From The Publisher:
From Chile to California, South Africa to Alsace, Ralph Steadman has seen the best of the world's wine-producing regions. On a search for the unique and original, he meets Aurelio Montes, the Chilean winemaker who planted syrah vines on a rocky, south-facing hill in order to "steal the wild complexity of the mountain's soul." In Spain, he learns of the white chalky soil called albariza that produces the sherry of the Jerez region. In California, the author describes crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, driving up into Marin County, and meeting enthusiastic winemakers whose vineyards sit precariously on the San Andreas fault. As the journey continues on through Burgundy, Champagne, and Sicily, Steadman brings the landscape and its people to life with pictures and prose.
Starred Review. Steadman, illustrator of several of Hunter S. Thompson's gonzo narratives, also has a reputation in the world of wine—which is no contradiction, as he thinks of himself as "a romantic and a lifetime supporter of the maverick tradition in all fields of human activity." In this volume, which follows his well-received Grapes of Ralph, he wanders to notable vineyards in California, Chile, Spain, France, Italy and South Africa for a look at their grapes and wine-making techniques. Steadman chats with the owners, eyes their dogs, tastes their wines and takes notes, which frequently meander into fond digressions on unusual oenophilic practices. Still, it's Steadman's sketches that make the book: vertiginous mountain vineyards; splotchy caricatures of idiosyncratic vintners; lumpy, mustachioed villagers (male and female); even a brief album of wine dogs, "grand cru mutts." Although he's designed many wine labels himself, Steadman's no label snob; indeed, he rails against "the rigid aristocracy of fine appellation" and misses the "good, bad old days" when you could decant a nice Roussillon into your own jug straight from a pump at the wine cooperative. Readers dithering over the right bottle to surprise a wine-loving friend with might do better to shop at the bookstore for a Steadman instead. (Nov.)
—Publishers Weekly, Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Ralph Steadman has illustrated many books, including Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the fiftieth-anniversary edition of George Orwell's Animal Farm. He is the author of The Grapes of Ralph (for which he won a Glenfiddich Food & Drink Award), Still Life with Bottle, The Book of Jones, and Gonzo. He lives in England.
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