The Art and Science of Wine

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9781554072477: The Art and Science of Wine

How wine is made, from field to cellar to bottle.

Great wine is a complex blend of nature, art and science. In this updated new edition of a classic book, the "how and why" of a wine's creation are examined in detail.

Acclaimed wine writers James Halliday and Hugh Johnson analyze the art and science behind the winemaking process. They start with the fundamental role of terroir the complex combination of characteristics that give a wine its personality. The latest developments in pruning and irrigation are then covered, along with the recent emergence of vineyards in cooler regions and the rise of organic wines.

Wine production in the cellar is detailed for nine specific styles, from light-bodied whites to full-bodied reds, along with sweet, sparkling and fortified varieties. The authors present the choices facing vintners at every step. The science of maturation is discussed, along with the industry's raging debate over the merits of natural cork, plastic cork and screw cap seals. The book also covers:

  • A year in the vineyard
  • Quantity vs. quality
  • National attitudes and regional characteristics
  • Mechanization
  • The chemistry and analysis of wine.

The Art and Science of Wine is filled with full color photographs and illustrations. With text that reflects the latest winemaking technology and discoveries, this lively book is both accessible and highly informative.

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About the Author:

James Halliday is a wine critic and vigneron (vine grower) with a career spanning 30 years. He is a founder of Brokenwood and Coldstream Hills wineries in Australia, the author of more than 50 books, and a wine judge.

Hugh Johnson is a world-renowned wine writer with a talent for making the science of wine easier to understand. His first book, Wine, was published in 1966 and became an international best seller. Later titles, such as The World Atlas of Wine, Story of Wine and How to Enjoy Your Wine, have been reprinted many times. He lives in Australia.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

[excerpt] A Propos

By Hugh Johnson

The rusty cannon gives the Moutardes' yard, divided from the village street by iron railings, its faint air of a comic opera set. It was last fired in 1964, when a cloud the color of a decomposing eggplant and exactly the size of the vineyards of Muligny, hanging poised above the slopes of Chassard, the next-door commune, began to roll ominously toward the Clos du Marquis.

Monsieur Moutarde had towed the weapon into the vineyards behind a borrowed tractor, loaded it with a canister of grapeshot of the vintage of 1815, leveled it at the heart of the threat and plucked up his courage to apply the taper. The explosion was thunderous. Nobody in Chassard was sure whether what clattered down on several roofs was a flurry of hail or straying grapeshot. The cloud rolled on, menacing but still costive, over Muligny and three more communes before suddenly dumping its gumball-size hailstones on the scruffy oak woods on the hill above Beaune.

The oaks were shredded; not a leaf was left. But in Chassard relief for the spared vines was tempered by unneighborly feelings toward Monsieur Moutarde indeed toward Muligny as a whole. The two villages had never exchanged more than civilities; not in 2,000 years. One must not put too much weight on the cannon incident; it was merely a symbol of the rivalry that had existed since the Romans.

Things were different then, in the early 1960s, in several ways. For a start, nobody had any money -- or if there was any cash in the mattress it meant a harvest mortgaged to a merchant in Beaune.

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