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Bottled Poetry Bottled Poetry Napa Winemaking from Prohibition to the Modern Era James T. Lapsley UNIVI RS ITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS Berkeley / Los Angela / London University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California University of California Press, Ltd. London, England © 1996 by The Regents of the University of California Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Lapsley, James T. Bottled poetry : Napa winemaking from Prohibition to the modern era / James T. Lapsley p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index

1 I perceive today an ever-widening gap between winemakers and con- sumers. As in any marriage of long standing, we sometimes go for long periods without talking as much as we should, especially when changes are occurring that we can scarcely articulate. The fi ne folks who pay good money for wine are disconnected from wine production people, so distanced are wineries from their customers. Even at the winery, as winemaking matures as a business, visitors to the homes of the familiar brands are far more likely to encounter marketing and salespeople than


Contents A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S xi P R E F A C E : W H Y BOTTLED POETRY? xiii I N T R O D U C T I O N : NAPA A N D T H E N O T I O N OF W I N E Q U A L I T Y I 1 The Quality Producers, 1934-1940 7 2 Bulk Producers and Failures, 1934-19+0 24 3 Grape Growing and Winemaking 39 in the Napa Valley 4 Building a Market for Napa Wines: Brand 67 Development from Repeal to World War II 5 California Wine and World War II 98 6 Napa Wine during Wartime 111 7 Table Wine Triumphant, 1947-1967 136 8 Politics and Promotion: The Napa Valley 146 Vintners


- 1980, on Grapes, Wines, and Related Subjects (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986). This present work overlaps the latter to some degree and complements the former. Originally begun using such works as the National Union Catalog: Pre-1956 Imprints and many other basic bibliographic works (see the reference list for sources), this bibliography was expanded using the Melvyl Online Union Catalog of the University of California. The Melvyl Catalog in- cludes the grape-growing and wine-making collection of the University of California at Davis, which is

red wine 69 Signs of a secondary fermentation 77 Racking and bottling wands 79 Racking a red wine 81 Plastic wine thief 89 Three measuring vessels 92 Bottling a newly made wine 101 White wine mid-fermentation 109 Testing for titratable acidity 182 Tank of compressed gas 231 Tables 1. How much wine do you want to make? 16 2. Your home winemaking shopping list 37 3. Gallons of water to add to dilute a high-sugar must to 24.5 Brix 49 4. Corrections for hydrometers calibrated to 60°F 180 5. Free sulfur dioxide needed to protect wines at various pH

, culture, beautiful vineyards, careful winemaking, and the rural idyll of wine country is in fact just a façade. As a result, many of my colleagues in the wine trade have lost their love for wine. Those who take the wrong sorts of jobs find themselves in a very different wine trade altogether. They are selling cheap commercial wines, made from 142 . b e e r i s b e t t e r t h a n w i n e large flatland vineyards that are kept clean of weeds by herbicide and sprayed with all manner of agrochemi- cals. The grapes, cropped at heroic yields, are machine picked

.: Wine Growers of Dry Creek Valley, 1993. Francisco, Cathleen. Zinfandel: A Reference Guide to California Zinfandel. South San Francisco: Wine Appreciation Guild, 2001. Looks at current Zinfandel producers. Haraszthy, Arpad. Wine-Making in California. San Francisco: Book Club of California, 1978. This volume is a reprint of Haraszthy’s articles that were published in Overland Monthly in 1871–1872. Its importance here is the biographical essay on Haraszthy by Ruth Teiser and Catherine Harroun. Hawkes, Ellen. Blood and Wine: The Unauthorized Story of the Gallo Wine


Society for Enology and Viticulture a series of seven papers on vineyard variables affecting wine quality, based on the reduc- tionist methodology I had learned at Davis. A simple example. We were making White Zinfandel that had more of a canned tomato soup aroma than the fresh strawberry notes I was seeking. Accordingly, I conducted a series of small-lot duplicate trials to test a variety of vineyard variables and winemaking procedures, presenting the resulting samples to a trained panel in a double-blind setting, asking the panel to rate the samples for the

Eaux-de-Vie (INAO). Aroma: A “tasting term used to indicate the smells of a wine, particularly those deriving from the grape and fermentation.”C Some distinguish aroma (the smells derived from the grape) from bouquet (the smells associated with the winemaking process), particularly in the bottle. Aroma Wheel: A graphical representation of tasting terms for aroma, which helps 213 to standardize terminology used in wine tasting. It was created by Dr. Ann Noble. Assemblage: “The blending of wine from different grape varieties, fermenta- tion vats, and/or vineyard plots

flavor of a wine to be an act of interpretation means that we have brought the human element into our definition of terroir. This is as it should be. Because of the leap from the growing of grapes in a vineyard to the perception of flavors in a wine glass, terroir has to be partly cultural. Ulti- mately, it is for us to decide together about legitimate and illegitimate expressions of a terroir, and this will depend on many factors. The traditional winemaking t h e a rt of i n t e r p r e tat ion . 13 practices in a region may be reflected in the way that the