John BriscoeOct 19, 2022
The Triumph of California Wine
University of Nevada Press 2018
In 1910, the future of California wine looked dim. Beset by crises ranging from earthquakes to insect infestations, and with momentum moving toward prohibition, the nascent industry seemed dead on the vine. How then, a mere sixty years later, did a blind taste test from some of France's toughest sommeliers judge California wines superior to their French counterparts? In Crush: The Triumph of California Wine (University of Nevada Press, 2018), writer, lawyer, and University of California Berkeley Distinguished Fellow John Briscoe explains who rescued the California wineries and how they accomplished the task. This is a global story two hundred years in the making, full of fascinating stories and larger than life characters. As California wines face an uncertain, climate-changed, future, Briscoe argues we should look to the past to understand how the state's viticulture has weathered difficult storms in its long and fascinating history.
Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.