Call of the Vine : Exploring Ten Famous Vineyards of Napa and Sonoma

Liz Thach

ISBN: 978-0971587052

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Written in the first person with close and intimate conversations with vineyard managers and winemakers, this non-fiction book will not only inspire you with the meticulous care and environmental practices being used in these vineyards, but will explain how viticulture decisions such as canopy management and clonal selection impact wine quality. Most importantly this book taps into the “soul of the vineyard” and describes how working amongst the vines provides insights into a balanced life and respect for the graces of nature. 

 

Inspired to write this book when visiting La Tache and Romanee-Conti vineyards in France and witnessing the respect and admiration carloads of tourists had for these famous vineyards, Liz decided to begin an exploration of the famous vineyards of her own homeland, California. Armed with the help and guidance of the Napa Valley Vintners and the Sonoma County Vintners, she was able to identify a list of ten Napa and Sonoma County vineyards that fit the criteria of being a historic vineyard, unique in some special way such as location or varietal, and/or consistently producing a high number of award winning wines.

 

Table of Contents

 

Foreword by Tim Mondavi

1

Acknowledgements

3

Chapter 1: Introduction - The Soul of the Vineyard

7

Chapter 2: Viticulture 101

17

Chapter 3: Monte Rosso Vineyard, Sonoma

37

Chapter 4: To Kalon Vineyard, Napa

61

Chapter 5: Seghesio Home Ranch, Sonoma

85

Chapter 6: Stag’s Leap Vineyard, Napa

119

Chapter 7: Hirsch Vineyard, Sonoma

145

Chapter 8: Stagecoach Vineyard, Napa

181

Chapter 9: Bacigalupi Vineyard, Sonoma

217

Chapter 10: Hanzell Vineyard, Sonoma

243

Chapter 11: Diamond Creek, Napa

269

Chapter 12: Beaulieu Vineyard (BV), Napa

299

Chapter 13: Lessons from the Vineyard

331

Appendix: Other Great Vineyards of California

343

References

347

Index

352

About the Author

357

"Best wine books of the year"
Article by: BILL WARD , Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN 55488

...Diamond Creek, by the way, is one of 10 vineyards profiled in Liz Thach’s “Call of the Vine: Exploring 10 Famous Vineyards of Napa and Sonoma” (Miranda Press, $19.99), perhaps the year’s best book for cork dorks, particularly those of the California persuasion. The Master of Wine, Thach digs deeply into what makes these sites special. But the book is less about geology than people, as Thach spends time with the caretakers of these vineyards.

Her accounts work in part because of how well she chose her targets. Besides Diamond Creek, they are Beaulieu, Stag’s Leap, Stagecoach (managed by former Minnesotan Gabrielle Shaffer) and To Kalon in Napa, and Bacigalupi, Hanzell, Hirsch, Monte Rosso and Seghesio Home Ranch in Sonoma. This is a book I wish I had written (and especially researched).

www.startribune.com/lifestyle/taste/283842991.html

--

“A unique look at viticulture practices in a story-telling format. The descriptions of the vineyard and in-depth conversations with vineyard managers and winemakers create an entertaining read, and should be enjoyable for both wine students and enthusiasts.”

-Dr. Linda Bisson, Maynard A. Amerine Endowed Chair in Viticulture and Enology, UC-David

 

“This book includes many useful details about viticulture and winemaking, and is presented in a first-person format that is engaging and easy to read. I enjoyed learning about the history of these great vineyards, as well as the interplay between nature, science and practical common sense that is so clearly evident in the daily lives of the vineyard workers.”

-Dr. Mark Greenspan, President, Advanced Viticulture Inc.

 

 

"This first person intimate conversations with vineyard managers and winemakers is both valuable window to the world and work of the wine industry. Liz Thach's intimate style is engaging and interesting. She is knowledgable, since she owns her own vineyard, and provides detailed information about the meticulous care and environmental practices being used in the vineyards entering into the “soul of the vineyard” and providing an avenue toward a balanced life and respect for the graces of nature. I found the chapter on lessons learned particularly thoughtful and instructive.

I found it particularly useful background for my own research and writing on sustainability in wine, tourism and hospitality."

Robert Girling

Dr. Liz Thach, MW (pronounced “tosh”) is a management and wine business professor at Sonoma State University in the Wine Business Institute where she teaches in both the undergraduate and Wine MBA programs. Liz’s passion is wine, and she has visited most of the major wine regions of the world and more than 30 countries. In addition, she has published over 100 articles and 5 wine textbooks, including Wine – A Global Business and Wine Marketing & Sales. A fifth generation Californian, Liz finished her Ph.D. at Texas A&M and worked in the corporate world for over 15 years before transitioning to academia. She also works as a wine judge in various competitions, and has served on many non-profit wine boards. Liz obtained the distinction of Master of Wine (MW) in May of 2011. In her free time, she tends her hobby vineyard on Sonoma Mountain and makes pinot noir wine for friends and family.

Congratulations to Dr. Liz Thach on winning the 2014 Gourmand Drinks Award in the category

"Best Women and Wine Book - USA"

for her book Call of the Vine: Exploring 10 Famous Vineyards of Napa & Sonoma.

The book will now go on to compete against winners in the same category from 70 other countries for the title "The Bext in the World". Results will be announced at the Gourmand Drinks Awards event to be held in Yantai, wine capital of China, during the Grapes & Sea Festival on June 9, 2015.

Sonoma State University NewsCenter

For immediate release - January 16, 2015

SSU Professor Earns Third Gourmand Book Award

Sonoma State University wine business professor Dr. Liz Thach has earned her third Gourmand World Cookbooks award since 2007.

"Call of the Vine: Exploring 10 famous vineyards of Napa and Sonoma" took the title for the Women and Wine Book category in the United States and will via for the title of best in the world at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China in June.

"This award feels different than the others," says Thach."It's not dry business text, it's a story," she says, admitting that this award came as a surprise. "This book is more personal. I put a lot of heart and soul into it."

"Call of the Vine" takes a look at vineyards themselves, instead of only what ends up in the bottle. "It goes deep into viniculture, it gets pretty nitty gritty into rootstocks and clones and that sort of thing," says Thach. "I think this book might awaken people's perception to looking at the vine itself."

Edouard Cointreau, president and founder of Gourmand International, says there are 10 competitors in the Women and Wine Book category, which is new this year. "We received more entries than ever, with a significant increase in quality and quality for wine books," he says, noting that Thach's book is among the best that will be judged in the world competition. "I believe 'Call of the Vine' has a strong chance to be at least among the top three."

The awards ceremony this year includes a Women and Wine conference, another first for Gourmand. Yangtai, a coastal city 450 miles south of Beijing, is the largest wine producing region in China, a country whose wine production is on the rise. There are more than 600 wineries, making it the fifth-largest wine producing region in the world. "A lot of people don't realize that, because they export very little of it," says Thach, who has been to China four times on wine-related trips.

Thach, with co-authors and fellow SSU professors Paul Wagner and Janeen Olsen, took home the title of Best Wine Marketing Book in the world at the Gourmand Awards in 2007 for "Wine Marketing and Sales." In 2009, Thach and co-author Brian D'Emilio's "How to Launch Your Wine Career" took the U.S. honor for Best New Wine Book for Professionals.

Thach got idea for "Call of the Vine" in Burgundy, France, where vineyards are revered. "I was thinking, we have famous vineyards in California, but they're not getting recognition."

--Nicolas Grizzle

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Call of the Vine: Master of Wine, Liz Thach, defines the top vineyards of Napa and Sonoma in new book

October 28, 2014 11:35 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Call of the Vine: Master of Wine, Liz Thach, defines the top vineyards of Napa and Sonoma in new book

Rohnert Park, CA -- What defines the top vineyards of Napa and Sonoma? A new book entitled Call of the Vine: Exploring Ten Famous Vineyards of Napa and Sonoma by Dr. Liz Thach, professor of Wine Business at Sonoma State University, provides the answer in a compelling and beautifully written journey through the vineyards. The book, among other projects, is part of Thach's work as Korbel Professor in Wine Business at Sonoma State University.

Thach was inspired to write the book when she visited Romanée-Conti and La Tache vineyards in Burgundy and witnessed carloads of tourists arriving to take photographs near the vines. "The experiences made me realize that we have many great vineyards in California that don't always get the special attention they deserve. It was then that I knew I wanted to write about the great vineyards of my homeland," said Thach.

A fifth generation Californian with a small hobby vineyard of her on own on Sonoma Mountain, Thach then set about contacting Napa Valley Vintners and Sonoma County Vintners and Winegrape Commission in order to obtain recommendations.  She received a list of 24 vineyards that fit the criteria of being: historic, unique in some special way such as location or varietal, and consistently producing a high number of award winning wines.

Using a methodology described in the book, she narrowed this list down to the top 10, and then spent 3 years researching and writing the book. The top ten vineyards include Beaulieu, Diamond Creek, Stag's Leap, Stagecoach, and To Kalon for Napa Valley, and Bacigalupi, Hanzell, Hirsch, Monte Rosso, and Seghesio's Home Ranch for Sonoma County.

"[The book is] a unique look at viticulture practices in a story-telling format. The descriptions of the vineyards and in-depth conversations with vineyard managers and winemakers create an entertaining read, and should be enjoyable for both wine students and enthusiasts," said Dr. Linda Bisson, Maynard A. Amerine Endowed Chair in Viticulture and Enology at University of California, Davis.

Each chapter includes the history of the vineyard, technical details regarding rootstock, spacing, clones and so forth, as well as farming practices, economics of the vineyard, and an interesting section on the "soul," or personality, of the vineyard. Each chapter concludes with a signature wine produced from the vineyard.

"This book includes many useful details about viticulture and winemaking, and is presented in a first-person format that is engaging and easy to read. I enjoyed learning about the history of these great vineyards, as well as the interplay between nature, science and practical common sense that is so clearly evident in the daily lives of the vineyard workers," said Dr. Mark Greenspan, president of Advanced Viticulture.

Targeted at wine students, enthusiasts, and new vineyard and winery owners, the book is published by Miranda Press in New York. It has received positive reviews, including those below, and is available on Amazon for $17.99, in bookstores, and direct from the publisher.

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For more information contact Annemarie Brown,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 664-2221.