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Winemaker’s Bookshelf

ne essential part of growing grapes and making wine is trade magazines. These are not

By Gary Strachan

Some top trade mags O

scientific journals written by academics. The articles are usually written either by staff writers or experts in the field, usually people who have tried things out and are sharing their experience.

The trade magazines also provide insight into where the markets and new technology are going. I subscribe to three of them but could easily subscribe to more if I had the time to read them. A major part of the value of trade magazines is in the advertisements. Even if there is a subscription charge, it only covers a small portion of the cost to produce a trade magazine, thus the advertisers are the key to the magazine’s financial survival. As a reader, the advertisements are almost as important to me as the articles because they inform me about the availability of new technology from suppliers. Wines & Vines (www.winesand has been published continuously for at least 60 years. I have read many of the monthly issues of this magazine for over 30 years. If I recall correctly, the collection of Wines & Vines at the Summerland research station goes back into the 1940s, when the California wine industry was beginning to recover after the repeal of prohibition.

To put this date into perspective, that was only about 10 years after the founding of the Department of Enology and Viticulture at the University of California at Davis.

As with most wine trade magazines from the U.S., its articles have tended to be California-centric, but expansion of the U.S. wine industry into almost every state in the union has broadened the scope of their articles.

British Columbia news is conveyed to Wines & Vines by a local correspondent from B.C. Wines & Vines publishes an annually updated directory of the North American grape and wine industry from Mexico to Canada. Much of the information is available for free on their site but for those who purchase the directory more detailed information is available. ºArchived articles are freely available on the W&V site to non- subscribers.

Another wine trade magazine that I subscribe to is Practical Winery and Vineyard. It has six issues per year with articles that concentrate on

information that can be readily applied to most winery and vineyard

operations. I find the articles to be well written, often by leaders in the field such as Richard Smart or Bruce Zoeklein. I like the format of many articles, which often contain an introduction with background information concerning the topic of discussion. There is a limited number of articles posted on their web site (www.practical The articles can be searched and accessed by keyword by non- subscribers. Some back issues are

available for purchase, but

only a few popular articles from recent issues are posted online.

The third magazine subscription I

have is Wine Business Monthly. This is the main competitor to Wines & Vines. It is published in large-format pages (10” X 14”), which I find irritating because the magazines don’t fit any of my bookshelves and it’s difficult to scan or copy pages if I want to save just one article from an issue.

Its site has one of the busiest landing pages on the Internet. You can check it out at My

guess is that it has at least 75

links. These are not only to their own articles but to other wine publications,

news articles, and blogs. If you are a print subscriber,

you can receive a daily news alert with links to breaking news about the wine industry.

I should warn you. It has been estimated there are at least 800 wine- related blogs on the internet. A typical daily newsletter from Wine Business contains links to about 20 stories plus at least as many links to classified ads.

If you have an insatiable appetite for wine-related news you can also subscribe for free to the Daily News Fetch from Wine Industry Insight ( Needless to say, this has just scratched the surface of resources available for the magazine-oholic. Wynboer magazine from South Africa has very good articles ( It has been published since 1932. Many recent articles are archived online and can be searched. The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker is a good magazine with timely and interesting articles but there are no free links to articles or searches. On the other hand, free scholarly papers are available from the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research via the Wiley Publishers website.

— Gary Strachan can be reached at

BosaGrape Winery Supplies 6908 Palm Ave., Burnaby, B.C. V5J 4M3 British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Summer 2010

Fruit Processing Equipment, Enzymes, Lab Supplies, Labellers and Cellar Equipment. No Order Too Small!

Phone: 604-473-9463 Toll-free in Canada: 1-866-55GRAPE Fax: 604-433-2810


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