>> Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Viticulture - An introduction to commercial grape growing for wine production
By: Stephen Skelton MW
This is very detailed book on viticulture, written by Master of Wine Stephen Skelton, who lectures on viticulture to Diploma students at WSET. The book is recommended for these students as well as for Master of Wine candidates. It covers everything that has to do with viticulture: the grapevine, rootstocks, site selection, different soils, grape growing in different countries, pruning, irrigation, diseases and viruses and so on. It’s a textbook and as such crammed with facts and with hardly any pictures. The reader has to be a motivated student or a very interested wine lover. Stephen Skelton has worked for many years in the wine business and has a deep knowledge of the subject. He tends to be too categorical in some statements and in his opinions of certain things and he is really walking on thin ice when he talks about organic wines. He bundles together organic and biodynamic culture and talks about them as though they were identical. And as he obviously doesn’t have a very high opinion of the biodynamic movement (to say the least) the organic culture suffers by his descriptions. On the other hand, he seems to think that also the organic growers are somewhat unnecessary as in his opinion most conventional growers take as good care of the land as the organic ones. A more objective description of organic culture would have fitted more into the style of the book.
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