No wine category has seen more dramatic growth in recent years than American Rhône–variety wines. Winemakers are devoting more energy, more acreage, and more bottlings to Rhône varieties than ever before. The flagship Rhône red, Syrah, is routinely touted as one of California’s most promising varieties, capable of tremendous adaptability as a vine, wonderfully variable in style, and highly expressive of place. There has never been a better time for American Rhône wine producers.
American Rhône is the untold history of the American Rhône wine movement. The popularity of these wines has been hard fought; this is a story of fringe players, unknown varieties, and longshot efforts finding their way to the mainstream. It’s the story of winemakers gathering sufficient strength in numbers to forge a triumph of the obscure and the brash. But, more than this, it is the story of the maturation of the American palate and a new republic of wine lovers whose restless tastes and curiosity led them to Rhône wines just as those wines were reaching a critical mass in the marketplace. Patrick J. Comiskey’s history of the American Rhône wine movement is both a compelling underdog success story and an essential reference for the wine professional.
Patrick J. Comiskey is a wine writer and critic for Wine & Spirits magazine. He has written about wine for many publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Food & Wine, Decanter, and Lucky Peach.
"Thoughtfully conceived and very well written, this is essential somm reading."—The Somm Journal
"Comiskey has a skeptical reporter’s mind, a poet’s way with turns of phrase, an editor’s sense of conservation of words, and a keen (and deep) understanding of – and respect for – wine as a subject matter, all of which come to bear in American Rhone."—Joe Roberts 1 Wine Dude
“Patrick Comiskey’s groundbreaking tale of the American Rhône wine movement is as irresistible and stylish as the best examples of the wines themselves. His book is a fascinating narrative of little-known history, wickedly accurate profiles, and imaginative analysis that should be read by anyone interested in where American wine has been—and where it’s going.”—Elin McCoy, wine columnist, Bloomberg News,
and author of The Emperor of Wine: The Rise of Robert M. Parker, Jr., and the Reign of American Taste
“What is most interesting about this book, above and beyond the minute level of fly-on-the-wall detail, is Comiskey’s exploration of the larger cultural context from which the phenomenon of ‘American Rhônes’ emerged. I was particularly struck by his great scholarship in uncovering the historical antecedents of this vinous movement—he continually reminds us that (American) Rhône wasn't built in a day.”—Randall Grahm, author of Been Doon So Long
“Finally, a book telling the lesser-known side of the story of American wine. Comiskey has woven a compelling, impeccably researched tale of the band of misfits and renegades who saw an alternate path for California and elsewhere—and the special relationship they built with their counterparts in the Old World. Essential reading for Rhône lovers!”—Jon Bonné, author of The New California Wine