Front cover of 2nd edition of Washington Wines & Wineries by  Paul Gregutt

Galley copy of the second edition

Being a total book geek, moment #27 was realizing I was on the same vineyard bus for the North American Wine Bloggers Conference as Paul Gregutt’s editor,  Blake Edgar. The big moment #28 came when I realized he was carrying the galley proof of the second edition of Gregutt’s book of Washington Wines & Wineries: The Essential Guide.

I bought the first copy of  Washington Wines and Wineries when the ink was barely dry and ran to a book signing for Gregutt’s signature.  A few days later, I had it with me on a trip to Whole Foods and showed it to the wine steward and began nattering on.  He did not escape me easily as I insisted that the store carry this tome and display it in the wine department, not the book section.  Now, I am not saying that I am responsible for Whole Foods’ decision to carry the book, but not long after, I noticed the book was there displayed with the wine.  (Never underestimate the power of your passion in convincing a retailer to carry a Washington product.) This book is one of my basic reference books for Washington wine residing on my shelf next to Ron Irvine’s The Wine Project.

So there I was on the bus with an advanced copy of the second edition just a few feet away from me.  I do not know if it was the lustful look in my eyes, or if he saw my hands on stealth approach for the ‘snag’ but he graciously handed it to me to peruse. When we left the second winery, the galley proof was finally in my hands.  I now had the opportunity to look through it before the rest of the world. What should I do? The conundrum was not a moral one, but a physical one – I can not read in a moving vehicle or I get sick. I don’t know how long I would have this book and our excursion was more than half over, what to do?  Screw it.  I sat back in the bus seat and flipped open the book.  Nausea be damned.

Justin Wylie of Va Piano Vineyards checking a vine

Justin Wylie proudly showing off the vineyard for us bloggers

At the third and final winery, Va Piano Vineyards, I was still clutching the book never letting go as we ate lunch, walked the vineyard and stood in the barrel room tasting delicious wines, including one offered only to their wine club, a library selection and a barrel sample.  Before leaving I hung back and showed the book to the winemaker, Justin Wylie.  He instantly ‘snagged’ it from me and  flipped to the list of rated wineries to see if Va Piano Vineyards was there.  The winery was listed in the first edition as one with less than five vintages under its belt but showing exceptional results for a rookie winery.  Where did it land in the second edition?  Justin found the answer and smiled.  I was the last one back on the bus and begrudgingly, but appreciatively, gave the book back.

Thank you University of California Press! Hope to see the 2nd edition in the bookstores in September.