Book Reviews

Book Review: Circle of Wines


In this very well researched book, the author offers the first comprehensive history of New York wines.

He begins by examining the state’s distinctive viticultural roots and geology, which are so important to producing wine,

Approximately 30 pages deal with how natural geological evolution shaped the Finger Lakes region, and determined where vines could grow and thrive.

Then comes a section with all the wineries that started, but some eventually succumbed to market forces.

The most important and extremely well researched part is the era of prohibition, telling stories about doctors writing untold amounts of prescriptions for “medicinal” wine, and rabbis getting into the business of selling wine.

The crouch did its part to encourage the population to enjoy wine

Needless to say, smugglers and both big and small time crooks got rich carrying ever-larger quantities of spirits from Canada.

One of Canada’s biggest distillers supplied huge quantities of spirits to smugglers.

The details are revelatory, and captivating for anyone to understand how far people would go to obtain alcohol, and are willing to pay extraordinary sums for a bottle.

Home winemakers also had a field day making wine for their families and “friends”.

The prose is clear and coherent regarding the evolution of an important modern wine industry in the state of New York.

It is probably the most complete of all New York state wine industry and history in print.

Highly recommended to all in the industry in North America, the world, and all wine enthusiasts.

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