The Makers of American Wine (Hardcover)

A Record of Two Hundred Years

By Thomas Pinney

University of California Press, 9780520269538, 311pp.

Publication Date: May 7, 2012

List Price: 36.95*
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Americans learned how to make wine successfully about two hundred years ago, after failing for more than two hundred years. Thomas Pinney takes an engaging approach to the history of American wine by telling its story through the lives of 13 people who played significant roles in building an industry that now extends to every state. While some names—such as Mondavi and Gallo—will be familiar, others are less well known. These include the wealthy Nicholas Longworth, who produced the first popular American wine; the German immigrant George Husmann, who championed the native Norton grape in Missouri and supplied rootstock to save French vineyards from phylloxera; Frank Schoonmaker, who championed the varietal concept over wines with misleading names; and Maynard Amerine, who helped make UC Davis a world-class winemaking school.

About the Author

Thomas Pinney is Professor of English, Emeritus, at Pomona College. He is the author or editor of several books including the two-volume A History of Wine in America (UC Press). The second volume of this definitive wine history won the 2006 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award for best book on wine, beer, or spirits.

Praise For The Makers of American Wine: A Record of Two Hundred Years

“Pinney is a master researcher deeply immersed in the minutiae of the primary-source record, and his prose is lively but, more important, clear-eyed. He has written a book that tracks the tastes of the nation through the people who chased and changed them.”

— Wine Spectator

“[Makers of American Wine] is a must-read for anyone seriously interested in wine. . . . Well written and easy to read.”

— George Erdosh

“[Pinney] has succeeded in providing an engaging and well-written account of the very human history of wine in America.”

— Robert C. Fuller Bradley University

“Thomas Pinney’s engaging style, coupled with his meticulous research, make this a volume to savor and enjoy.”

— Bob Walch

"Highly recomended."

— Hudson Cattell

"This book is a major contribution to our understanding of wine history."

— Conal Gregory

"An informative and enjoyable read."

— Santé