1. American Wine Society, The. THE COMPLETE HANDBOOK OF WINEMAKING. Ann Arbor: G.W. Kent, Inc. 1993.
This handbook is a collection of technical articles from renowned authorities from the wine trade and academia as well as from avid home winemakers. This reference textbook will prove most useful to advanced winemakers as the contents tend to be too technical for beginners. It assumes that readers have a good knowledge of winemaking techniques and processes. Wine analysis is discussed in details although discussions on the use of different types of wine yeasts and clarification agents and filtration techniques are cursory. A chapter on sparkling wine production presents the true méthode champenoise procedure for practical home winemaking use. In addition to winemaking, this book describes the elements (visual, olfactory, and gustatory) of wine tasting and how to organize and conduct wine tastings.
2. Barrel Builders, Inc. BARREL MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR MANUAL. St. Helena: Barrel Builders, Inc. 1995.
This concise, 33-page manual is an excellent reference on how to prepare, treat and maintain both used and new oak barrels. This manual was written by experienced coopers who have been serving the California wine industry for over 20 years; their advice on barrel maintenance has stood the test of time. Although the section on barrel repairs is beyond the woodworking abilities of most winemakers, it does provide interesting reading.
3. Bettiga, Larry J., Golino, D.A., McGourty, G., Smith, R.J., Verdegaal, P.S. Weber, E.. WINE GRAPE VARIETIES IN CALIFORNIA. California: University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Publication 3419. 2003.
This book is nicely illustrated along with superb photographs of grape varieties grown in California. Photographs along with morphology information for each variety make this resource invaluable. It also includes other useful information such as ripening periods and ripening dates by growing district. A must-have resource if your winemaking includes grapes sourced from California.
4. Boulton, R.B., V.L. Singleton, L.F. Bisson, and R.E. Kunkee. PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF WINEMAKING. New York: Chapman & Hall (International Thomson Publishing). 1996.
Anyone considering a professional career in œnology should read this textbook, authored by viticulture and œnology professors from the University of California at Davis. It provides highly technical and in-depth discussions of modern winemaking practices and equipment. The book is structured for use as a teaching aid and is geared to professional winemaking. It assumes a solid technical background in pure and applied sciences, namely, chemistry, biochemistry and microbiology. Advanced home winemakers wanting to further their technical knowledge of winemaking will find this book indispensable.
5. Clarke, Oz. OZ CLARKE’S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GRAPES: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO VARIETIES AND FLAVORS. New York: Harcourt, Inc. 2001.
Oz Clarke is one of the world’s leading wine experts and writers. This 320-page book, covering varieties from Albariño to Zinfandel, is an excellent complement to a similar work, VINES, GRAPES & WINES, by Jancis Robinson. It is well presented with beautiful photographs and illustrations along with very useful “consumer information” for varieties, such as the best producers and recommended wines. An important and useful aspect of this book is the description of differences of varieties from various winemaking regions throughout the world.
6. Fugelsang, Kenneth C. WINE MICROBIOLOGY. New York: Chapman & Hall (International Thomson Publishing). 1997.
This technical textbook on wine microbiology complements PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF WINEMAKING. Also geared to professional winemaking, this book provides in-depth descriptions of various bacteria, yeasts and moulds, and their role in winemaking. This textbook is very technical and requires a good knowledge of microbiology. The author is a Winemaster and Professor of Enology in the Department of Enology, Food Science, and Nutrition at California State University, Fresno.
7. Goode, Jamie. THE SCIENCE OF WINE: FROM VINE TO GLASS. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2005.
This engaging book is laid out in three major sections covering the hotly debated issues in the fields of science of viticulture, winemaking and human interaction with wine. It covers scientific, technological and often controversial innovations from precision viticulture and genetically modified grape vines, to reverse osmosis, spinning cones, evaporators and screwcaps, to wine flavor chemistry and health. A fun and interesting read!
8. Iland, Patrick, Ewart, A., Sitters, J., Markides, A., and Nick Bruer. TECHNIQUES FOR CHEMICAL ANALYSIS AND QUALITY MONITORING DURING WINEMAKING. South Australia: Patrick Iland Wine Promotions. 2004.
This updated edition is a must-have in every winery’s library. It covers the plethora of laboratory procedures, each described in step-by-step instructions along with pertinent chemical concepts. The spiral bound laminated hard paperback format is ideal for the laboratory environment.
9. Jackisch, Philip. MODERN WINEMAKING. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1985.
This complete handbook is an excellent reference for serious winemakers. It offers one of the most complete lists of winemaking problems, and how to prevent and correct these problems. The author, a research chemist, shares his wealth of winemaking knowledge from his years of experience as winemaker, wine consultant, wine competition judge, and teacher. Readers should have a good technical background. Those interested in submitting their homemade wines into wine competitions will find a short but useful section on competition rules and judging procedures.
10. Jackson, David, and Danny Schuster. THE PRODUCTION OF GRAPES & WINE IN COOL CLIMATES. New Zealand: Gypsum Press and Daphne Brasell Associates Ltd. 2001.
Whether you make wine in Burgundy, New Zealand, Niagara or the Finger Lakes region, this book provides valuable information on cool-climate grape growing and winemaking. Agronomical information such as ideal soil type, vigor, pruning methods, disease susceptibility, effect of wet weather, rootstocks, and expected yields will prove very useful in identifying and selecting grapes. It covers the major V. vinifera varieties but also lesser known and obscure cool-climate varieties such as Blaufrankischer, St. Macaire, and Zweigeltrebe.
11. Johnson, Hugh and James Halliday. THE VINTNER’S ART: HOW GREAT WINES ARE MADE. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1992.
Hugh Johnson is a world-renowned and authoritative wine writer. James Halliday is a wine writer and also the owner and winemaker of a small Australian winery. Together, they have authored an excellent book geared to those interested in acquiring a general knowledge of wine production without all the intricate technical details. The book is logically sequenced in three sections describing wine production from vineyard to winery to bottle. First, the effects of terroir, climate, grape variety, harvesting techniques and other viticultural factors on wine quality are described. Second, production processes for different types and styles of wine—from light-bodied white wines to full-bodied red wines and fortified wines—are outlined and explained in very simple language. Third, the chemistry and analysis of wine are briefly, but effectively, treated. Stunning photographs and superb illustrations enhance the visual dimension of this fascinating book.
12. Margalit, Phd., Yair. WINERY TECHNOLOGY & OPERATIONS: A HANDBOOK FOR SMALL WINERIES. San Francisco: The Wine Appreciation Guild. 1996.
This handbook should belong in every serious home winemaker’s library. Although quite technical in nature—the author has an academic background in chemistry and physical chemistry in addition to his experience in small-winery winemaking—the book is very concise and offers practical advice on all winemaking procedures. It is a truly practical handbook. For example, procedures for basic analysis of must and wine are detailed. Margalit has also authored two other excellent books for anyone considering a career in œnology and winemaking, both published by The Wine Appreciation Guild: CONCEPTS IN WINE CHEMISTRY (2004) and CONCEPTS IN WINE TECHNOLOGY (2004).
13. Olney, Richard. ROMANÉE-CONTI: THE WORLD’S MOST FABLED WINE. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. 1995.
Richard Olney is a food writer with a seemingly keen interest in top-rate wineries and their highly acclaimed legendary wines. This book recounts the fascinating history and winemaking practices of Le Domaine de La Romanée-Conti (DRC), unquestionably the most famous Burgundian winery located in the Côte d’Or. It describes the winemaking philosophy and practices in the production of such premium DRC wines as La Tâche, Grands Echézeaux, Richebourg, and, of course, Romanée-Conti. Home winemakers can now get an appreciation of how these great Burgundian wines are made and the extent to which such wineries will go to achieve the highest quality standards possible.
14. Olney, Richard. YQUEM. Suisse: Flammarion. 1985.
Richard Olney recounts the fascinating history and winemaking practices of Château d’Yquem, the producer of the legendary Premier Grand Cru Classé Sauternes wine. Written with the same purpose and style as his book on Le Domaine de La Romanée-Conti, YQUEM, however, is supplemented with superb glossy photographs such as the 32 vintage bottles ranging from 1858 to 1944.
15. Ough, C.S. and M.A. Amerine. METHODS FOR ANALYSIS OF MUSTS AND WINES. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1988.
Ough and Amerine have been two of the most influential œnologists in American winemaking. Researchers, professors and writers, they have laid much of the initial groundwork in California in the post-Prohibition era to revive the winemaking industry. This book is strictly geared for those pursuing a career in professional winemaking, or more specifically, in wine analysis. The contents are highly technical and require extensive knowledge in various branches of chemistry. It does, however, provide very detailed descriptions of analytical procedures that are otherwise very difficult to find in other textbooks.
16. Peynaud, Emile. KNOWING AND MAKING WINE. Spencer, Alan F., tr. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1984.
Emile Peynaud has been unquestionably the leading authoritative research œnologist and teacher of modern winemaking. In spite of its very technical content, this scholarly book is still indispensable and should be part of any winemaker’s library. It is one of the most complete practical textbooks on winemaking. The many lists of advantages and disadvantages of various equipment, winemaking and vinification procedures will prove very helpful when deciding which to use.
17. Peynaud, Emile. THE TASTE OF WINE: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF WINE APPRECIATION. Schuster, Michael, tr. London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd. 1987.
Making wine is half the fun! The other half is tasting wine. And once again, Emile Peynaud has done a scholarly job of describing the science and practice of wine tasting. Specifically, it describes how to assess the visual, olfactory and gustatory aspects of wine, and outlines tasting techniques. Assessing and describing a wine requires a very rich and descriptive vocabulary. Emile Peynaud provides a comprehensive vocabulary with accurate definitions used in wine tasting. One’s ability to accurately describe a wine depends on mastery of this vocabulary.
18. Ribéreau-Gayon, P., Dubourdieu, D., Donèche, B., and A. Lonvaud. HANDBOOK OF ENOLOGY: VOLUME 1 - THE MICROBIOLOGY OF WINE AND VINIFICATIONS. Branco, Jeffrey M., tr. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 2000.
Pascal Ribéreau-Gayon, director of the Institut d'Œnologie de Bordeaux and son of Jean Ribéreau-Gayon, the "father of modern œnology" and Emile Peynaud's mentor, has teamed up with other Bordeaux scholars to produce this authoritative textbook on the microbiology of wine. This book is intended for those having a chemistry background and wanting to pursue a career in commercial winemaking, research in œnology, or wine analysis. This first volume focuses on the role of yeasts, bacteria and sulfur dioxide in red and white wine vinifications.
19. Ribéreau-Gayon, P., Glories, Y., Maujean, A., and D. Dubourdieu. HANDBOOK OF ENOLOGY: VOLUME 2 - THE CHEMISTRY OF WINE, STABILIZATION AND TREATMENTS. Aquitrad Traduction, tr. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 2000.
In this second volume, Pascal Ribéreau-Gayon and his co-authors focus on the chemistry of wines—alcohols, carbohydrates, phenolic compounds, aromas, etc.—as a prelude to detailed discussions on stabilization procedures and treatments of wine including fining, filtration, and ageing. In spite of the highly technical nature of this text, as well as Volume 1, the authors provide valuable practical advice, recommended additive concentrations and limits imposed by the European Community, and much more.
20. Robinson, Jancis, ed. THE OXFORD COMPANION TO WINE – THIRD EDITION. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2006.
Jancis Robinson, a Master of Wine, writer and leading authority in œnology, is the editor of this beautiful and updated masterpiece. This heavy, encyclopedia-style book contains 3900 entries from abboccato to zymase. Over 160 Masters of Wine, writers, researchers, professors, œnologists, wine consultants and others have contributed to this work. Each entry is concise and yet thorough and informative. This reference textbook is sprinkled with superb photographs, illustrations, and maps of wine-producing regions. A must-have in every library.
21. Robinson, Jancis. VINES, GRAPES & WINES. New York: Mitchell Beazley Publishers. 1986.
Ever wondered what Auxerrois or Valdepeñas are? Or what are the differences between the various Muscat grape varieties? These grape variety entries and over 800 more can be found in this reference book with detailed descriptions of origin, characteristics, and the type of wines they produce. Illustrations of grape bunches are useful in learning about grape physiology. A very useful comprehensive list of synonyms for each grape variety is also provided. If a grape variety cannot be found in this textbook, it probably does not exist! Although there is considerable overlap with Robinson’s OXFORD COMPANION TO WINE, this book still offers a lot more details.
22. Zoecklein, Bruce W., Fugelsang, K.C., Gump B.H., and F.S. Nury. WINE ANALYSIS AND PRODUCTION. Gaithersburg: Aspen Publishers, Inc. 1999.
Zoecklein is a world-renowned researcher in the field of wine science and technology. He is a professor at the Department of Food Science and Technology at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. He has teamed up with other experts from California State University at Fresno to deliver an outstanding book that every serious winemaker should own and have read thoroughly. This book is very technical in nature, yet well organized and very easy to read. It is one of the most practical and useful book on wine analysis and production, with an extensive section on laboratory procedures.