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The Apartment

The Vines of San Lorenzo by Edward Steinberg

The Vines of San Lorenzo by Edward Steinberg

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The Vines of San Lorenzo explores in-depth the making of wine by telling two fascinating stories. The main one focuses on a single wine, Sori Said Lorenzo 1989, following the grapes from vineyard to bottling. Interwoven with this story is the tale of how Angelo Gaja transformed an obscure Italian wine, Barbaresco, and made it an international celebrity.
This unique book will appeal to wine buffs and novices alike. It's as much about people as about wine itself. Vineyard manager Federico Curtaz is not only a "botanical bard" who sees vines as airplanes and tightrope walkers, but also a skilled tactician waging war against their "invisible foes." Wine maker Guido Rivella suggests that he's merely the supervisor of the microscopic workers who actually do the job. He courageously struggles to tame the tannin, gleefully reveals what his wine has in common with jello, and vehemently denounces the crime of cork.
The main character is Angelo Gaja himself. According to The Wine Spectator, "no producer anywhere in the last 50 years has made such an impact on the international wine scene." Who else could have won the "Battle of the Buds" in the sixties that was halving production in his vineyards? Who else would give the name "What a Pity!" to one of his wines?
We speed with Gaja along the roads of Europe - taking trips to Eugenio Gamba's cooperage (where we see a pile of wood turn into a barrel), the forests of central France (where we attend an exhilarating performance by "the professor of oak," fendeur Camille Gauthier), the island of Sardinia (where Peppino Molinas shows us around his cork factory), and Germany (where we watch Gaja being "killed with culinary kindness" as he takes on 12 Michelin stars in three days). But Gaja slows down to visit an elderly vineyard worker, one of the forgotten people of wine, without whom the story would not be complete.
The Vines of San Lorenzo is packed with absorbing details, but its playful style makes even technical matters easy reading. You don't need a PhD to understand pH! And some details are surprising. Why might the definition of wine in your dictionary be a white lie? Why would the "contains sulfite" statement on bottles sold in the U.S. remain even if nothing at all were added to the wine?
Above all this is a celebration of wine, written by Edward Steinberg with passion and humor.

This book has been pre-loved and may show signs of wear.

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