Home Vineyard Bookshelf

If you want to experiment with your backyard vineyard, these references may be very helpful. All are readily available from major booksellers, or the UC-Davis online bookstore:

Making Good Wine: A Manual of Winemaking Practice for Australia and New Zealand, Bryce Rankine, Pan Macmillan Australia, 2004.

While it was written for winemakers in Australia and New Zealand, Making Good Wine is a great resource for anyone — professional or amateur — interested in making wine regardless of where they live. Topics covered include background on the wine industry; grape development and composition; winery establishment and layout; winemaking procedures; maturation, stabilization, clarification, packaging; winemaking faults and their prevention; quality control and tasting and analysis.

Jancis Robinson Guide to Wine Grapes, Jancis Robinson, Oxford University Press, 1996.

Don’t let the small, slim size of this book fool you. Containing information about 850 varietals, this book examines the world’s grape varieties in alphabetical order, including important information for would-be grape growers such as rootstocks and wine blends, to vine pests and disease. She also describes the basic characteristics of the wine produced by each grape (dry, sweet, high or low acidity, the bouquet) and the regions that produce the best wines, including information about blending.

Production of Grapes and Wine in Cool Climates, David Jackson and Danny Schuster, Wine Appreciation Guild, 1998.

A great resource for beginner viticulturists who want to grow grapes in cool climates. Contains lots of valuable information and diagrams about everything from choosing varietals and planting vines to pruning and trellising as well as what to watch for (and how to combat) pests and diseases that affect the varietals that grow in these climates.

Grape Pest Management, University of California.

A big part of any trial and error process in any vineyard is figuring out how to deal with pests. This reference tells you how to combine biological controls, cultural practices, vineyard management, and selective chemical controls for the most effective and least harmful management of grapevine pests, diseases, disorders, and injuries.

Sunlight Into Wine, Dr. Richard Smart, Winetitles, 1991.

A must own vineyard reference. Contains everything you need to know about trellising and canopy management, as well as the term “balance” in the vineyard. Includes lots of illustrations, diagrams, photographs and tips for to help the reader understand the concepts, and includes a section about how winegrape trellis systems can be economically constructed.