What We’re Reading: Rock and Vine by Chelsea Prince
We get lots of requests for reviews – wine, hooch, books and gadgets. We don’t have time to cover everything. But you really ought to pick up a copy of Rock and Vine: Next Generation Changemakers in America’s Wine Country, written and published by Chelsea Prince with Consulting Editor Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine.
Overlook the management consultant-inspired subtitle (I can say this because I used to be one those people, which is why I love the Marty Kaan character on Showtime’s House of Lies). Just dive right into the book. Filled with fabulous photography by Mary Steinbacher, Rock and Vine profiles 11 up-and-coming wine professionals, many descendants of California’s wine trailblazers, who are now making their own way in the wine industry.
Not just another coffee table tome, Rock and Vine gives you an inside look at these wine professionals with an easy-to-read, friendly approach. Much more than your standard bio on the winery’s “About Us” page, each profile feels more like you’re getting to know its subject through a friend-of-a-friend. And it’s always great to read about people we’ve actually met like Morgan Twain-Peterson and Dalia Ceja.
All those profiled are 35 or younger, and include the offspring of Robert and Peter Mondavi, Joel Peterson, Mike Benziger and Don Sebastiani. But it isn’t just an All Boys Club. Rock and Vine includes an Introduction by Maggie Pramuk of Robert Biale Vineyards, and profiles Helen Turley’s niece Christina, of Turley Wine Cellars, Angelina Mondavi, one of four sisters making wines under the name Dark Matter, and a Q&A with Shannon Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyard. We’ve tasted wines from some of those profiled, but are looking forward to finding out more about the others’.
Rock and Vine also profiles Dalia Ceja, daughter of Amelia Ceja, one of the first Latina women to hold the position of winery president in the American wine industry. Dalia’s grandparents marched with César Chávez for better wages for vineyard workers, and the Cejas bought their first property of 20 acres in 1982. Founded in 1999, Ceja Vineyards now includes 113 producing acres.
“America’s Wine Country” in the subtitle is not all-encompassing. Rock and Vine focuses on wine industry professionals in Napa and Sonoma, those descending from the California legends and powerhouses. It leaves out other wine country pioneers in the states of Washington and Oregon. Missing from the under 35 group is Alison Sokol Blosser, Co-President of Sokol Blosser Winery in Oregon. Alison’s parents, Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol were among the pioneers of Oregon Pinot Noir.
A portion of all profits from Rock and Vine sales will benefit Wine To Water, a non-profit organization focused on providing clean water to people in need around the world. Nearly one billion people in the world today lack access to adequate water and 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation. Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease. Wine To Water is dedicated to countering the epidemic. The organization distributes water filters in Haiti, bio-sand filters in Uganda, and provides wells in Cambodia. Wine To Water has worked in Sri Lanka, South Africa, Ethiopia, Peru, India and Sudan.
For more information, or to buy a copy of the book, visit the Rock and Vine website, where you can download sample and learn more about the wines offered by the various wineries represented.