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Books on Winemaking, Grape Growing, and Vineyards

As we've become more interested in wine, we've also become increasingly interested in visiting the wineries and talking to the winemakers. We think that this interest will help give us greater understanding of some of the growing and winemaking techniques that result in wines that we enjoy. In turn, this will help us make better buying decisions if we know that the winemaker is using procedures that we have liked in other wines. And, finally, we will become more appreciative of the effort that goes into making a good wine as sun, water and soil is converted into grapes and then, with yeast, into wine. has helped spark our interest and learning.

The following books are some of those that we've read in the pursuit of knowledge on the science of winemaking. This list of books complements our booklist on wine appreciation and history books.


Wine Making

Featured Books


From Vines to Wines: The Complete Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Your Own Wine by Jeff Cox
This is an invaluable book. On my first read-through, it introduces many of the techniques required to (1) successfully grow grapes and (2) make wine. On my second reading, as I inch closer to planting my own backyard vineyard, I picked up on many additional subtleties that I missed the first time around. Although I'm sure that the entire process will be more complicated than I can just pick up and read, it makes the possibility of actually doing this less intimidating. Plus, the background from this book made it easier to understand some of the other books on this list. Highly recommended. (Buy from Powell's or

Modern Winemaking by Philip Jackisch
This book is more advanced and technical than many of the others listed here but it offers a solid second-level understanding of the winemaking process. (Buy from Powell's or

Other Highly Regarded Books For Beginners

Techniques in Home Winemaking: A Practical Guide to Making Chateau-Style Wines (Revised) by Daniel Pambianchi
(Buy from Powell's or
The Home Winemaker's Companion: Secrets, Recipes and Know-How for Making 115 Great-Tasting Wines by Gene Spaziani
(Buy from Powell's or
Winemaking: Recipes, Equipment, and Techniques for Making Wine at Home by Stanley F. Anderson and Dorothy Anderson
(Buy from Powell's or
The American Wine Society Presents the Complete Handbook of Winemaking by American Wine Society
(Buy from Powell's or
Winemaking: From Grape Growing to Marketplace by Richard P. Vine, E. M. Harkness, and Sally J. Linton (Editors)
(Buy from Powell's or
The Encyclopedia of Home Winemaking by Pierre Drapeau and Andre Vanasse
(Buy from Powell's or
Home Winemaking Step-by-Step by Jon Iverson
(Buy from Powell's or
90 Years of Winemaking by Richard Schumm
(Buy from Powell's or
  First Steps in Winemaking: A Complete Month-By-Month Guide to Winemaking (Including the Production of Cider, Perry and Mead) in Your Own Home, With over 150 Tried and Tested Recipies by Cyril J. J. Berry
(Buy from Powell's or


More Advanced Winemaking Books

Winemaking Basics by Cornelius S. Ough
(Buy from Powell's or
Principles and Practices of Winemaking by Roger B. Boulton, et al
(Buy from Powell's or
Winery Technology and Operations Handbook by Yair Margalit
(Buy from Powell's or
Wine Science: Principles, Practice, Perception by Ron S. Jackson
(Buy from Powell's or



Grape Growing Books

Featured Books

Oregon Viticulture by Edward W. Hellman (editor), et al.
This book updates the fabulous Oregon Winegrape Growers' Guide edited by Ted Casteel. These books are unique in their approach of combining the expertise and experience of university researchers with that of professional grape growers and winemakers. The new version has both broader coverage of more topics and greater depth of coverage than its predecessor. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the characteristics of a vineyard site, matching grape varieties to the site, and selecting the most appropriate management practices for each unique site. The structure and physiology of grapevines is concisely summarized, and viticulture principles are introduced throughout the book. Standard production practices are described, and separate chapters discuss sustainable viticulture practices and organic grape growing. Important business management topics not usually found in similar books are also addressed, including economics, marketing and contracts, compliance with government regulations, and labor management. Either book is an extremely valuable book for anyone attempting to grow grapes in relatively cold climates such as Puget Sound or in Oregon. (Buy from Powell's or

coverThe American Wine Society Presents Growing Wine Grapes by J. Loenholdt, T. Zabadal, A. Hunt, H. Amberg, J.R. McGrew, Leonholdt Hunt
This short book offers a quick education for the home vineyard 'manager' on how to plant, train, and prune vines and on how to manage the vineyard once started. Although it focuses more on Eastern and Midwestern growing conditions and varieties, the information is still good to know. The Oregon Viticulture book may be a better choice for West Coast growers. (Buy from Powell's or

Vines, Grapes & Wines: The Wine Drinker's Guide to Grape Varieties by Jancis Robinson
For an amateur vineyard grower, this is a fine background text to help you identify and select grape varieties that you can try. If you just drink the wine, then this is still helpful to give you a sense of the history of your favorite variety. (Buy from Powell's or

Other Highly Regarded Books

Wine Growers Guide by Philip Wagner
(Buy from Powell's or
The Grape Grower: A Guide to Organic Viticulture by Lon Rombough, Roger Swain
(Buy from Powell's or
Jancis Robinson's Guide to Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson
(Buy from Powell's or
Growing Vines to Make Wines
by Nick Poulter
(Buy from Powell's or
Grape Growing by Robert J. Weaver
(Buy from Powell's or
The Biology of the Grapevine by Michael G. Mullins
(Buy from Powell's or


If you want to obtain a deeper appreciation of wine, we have two other book pages to check out:


Wine Appreciation and Wine History Books


Wine books recommended by Decanter Magazine

In addition to the books listed above that are available from, there are additional resources on the web that offer some great detail on making wine at home. The best of these sources include:

bullet Making Table Wine At Home (UC Davis)
bullet The Home Winemaker's Manual (Lum Eisenman)
bullet Winemaking Home Page (Jack Keller)

Return to The Ragen's wine home page.


For other books on our best books list, follow the links below.

bullet Current Book List that we are reading this month.
bullet Award Winning Books on Mountain Climbing and Outdoor Adventures. There are four sets of awards that list the best of the books in this area.
bullet Children's Books that our boys or their cousins are currently enjoying. The Seattle Children's Theatre also offers booklists for as recommended background reading for each of their productions.
bullet History Books that relate to our family history or that we have enjoyed.
bullet Other Books that we are waiting to categorize.


Wine Enthusiast - Ultimate wine accessories site! The Wine Enthusiast is a great source of glassware, serving and preservation systems, in addition to self-contained wine cellars and other wine storage options. If you're not sure what you need, the company offers a list of 'Recommended' items that cover a wide range of needs through their home page.

Wine glasses, decanters and more: Many choices are available including Riedel and Spiegelau crystal stemware and decanters. Plus, there are many products to clean and care for your glassware.   


Serving and preserve your wine, from the most elegant decanters to chillers, coasters, drip savers and more. When we want wine by the glass (when we don't think we'll finish a bottle), we use the WineKeeper which automatically fills the bottle with nitrogen to preserve the wine.
Corkscrews Corkscrews and cork pullers are essential tools. Wine Enthusiast has a wide variety of devices including the traditional Laguiole corkscrew to the smooth Rabbit Corkscrew leverpull types. Storing your wine doesn't have to be difficult. Wine Enthusiast offers everything from free standing wine cellars to wine racks and cooling systems that can be installed in a closet or a corner of the basement.   
Finally, for great deals, don't forget to check out the clearance items and the Wine Cellar Outlet Store areas.


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