Untrodden Grapes

by Ralph Steadman

November 15, 2005 | Hardcover

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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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 4.42 × 3.59 × 0.38 in

Published: November 15, 2005

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0151011672

ISBN - 13: 9780151011674

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– More About This Product –

Untrodden Grapes

by Ralph Steadman

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 4.42 × 3.59 × 0.38 in

Published: November 15, 2005

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0151011672

ISBN - 13: 9780151011674

About the Book

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.

Read from the Book

CHILE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO LAND Where to begin a new volume, after my first journey into wine territory down among the red men was not so difficult after all? My wife, Anna, and I were invited to New York in January 2002 to the launch of Montes Folly, the "wild dream" wine of Chilean winemakers Douglas Murray and Aurelio Montes-a wine with which they have taunted the gods and defied the wisdom of the experts. "It''ll never work," the experts said. "The grapes will explode!" "Good!" I thought. "Only an artist would think like that!" At the launch, Aurelio, who pilots his own light aircraft, demonstrated what his natural winemaker''s eye could only see from up in the sky. Through a series of color slides, he described the trials and tribulations that beset two wild spirits with a crazy dream. It was important to move half a mountain to realize it. I was proud to be asked to provide the artwork for the label-an angel to watch over their baby. Being a romantic and a lifetime supporter of the maverick tradition in all fields of human activity, it seemed so natural, so organic, to establish the landscape of this new book where my last book about wine, The Grapes of Ralph, left off-in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Such a strange and terrible place, but a link nevertheless to the land of Untrodden Grapes where I can put down roots and begin again. Edward Abbey, the author of Desert Solitaire, wrote: "Enter at your own risk. Carry water. Avoid the noonday sun. Try to ignore
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Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION ix

CHILE xiv

SPAIN 4

CALIFORNIA 32

BOGGSHAFFT 56

CHAMPAGNE IMPRESSION 60

GASCONY 76

WINE DOGS OF THE WORLD 90

SOUTH AFRICA 96

WINE LABELS 126

WINE MAKING 138

SICILY 142

BURGUNDY 176

LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON 196

ALSACE 214

WINE SUITE 233

OLD SYRAH VINES 242

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 245


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.

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: The Art.

Editorial Reviews

Steadman''s utterly distinctive drawings are the stars of his eccentric book about the world of wine, which his curmudgeonly prose just complements. Though hardly for the chardonnay- or merlot-swilling masses, the book does include a step-by-step how-to on making champagne and a careful description of how each year''s sherry is mixed with some from earlier years to smooth and refine the marketable product. How-to''s and why-for''s aren''t really Steadman''s meat, however. He is interested in the offbeat and overlooked: wine made by old hippies who ignore wasps flying about the outdoor vats, or by reckless Chileans who hang the vines off cliffs, or even by himself, as he dabbles in grape growing in England (no wonder he''s cranky about chardonnay). Illustrations of vineyards capture the strange beauty of vines thwarted from their natural, rampant leafiness and crowded into trellised rows, but more memorable are muddy dogs met in vineyards from France to California and caricatured vingerons hard at work. Not to be missed: the saga of the scandalous red wine Cardinal Zin.
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