In his wide-ranging analysis of the obvious and imperceptible elements that characterize a wine region and its rewards, Sommers tips his glass to the steadfast amour between viticulture and geography. Wine enthusiasts will find this book of value, and by reading it, some may well come to a greater appreciation of the geographical perspective.
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Editors view affiliations Percy H. Front Matter Pages i-xii. Front Matter Pages Pages Terroir : At the Heart of Geography.
Donna M. Senese, Wayne Wilson, Bernard Momer. Gregory V.
This is a very useful, though not very exciting book. No rhapsodies about mind-bending encounters with memorable wines, no personality portraits of wild and crazy winemakers, no dirt on the owners of winedom's most precious pieces of dirt. But dirt, yes--the kind geographers start from and worry over.
Great Wine Terroirs / Edition 1
Brian Sommers teaches geography at Central Connecticut State University, including a course on the geography of wine, a subject that turns out to include a vast range of vinous things. Which adds up to a lot, just about everything except the details of winemaking and wine tasting. In a string of chapters that come at his subject from every angle, Sommers marches methodically through climate, soil, why some varieties work in some places and others don't, commercial viticulture and the natural habitat, wine diffusion, colonialism, rural production and urban consumption, the relative geographies of wine, beer, and spirits, wine tourism, and a lot more.
Some of this terrain will undoubtedly be familiar to many readers, but some parts of this systematic review are bound to be new--I, for example, had never thought before about the reasons for the relative locations of different kinds of wine outlets--supermarkets, specialty wine shops, convenience stores, discounters, and so on.
Sommers admits early on that he isn't offering himself up as a wine expert--and it shows in places. His discussion of Bordeaux, done to illustrate the importance of matching grape variety to place, focuses on Cabernet Sauvignon, even though Bordeaux mainly grows Merlot. Discussing Port and Sherry--wines spread all over the world from their seacoast locations--he accurately describes how Port is fortified with grape spirits but explains Sherry's higher alcohol level as the result of "blending"; it, too, actually gets fortified with distilled spirits. But none of this is the point of the book.
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