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111 Even the most fundamentalist supporters of the philosophy of terroir—and the role of natural winemaking in seeing that this terroir is expressed in the fi nal wine—would agree that the winemaker has a responsibility to watch over the wine as it develops and to intervene where necessary to ensure that the wine refl ects the true potential of its site. To put this another way, doing nothing and watching a wine spoil because of some avoidable fault results in that wine failing to express its terroir. The human aspect is therefore important in any defi

122 In an illuminating 2001 interview, the writer Alan Bree introduced his rather complicated subject with a particularly well-phrased understatement: “If you want to understand Sean Thackrey, you need to reset your reference points.”1 With respect to winemaking and its heritage, improvisation, notions of terroir, fruit selection, synthesis, and cépage, no one operates quite like Sean Thackrey. Thackrey personifi es the spirit of independence that came to characterize the Rhône movement, but he is not part of the Rhône movement. Thackrey is emphatically not

261 abbey viticulture and winemaking, 5 – 6, 17 – 18, 66, 101 – 102 acidity, 60 – 61, 114 Adams, Leon, 149 – 150 Adlum, John, 232, 243 – 244, 252 age and aging, 200; Armagnac, 61; Cabernet Sauvignon, 129, 130, 133; Champagne, 17; food with old wines, 182, 254; Franconian wines, 119 – 120; sea-journey aging, 225. See also barrels and barrel aging Alba, 90 – 91, 92 Albania, 130 alcohol levels: California Cabernets, 134 – 135; Zinfandel, 167 Alexander Valley, 134, 166; Robert Young Vineyards, 196 – 197 Alfonso II of Aragón, 101 Alix, 53 Almaden, 189 Alsace

As this somewhat breathless tour through the grosser statistics should make abun- dantly plain, the California trade had both changed direction and undergone a huge growth between, roughly, the middle of the 1960s and the middle of the 1970s. The reign of forti- fied wines from the Central Valley had been overthrown; table wine was now king, and its kingdom was more spacious than anything known before. The unquestioned dominance of varieties inferior or unsuitable for winemaking—particularly the Thompson Seedless— 226 • C H A P T E R 1 0 now began to seem a

), Charles LeFranc and his future son-in-law, Paul Masson (Santa Clara County), and Charles Krug (Napa County). Hungarian Count Haraszthy, for one, imported some hundred a b r i e f h i s t o r y o f w i n e i n c a l i f o r n i a 6 thousand cuttings from many European vineyards and planted them in California. Haraszthy pioneered numerous winemaking techniques now thought commonplace, including hillside planting, and caves dug for aging. He founded the Buena Vista Winery in the Sonoma Valley, consid- ered the birthplace of winemaking in California. Less well

Santa Rosa in the s, the place of the corn and kiwis was taken by  grapevines, which led the family into home winemaking. (Later, Walter Jr. grew quite a bit of chardonnay that was sold to de loach vineyards.) Stephen remembers that the homemade wine was “pretty awful.” In  Stephen and his brother, attempting to solve the annual problem of a Christmas gift for their man-who-has- everything father, labeled a bottle of the homemade wine professionally. To their surprise, their father was intrigued, and one thing led to another. Walter Jr. began

bulk wines in, 111, 114; winemaking technique of, 35, 42, 83, 98–100, 156, 202. See also grapes; single blends blind tasting method, 248–49, 251, 254, 255, 256, 261 Blossom Hill label, 101 Blue Nun label, 277 Bombrun, Helene, and Daniel A. Sumner, 258, 267 Bordeaux region, 243, 315n.10; climate, 266 Bordeaux wine, 260–61, 266–67; as age-worthy, 268; futures markets and wine ratings, 260–63; market for immature, 269–70; secondary markets for (Bryon and Ashenfelter), 270–71 bottle closure: corks, 38, 101–2; screw caps, 101, 102, 315n.7 bottling, 38, 101

California, a significant force by the iSyos; thereafter California grew at a rate unmatched by all the other winemaking territo- ries of the country put together. Still, California was a very remote place through- out the nineteenth century, despite the railroad; the United States was still a largely rural country, and many of the services and supplies now provided by large- capital, nationally organized enterprises were then a matter for local activity. In 373 374 THE INDUSTRY ACROSS THE NATION Per Capita Consumption of Wine in the United States, 187O-19OO Sources: U

P A R T THE DEVELOPMENT OF CALIFORNIA 3 This page intentionally left blank The Southwest and California T Early Winegrowing in New Mexico he earliest winemaking in the continental United States is credited to the Spaniards of Santa Elena, South Caro- lina, around 1568. The earliest successful viticulture and the oldest continuous tradition of winemaking, however, was established in the sev- enteenth century by the Spanish in those vast and barely populated regions of the Southwest that remained parts of the Spanish empire into the nineteenth century. Here the

Sauvignon Blanc. But their exotic new off erings attracted attention. “The people who came to our tasting table,” says Karen Keehn, “at tastings and trade lunches, they all wanted to taste our Syrah; it was the wine that we started to get some word of mouth, a reputation for.”4 Before long they were making trips to the Rhône Valley to learn more about the region, its winemaking, and its traditions, befriending the Chapoutier, Guigal, Chave, and Vernay families along the way. Richard Keehn dove into vine growing with impres- sive zeal; within fi ve years he served as