“Vineyard Tales” by Gerald Asher: Book Review

Like many of the great books within its genre, Gerald Asher’s “Vineyard Tales” is one part history lesson and one part wine appreciation. Originally published in 1996, “Vineyard Tales” remains an invaluable text, offering plenty of insight regarding wines that span the globe. vineyardtalesAlong the way, Asher seems to cover most of the interesting American regions, touching upon places such as Washington State and New York’s North Fork, while also devoting requisite chapters to Napa Cabernet and Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.

Considering the scope and diversity of his topics, Asher’s detailed histories are the strength of his book, and the author’s accounts reveal his tremendous breadth of wine knowledge. “Vineyard Tales” is often stunning in its depth, and I would argue that Asher is perhaps the greatest living wine scholar in the world today (although I am going to ponder this statement further). Regardless, his book certainly ranks as a landmark among food and wine writing.

My only criticism — if you can call it that — is that “Vineyard Tales” is confined to discussions of America and Europe. I understand that part of the reason for this limited angle is that winemaking regions such as Australia and South America were far less significant in 1996 than they are today. Still, it would be a treat for Asher to broaden his aperture in a future edition.

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