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California wines are recognized as being among the worlds finestand this guide explains just what makes them so distinctive: a combination of climate, soil, tradition, and innovation. Stephen Brook examines each major region; shows how certain viticultural and wine-making practices are specific to California; and looks at how the principal grape varieties are handled stylistically in different parts of the state. Far from being a dry reference work, this is studded with the vibrant personalities who keep California wines at the forefront of top-quality wine production. Some of the special features include detailed lists of single vineyardsnow receiving greater attention from wine-makersand a gazetteer that features over 630 different wineries, pointing to the best and most interesting wines from each one.