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Napa

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Napa Valley is the second biggest tourist attraction in California, after Disneyland. But 25 years ago the valley was virtually dormant, until a new wave of settlers determined to make great wines moved into the region. Conaway captures what may be the most crucial moment in wine-making history. Two 8-page photo inserts.

The New York Times-bestselling history of the Napa wine valley, which Cyra McFadden of the Los Angeles Times Book Review said "resembles a sparkling...

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Quill Press, 04/01/1992, Paperback, Good condition.

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Overview

Napa Valley is the second biggest tourist attraction in California, after Disneyland. But 25 years ago the valley was virtually dormant, until a new wave of settlers determined to make great wines moved into the region. Conaway captures what may be the most crucial moment in wine-making history. Two 8-page photo inserts.

The New York Times-bestselling history of the Napa wine valley, which Cyra McFadden of the Los Angeles Times Book Review said "resembles a sparkling wine. It's breezy, brassy and slips right down." James Conaway takes readers on an illuminating journey through California's premier wine country.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Conaway ( The Kingdom in the Country ), here tells the history of Napa Valley wines and the development of wine-drinking in America. He relates the stories of those colorful individuals who settled in the California valley for its beauty and quiet, but were drawn by the favorable conditions into the competition to make a better wine. His other tales are of ``development'' itself, which has spoiled and polluted the area's natural beauty, and has pitted neighbor against neighbor in a political struggle to stop ``progress'' and prevent corporate takeovers of the wine industry. A tale of violence this is not, but a little creeps into some of the stories, mortals being less perfectible than wine. This lively history should have wide appeal. Photos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Less than 30 years ago, oak trees claimed more Napa Valley soil than grapevines. A few winemakers who had held on through Prohibition and some newcomers, deemed eccentric by most, had great faith in the potential preeminence of Napa wines. They planted grapes unknown to the Valley--Chardonnay, Cabernet--and within 25 years, Napa wines had come to rival those of France and Italy. Former Washington Post reporter Conaway ( The Kingdom in the Country, LJ 10/15/87) carefully profiles Napa's visionaries, telling their personal stories and revealing the unlikely sources of their inspiration, some of it the stuff of fevered historical romance fiction. He also documents the 1970s invasion of tourism and the big liquor companies. His book is readable and authoritative, if somewhat exhausting. Another history of Napa will not be needed for many years.-- Tim Zindel, Hastings Coll. of the Law, San Francisco
Booknews
The Napa Valley, virtually dormant 25 years ago, is now one of the premier wine-producing regions of the world. Journalist and wine-lover Conaway, as much interested in the valley's social and political life as its wines, tells the tale of the place, its people, and the struggle between preservation and development. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380715992
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/1992
  • Pages: 529
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 1.27 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2002

    The business and politics of wine

    I was disappointed in this book. I bought it to learn the history of winemaking in the Napa Valley but also to get a feeling for the passion that supposedly drives the makers of fine wines. However, as a history it is somewhat confusing because the author does not make the chronology of his narrative very clear. It is difficult at times to know what time period is being described. As a profile of the personalities of Napa, it focuses on analyzing the business and local politics of making wine in Napa, but gives little attention to the craft and artistry of creating a fine wine. This book seems to be more about exposing the Machiavellian side of Napa rather than the Da Vinci.

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