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Author Biography: Charles O'Rear photographed for National Geographic for twenty-five years and since 1990 has produced four books on wine. He began photographing winemaking when he moved to Napa Valley in 1978, and today owns the largest collection of wine photography in the United States. He resides in beautiful St. Helena, California. Janice Fuhman writes a column about the culture of wine for the San Francisco Chronicle. She now lives in St. Helena, California, with her husband and two sons.
Posted May 12, 2001
Anyone who loves wine country ¿ or anything beautiful ¿ will savor what has to be the largest photographic book ever published on Napa Valley. Charles O¿Rear has done it again with his fifth book on wines and wine country ¿ but this one is his opus, his love letter to the place he has called home since National Geographic sent him here on assignment 23 years ago. Every page surprises with a blaze of color and contrast -- seas of green vineyards, blood orange skies, clusters of deep indigo blue cabernet grapes. All this juxtaposed with Avedon-style black & white portraits of the people who grow the grapes which make the world class wine. These ¿farmers¿ are like no other, ranging from surgeon, judge, broker, teacher, and pilot to second generation Italian immigrant. Then there¿s the collection of quirky-looking corkscrews and a three-foot foldout of golden red winery doors. Along with the photographs, the essays by San Francisco Chronicle wine country columnist, Janice Fuhrman, capture the very heart and soul of this small paradise. And look who endorsed the book! None other than the King and Queen of Napa Valley ¿ Robert and Margrit Mondavi, who wrote the foreword. Chef and owner of the French Laundry, Thomas Keller, and Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic, William Allen, have written glowing words on the dust jacket. I believe this book will become a collector¿s item for anyone who loves wine, wine country, and the joyful life surrounding it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.