Science, Vine and Wine in Modern France

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This book examines the role of science in the civilization of wine in modern France by examining viticulture, the science of the wine itself, and oenology, the study of winemaking. Together they can boast of at least two major triumphs: the creation of the post-phylloxera vines that repopulated the late-nineteenth-century vineyards devastated by the disease; and the understanding of the complex structure of wine that eventually resulted in the development of the widespread wine models of Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne. For those interested in agriculture, oenologists and historians of France, this is the first analysis of the scientific battle over how to save the French vineyards and the first account of the growth of oenological science in France since Chaptal and Pasteur.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Paul's scholarship is impeccable; the book is a lively account of the role of science in the development of the French wine industry. 'Science, Vine, and Wine in Modern France' should be required reading for so-called wine pundits and anyone else interested in the world of wine." The Quarterly Review of Biology

"...a penetrating analysis...will doubtless interest all wine connoisseurs and entertain scientists. It is, moreover, useful in turning the attention of historians towards a neglected science, one whose hybrid status between science and technology, and between cognition and commerce, is fascinating." Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Nature

"This book will be of particular interest to specialists in the history of alcohol, for whom it fills a serious gap in the literature, and to historians of science....Paul is interested in the best science and the best wine; the result of his extensive research and his evident good taste in wine is a stimulating book. Given the wealth of detail in this study and its value for specialists in both the history of wine and of science." Patricia E. Prestwich, Canadian Journal of History

"Dense with technical detail, this is a book for experts and connoisseurs. It aptly proves its point that science has been a boon to the production of fine wine....Science, Vine, and Wine in Modern France offers a careful study of how pure and applied science saved, transformed, and ultimately improved the greatest agricultural enterprise of modern France." Martha Hanna, Agricultural History

"This book is indispensable to anyone concerned with the history of wine. It will also be of interest to those who deal with the relations among government, science, technology and industry. Much of Paul's story has been told before, in bits and pieces, here and there, but nowhere has it been told all together and in such rich and engaging detail." Jerry B. Gough, Isis

"...this book is a valuable resource for those who wish to examine viticulture in the history of the French countryside from the perspective of science." James R. Lehning, American Hstorical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521497459
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Part I. Reinventing the Vine for Quality Wine Production: 1. Death and Resurrection in the Phylloxeric Vineyard; 2. Scientific Programs for the Spread of the Grafted Vine; 3. Direct Production Hybrids: Quality Wines?; 4. The Fall of the Hybrid Empire and the Victory of Vitis vinifera; Part II. Laying the Foundations of Oenology: 5. Jean-Antoine Chaptal; 6. Louis Pasteur; Part III. Oenology in Champagne, Burgundy, and Languedoc: 7. Champagne: the Science of Bubbles; 8. Burgundy: The Limits of Empirical Science; 9. Languedoc-Roussillon: innovations in tradition; Part IV. Oenology in Bordeaux: 10. The pastorian oenology of Ulysse Gayon; 11. The Ionic Gospel of the New Oenology; 12. The Production of Oenologists; Conclusion: Mopping-up Operations or Contemporary Oenology as Normal Science; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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