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Oregon and the Okanagan, especially in warm years. Faced with diªerences of these sorts, many observers, including American wine- makers, have concluded that the best defense is to avoid comparisons entirely. “We are not trying to make Burgundy,” says Saintsbury’s David Graves. “We don’t smoke Gauloises, and the French make the best French wine in the world.” And Joe Heitz, who dabbled a bit in pinot noir before getting focused on cabernet sauvignon, told an interviewer in the late 1970s that America, even then, made good pinots. “Just because it doesn’t taste like

Eunice Wait, Wines and Vines of Cali- fornia (Berkeley: Howell-North Books, 1973 [orig. 1889]); Tom Marvel and Frank Schoonmaker, American Wines (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1941); Bob Thompson, Notes on a California Cellarbook (New York: William Morrow, 1988); and Robert Gorman, Gorman on Premium California Wines (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1975). Vintners Club: Fourteen Years of Wine Tastings 1973–1987, ed. Mary-Ellen McNeil-Draper (San Francisco: Vintners’ Press, 1988), is a valuable window on con- temporaneous assessments of pinot noir, as are pinot

serve as models of their particular styles of wine pro- duction as well as of wine governance. The divergent paths they have taken hold lessons not only for each other but also for other countries and for consumers. Both countries produce wines of outstanding quality. The notion that French wine is superior was effectively laid to rest thirty years ago, when American wines upstaged top French wines at a blind tast- ing in Paris. Since then, although their styles differ, both American wines and French wines have commanded stratospheric prices and received the highest

: Capra Press, 1979. The standard work on one of the most colorful and influential figures in California wine history. Includes a reprint in full of Haraszthy’s 1862 classic, “Grape Culture, Wines, and Wine-Making.” Schoonmaker, Frank, and Tom Marvel. American Wines. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1941. Schoonmaker was a path-blazing visionary who pushed for wine quality and truth in labeling in the years following the repeal of Prohibition. Shabram, Patrick L. Petition to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for Establishment of an American Viticultural Area to

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winery classifications in this new edition. Two new AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) are profiled—Snipes Mountain and Lake Chelan—both approved in 2009. At least two more are already in the application phase. The North American Wine Bloggers’ Conference has chosen Walla Walla as the site of its June 2010 gathering. Santé, a national trade magazine for restaurant professionals, wrote in its May 2009 issue that “only recently has Washington wine become a must- have item in restaurants across the country.” Eastern Washington is also becoming, often to the

they are perceived should be taken to heart by those inclined to accept the numerical rating of wines by critics as something other than fallibly human. Henderson makes no mention of American wine. But then in 1824 there was hardly any to be found, even though John Adlum’s book, A Memoir on the Cultivation of the Vine in America, and the Best Mode of Making Wine, had been published in Washington the year before. Apart from its 244 / Spreading the Word importance in the history of wine on this continent, Adlum’s book has significance as the first book written

: Capra Press, 1979. The standard work on one of the most colorful and influential figures in California wine history. Includes a reprint in full of Haraszthy’s 1862 classic, “Grape Culture, Wines, and Wine-Making.” Schoonmaker, Frank, and Tom Marvel. American Wines. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1941. Schoonmaker was a path-blazing visionary who pushed for wine quality and truth in labeling in the years following the repeal of Prohibition. Shabram, Patrick L. Petition to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms for Establishment of an American Viticultural Area to

FREE ACCESS

(in American Wines and Wine-Making) sug- gests that the Yakima Valley has “immense potential [ for] some of the hardiest north and central European vinifera, plus some of the better French hybrids.” Outside of Leon Adams’ celebrated work, that was the most informed coverage of Washington state wine country less than 40 years ago! Most of the books written since have lumped Washington and Oregon together as the Pacific Northwest and often included their wineries as a northern adjunct to California. They offer thumbnail sketches of recent releases and information on

World Scientific (lab equipment), 17120 Tye St. SE, Ste. D, Monroe, WA 98272; 800-289-6753; www.wine-testing-supplies.com American Wine Grape Distributors, Inc. (fresh grapes, juice), 85 Market St., Chelsea, MA 02149; 617-884-3560; www.americanwinegrape.com Barrel Builders, Inc. (oak barrels, services), P.O. Box 268, St. Helena, CA 94574; 707-963-9963; www.barrelbuilders.com Beverage People (supplies), 1845 Piner Rd., Suite D, Santa Rosa, CA 95403; 800-544-1867; www.thebeveragepeople.com Brehm Vineyards (fresh and frozen grapes), P.O. Box 6239, Albany, CA 94706

’s eff orts. In March 1989, Frank Prial devoted his New York Times Wine Talk column to the new Rhône varieties inhabiting California soil, and followed up with a much longer story in the New York Times (Sunday) Magazine in October of the same year. Articles in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Chicago Tribune quickly followed on the heels of Prial’s fi rst articles. All wrote breathlessly about this new trend, brimming with enthusiasm and expres- sions of gratitude, as if, fi nally, there was something new to write about on the American wine