California's Napa Valley is one of the world's premier wine regions today, but this has not always been true. James Lapsley's entertaining history explains how a collective vision of excellence among winemakers and a keen sense of promotion transformed the region and its wines following the repeal of Prohibition. Focusing primarily on the formative years of Napa's fine winemaking, 1934 to 1967, Lapsley then concludes with a chapter on the wine boom of the 1970s, placing it in a social context and explaining the role of Napa vineyards in the beverage's growing popularity.
Names familiar to wine drinkers occur throughout these pages—Beaulieu, Beringer, Charles Krug, Christian Brothers, Louis Martini, Inglenook—and the colorful stories behind the names give this book a personal dimension. These strong-willed, competitive winemakers found ways to work cooperatively, both in sharing knowledge and technology and in promoting their region. The result was an unprecedented improvement in wine quality that brought with it a new reputation for the Napa Valley.
In The Silverado Squatters, Robert Louis Stevenson refers to wine as "bottled poetry," and although Stevenson's reference was to the elite vineyards of France, his words are appropriate for Napa wines today. Their success, as Lapsley makes clear, is due to much more than the beneficence of sun and soil. Craft, vision, and determination have played a part too, and for that, wine drinkers the world over are grateful.
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James T. Lapsley is Continuing Education Specialist with University Extension, University of California, Davis.From Kirkus Reviews:
Forget the flowery title, a bit of whimsy from Robert Louis Stevenson. What Lapsley (Univ. of California, Davis) has produced here is a business school history of Napa wine in which poetry plays little role. American winemaking has come a long way from its immigrant roots, and no aspect of the industry rivals the economic success of the Napa Valley producers, those folks who can be said to define the notion of American premium table wine. Why?, Lapsley asks. He suggests the answer lies in ``promoting brand and region, in introducing varietal wines, and in adopting new technology and science.'' Lapsley introduces a gaggle of characters from the Napa wine trade--Andr‚ Tchelistcheff, the Mondavis, Gustave Niebaum of Inglenook--and struggles to make critical scientific advances understandable to his audience (malolactic fermentation tinkerings and protein-instability battles). But his emphasis lies in the economic whys and wherefores: Why did Beaulieu have enough capital to go fancy? How come Berlinger sold out to Nestle, Beaulieu to Heublein? What caused the slumps in the wine industry this century? Instead of assaulting readers with dreaded winespeak--a prose as deeply purple as any zinfandel--Lapsley pummels them with comments from the director for corporate business development at Coca-Cola and snippets from Arthur D. Little studies on the growing fashionableness of wine in upper-income groups in the 1970s. While Lapsley provides intriguing nuggets, he also projects an irksome snobbishness: petit sirah is deemed vulgar; Cabernet is his bet, which doesn't show a whole lot of imagination. An air of dissertation pervades this book, drawn as it is form doctoral studies, and Lapsley comes across as dry and formal- -very much like the Bordeaux grape he so appreciates. (map; 23 b&w illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Descrizione libro University of California Press, 1997. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110520202724
Descrizione libro Condizione libro: Brand New. New. Codice libro della libreria A10984
Descrizione libro University of California Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0520202724 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.0267905
Descrizione libro University of California Press, 1997. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0520202724