullout pedigree diagrams useless because the printout goes all the way to the spine. They are aware of the problem and have made the pedigrees available in PDF format at [...]
Thanks Jancis, Julia and Jose
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