The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Wine Book
By: Harry Karis
Photo and design: Phil Karis
Kavino Book Publishing, www.cdpwinebook.com
It is a relatively easy task to review this book, in a way. It is likely to be the standard tome on Châteauneuf for the foreseeable future. It is has almost 500 pages and weighs over two and a half kilo. It contains almost everything you can conceivably want to know about Châteauneuf. Harry Karis is a medical doctor who became enthralled by the wines of Châteauneuf. He couldn’t find enough good writing on the wines from this southern Rhône appellation, so he decided to write it himself. The result is imposing. It covers everything from the early history to today, wine making and climate (including lots of statistics), geography etc. But the majority of the book is taken up by producer profiles – virtually every producer in the appellation. Every winery is described in detail (within reason), explaining the winemaking and describing their vineyards. Most have their vineyards plotted on maps. No book is perfect, nor is this one. There are of course some errors, inevitable in any book (e.g. the photo on p 33 is of Hermitage, not Côte Rôtie). One also wishes for a bit more opinion – which of the wines do the author appreciate the most and why? But that is detail. For anyone wishing to know more about Châteauneuf, this is a treasure trove. And it certainly makes you want to taste the wines and go there and visit the cellars and walk on the galets roulées yourself! There is also a very convenient pocket-size map of Châteauneuf – certainly easier to carry around than the book!