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Sullivan's encyclopedic handbook traces the Golden State's wine industry from its mission period and Gold Rush origins down to last year's planting and vintage statistics. All aspects of wine are included, and wine production from vine propagation to bottling is described in straightforward language. There are entries for some 750 wineries, both historical and contemporary; for more than 100 wine grape varieties, from Aleatico to Zinfandel; and for wine types from claret to vermouth—all given in a historical context.
In the book's foreword the doyen of wine writers, Hugh Johnson, tells of his own forty-year appreciation of California wine and its history. "Charles Sullivan's Companion," he adds, "will provide the grist for debate, speculation, and reminiscence from now on. With admirable dispassion he sets before us just what has happened in the plot so far."
Winner of the 1999 Julia Child Cookbook Award, Wine, Beer or Spirits category.