As the first to write a basic book in English on winemaking from the winemaker’s point of view, Philip Wagner has long been considered an authority on the subject, and his book American Wines and Wine-Making has become a bible for small producers and home winemakers in this country. Now, in this completely new version of that classic, Mr. Wagner takes into account the many dramatic changes that in recent years have revolutionized the American wine scene.
With the knowledge that comes from his own experimentation, Mr. Wagner discusses the new, successful hybrids that have now made it possible to grow wine-producing grapes in far more areas of the United States than used to be considered feasible. Once again he covers all the basic technical information, including recent developments important to the small commercial winery and to the home producer—from the choice of the right vines to the vintage itself, the care of the new wines, and finally the bottling of the wine: red, white, and rosé, sparkling and sweet.
There is a new chapter on concentrates for the growing number of people who want to make wine but are not close to a source for suitable grapes, or haven’t the space to work with fresh materials. Mr. Wagner describes what concentrates are, how they are made, what the characteristics are of different types, and what to expect. There are specific instructions on procedure and on the necessary (and unnecessary) equipment.
In addition, Philip Wagner’s introductory chapters on the evolution of the wine grape, on European winegrowing, and on the contemporary scene throughout the United States provide an excellent guide for the consumer, as does his concluding chapter on tasting and using wine. Peppered throughout with a wealth of historical and anecdotal material as well as down-to-earth experience—and full of the author’s appreciation of wine and winemaking as a way of life—this book is not only a useful guide but delightful and rewarding reading.
About Philip M. Wagner
Philip Wagner was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1904. Most of his career has been in newspaper work with the Sun papers of Baltimore—as editor of The Evening Sun and subsequently of The Sun. A taste for wine led him into winemaking and then into grape growing and experimenting with new hybrid varieties that could be cultivated under American conditions. Then he and his wife, Jocelyn, established a grapevine nursery and in 1945 a small commercial winery whose red, white, and rosé wines became well known, especially in the Baltimore-Washington area. Mr. Wagner served repeatedly on the wine jury of the annual California State Fair at Sacramento, where virtually all the superior wines of California were reviewed and graded, and twice as resident Regents’ Lecturer at the University of California; recently the French government has honored him by naming him an Officier du Mérite Agricole. His American Wines and Wine-Making was published in its original form in 1933, and was followed by A Winegrower’s Guide in 1945.