North American Pinot Noir / Edition 1

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Pinot noir, the famously elegant, sexy, and capricious red grape of Burgundy, is finally producing impressive wines in North America. Credit talented winemakers, enthusiastic restaurateurs, and consumers in search of alternatives to cabernet and zinfandel. Considered perhaps the ultimate food wine, pinot noir has an allure based on its special combination of aromas, flavors, and mouthfeel; on its legendary capacity to reflect the terroir where it is grown; and on its reputation for being hard to grow and make. This is the definitive work on pinot noir in North America. A comprehensive reference for winemakers and aficionados as well as a sourcebook for casual enthusiasts, it includes extensive historical and viticultural background on pinot noir in the New World and profiles of six dozen prominent producers in California, Oregon, British Columbia, and New York.

John Winthrop Haeger, known for his perceptive wine writing for more than fifteen years, gives contextual and comparative information about pinot noir in Burgundy and then tells the story of wine producers' early failures, frustrations, and breakthroughs in North America. He discusses plant genetics and clones, identifies the essential conditions for really good pinot, tells where the best wines are grown and made, and analyzes the factors that determine wine styles and signatures.
In the second part of the book, he presents detailed producer profiles with accessibly written tasting notes on recent and mature vintages. A final section covers glassware, vintages, wine and food pairings, and other matters of interest to consumers. Maps prepared especially for this book cover all the major pinot-producing regions in North America.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hoping to re-create the legendary wines of Burgundy, France, vintners around the world have long tried to grow the finicky pinot noir grape. Until now, they have had little success. Pioneers in California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada have turned the tide by planting grapes in areas with ideal microclimates and experimenting with growing and winemaking methods. In his comprehensive work, former Wine & Spirits columnist Haeger documents the people, procedures, competitions, failures, events, and future trends that characterize this development. While many readers will appreciate the academic research and detail that make up the first half, wine connoisseurs will delight in Hager's descriptive tasting notes for dozens of selected pinot noir producers. A small section on buying, storing, and pairing pinot noir with food is also included. Libraries that passed on William Echikson's recent Noble Rot: A Bordeaux Wine Revolution because of its French focus should definitely consider this book. An essential purchase for special collections.--Andrea R. Dietze, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520241145
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/14/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 455
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John Winthrop Haeger is a former columnist for Wine & Spirits magazine who has also written for Sunset, Saveur, Los Angeles, and Connoisseur. He taught Chinese language and Chinese history at the Claremont Colleges and is the author of Crisis and Prosperity in Sung China (1975).

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Table of Contents

List of Maps


Part I. The Grape, the Wine, and the History
1. The Basics
2. The Burgundian Connection
3. The Rise of Pinot Noir in North America
4. Where It Happens
5. Clones and Selections of Pinot Noir
6. Winegrowing and Winemaking
7. Burgundies and North American Pinots Compared
8. Reflections

Part II. Profiles of Key Producers

Part III. Enjoying Pinot Noir
Advice for Consumers

Pinot Terminology
A Note on Sources


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