Monday, April 04, 2011


The Vintner’s Apprentice
An Insider’s Guide to the Art and Craft of Wine Making, Taught by the Masters
By Eric Miller

Introduction by Kevin Zraly, author of Windows on the World Complete Wine Course Quarry Books/February 2011/$24.99, flexi-bind

In Eric Miller's new book, readers get behind-the-scenes access to the wine world’s masters of the craft, as well as a guide to the techniques that made them so successful.

Now, this isn't a step-by-step, ...For Dummies style guide to making wine. It doesn't have formulas and ratios, etc. So you still need something like Philip Wagner's book Grapes into Wine or From Vines to Wines to make wine properly. But you shouldn't waste one iota of time without first reading Eric Miller's new book. It is an instant classic on the subject of winemaking, and is easily the most current, up-to-date catalogue of all the discussions going on between the world's winemakers today.

Miller, who has spent a life time in wine, first at his father's side making wine in the old Caywood vineyards at Benmarl Winery, and then later on at his own Chaddsford Winery along with his wife Lee, gives advice about the art and process of winemaking, from where to plant grapes to what grapes to plant to what you can expect to achieve in the final product. Most fascinating are his many interviews with winemakers from the United States, France, Italy, South Africa, Chile, and Germany. It's not just Miller's take on things, but he garners incredible opinions and advice from winemakers the world over. These master craftsmen relate their stories and share their understanding about selecting sites and planting vineyards, about harvesting and processing grapes, about cellar work and aging wines, about how to make critical decisions and how to avoid problems.

The book is a star studded affair, chock-a-block with fascinating interviews with people like vineyard manager and consultant Lucie Morton, Peter Gago of Penfolds, Eileen Crane of Domaine Carneros, Adam Lee of Siduri Winery, Johannes Selbach of Weingut Sellbach-Oster, Gary Pisoni of Pisoni Vineyards, Aurelio Montes from Montes Vineyards, Pauline Vauthler, of Chateau Ausone, Richard Harbich-Olsen from Bedell Cellars, and many, many more.

Eric Miller is one of the most important winemakers on the East Coast. Chaddsford has grown to become Pennsylvania’s largest winery, and Eric Miller is among a handful of East Coast United States winemakers who have achieved national acclaim and recognition. His wines have been called “enchanting” and “perfect” by Gourmet, and have been featured in Food & Wine, The New York Times, Decanter, and many other prestigious wine and food publications.

If you like wine, and want to know more about it, buy this book. If you think you might want to be a home winemaker, buy this book. If you are thinking of getting in the wine business in anyway, from owning a small boutique winery, or becoming a sommelier, or becoming a wine sales person. You need to own this book. Wonderful!