Authors cruise through California’s wine counties - one vineyard at a time

Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:27am EDT
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By Leslie Gevirtz

(Reuters) - Although authors Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen took two years to research their newest book “Wines of California, The Comprehensive Guide” it still was not enough time to visit all the 8,000-plus wineries that dot the state.

The door-stopper-sized book is written for consumers and wine lovers with a particular emphasis on people who are just learning about different winemaking regions.

“We feel we covered all the important wineries, but it would be impossible to cover every single winery,” Jenssen said. “So that’s why we call it a comprehensive guide – not a complete one.”

Known as the World Wine Guys, DeSimone and Jenssen are also editors at Wine Enthusiast magazine and appear regularly on U.S. television talk shows advising audiences about what wines to serve with particular dishes.

Their book is organized from north to south. The duo started sipping at wineries in Lake and Mendocino counties, which are north of San Francisco, and ended with San Diego County.

“There is so much more to California wines than just Napa and Sonoma. Everyone knows or has heard of those two places,” said Jenssen.

“We decided that if we started out first with those two and maybe went on to Monterrey and Paso Robles, well that might be the right order in terms of importance, but going from north to south was really the fair way to do it,” he added.

And whether it is an $850 bottle of a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon or a $5 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon made from grapes grown in the state’s Central Valley and produced in bulk, there is a similar philosophy when it comes to the environment, the pair said.   Continued...