100 books like Land and Wine

By Charles Frankel,

Here are 100 books that Land and Wine fans have personally recommended if you like Land and Wine. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of French Wine: A History

Mack P. Holt Author Of The Politics of Wine in Early Modern France: Religion and Popular Culture in Burgundy, 1477-1630

From my list on French wine, history, and culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I knew nothing about wine and drank it only rarely until I went to Paris as a graduate student in the 1970s. Even then, I couldn’t afford more than basic plonk. It was not until I started doing research in Dijon every summer in the 1980s, making great friends in the process, eating and drinking at their dining tables, and visiting their favorite vignerons with them for dégustations, that I began to appreciate wine, not just as a fantastic beverage, but as a social and cultural creator. And as a historian, I appreciate that drinking wine that comes from vineyards planted in the Middle Ages connects us with our ancestors in the past.

Mack's book list on French wine, history, and culture

Mack P. Holt Why did Mack love this book?

This is the best general survey of French wine in English, from someone who not only teaches the history of modern France at his local university, but who also reviews and writes about wine for his city’s newspaper. As both an academic historian and a journalist, Phillips has written a riveting account of how wine was first introduced to France under the Romans, how many of the vineyards later came under the control of the Catholic church in the Middle Ages, how the French state attempted to control and regulate the production of wine in the nineteenth-century, and how smaller wineries are now trying to cope with the global commercialization of the wine industry. Just a great primer on French wine.

By Rod Phillips,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked French Wine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For centuries, wine has been associated with France more than with any other country. France remains one of the world's leading wine producers by volume and enjoys unrivalled cultural recognition for its wine. If any wine regions are global household names, they are French regions such as Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. Within the wine world, products from French regions are still benchmarks for many wines. French Wine is the first synthetic history of wine in France: from Etruscan, Greek, and Roman imports and the adoption of wine by beer-drinking Gauls to its present status within the global marketplace. Rod Phillips…


Book cover of Puligny-Montrachet : Journal of a Village in Burgundy

Mack P. Holt Author Of The Politics of Wine in Early Modern France: Religion and Popular Culture in Burgundy, 1477-1630

From my list on French wine, history, and culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I knew nothing about wine and drank it only rarely until I went to Paris as a graduate student in the 1970s. Even then, I couldn’t afford more than basic plonk. It was not until I started doing research in Dijon every summer in the 1980s, making great friends in the process, eating and drinking at their dining tables, and visiting their favorite vignerons with them for dégustations, that I began to appreciate wine, not just as a fantastic beverage, but as a social and cultural creator. And as a historian, I appreciate that drinking wine that comes from vineyards planted in the Middle Ages connects us with our ancestors in the past.

Mack's book list on French wine, history, and culture

Mack P. Holt Why did Mack love this book?

If terroir is about place, Loftus shows us one particular place in rural Burgundy, and especially the people living there who grow the grapes and make the wine. These vignerons help us understand that good wine is made in the vineyard, not through any manipulation after the harvest in a fermentation tank or oak barrel. Loftus also shows how wine influences local politics, as in 1879 when the village elders petitioned the French government to add the name of their most famous vineyard—Montrachet—to the name of their town, Puligny, thus allowing their Grand Cru vineyard name to appear on the label of humbler bottles bearing just the village name, following in the footsteps of Nuits-St. Georges, Chambolle-Musigny, Aloxe-Corton, and dozens of other Burgundian villages.

By Simon Loftus,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Puligny-Montrachet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The sleepy village of Puligny-Montrachet produces the greatest white wines in Burgundy, famous throughout the world, but the place itself is unknown to outsiders. The lives of its inhabitants are shaped by the rhythms of the agricultural year, punctuated by the intense activity of the harvest, when the noise of tractors echoes down the narrow streets as the grapes are carried to the cellars.

This vivid and evocative journal of everyday life in rural France takes us through the cycle of the seasons, from the bonfires of the winter prunings to the celebrations of the feast of St Vincent. We…


Book cover of Wine Drinking Culture in France: A National Myth or a Modern Passion?

Mack P. Holt Author Of The Politics of Wine in Early Modern France: Religion and Popular Culture in Burgundy, 1477-1630

From my list on French wine, history, and culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I knew nothing about wine and drank it only rarely until I went to Paris as a graduate student in the 1970s. Even then, I couldn’t afford more than basic plonk. It was not until I started doing research in Dijon every summer in the 1980s, making great friends in the process, eating and drinking at their dining tables, and visiting their favorite vignerons with them for dégustations, that I began to appreciate wine, not just as a fantastic beverage, but as a social and cultural creator. And as a historian, I appreciate that drinking wine that comes from vineyards planted in the Middle Ages connects us with our ancestors in the past.

Mack's book list on French wine, history, and culture

Mack P. Holt Why did Mack love this book?

At some basic level, the drinking culture in eighteenth-century taverns has survived in Parisian wine bars and cafés today. Yet, as a social anthropologist, Demossier shows us that wine-drinking culture has changed into something different today. Since 1980 the number of French people who drank wine every day has plummeted from over 50 percent to barely 20 percent. Yet at the same time, wine has taken on a larger cultural role in French identity as a nation even for those who drink wine less regularly. All the TV programs, books, wine blogs, wine tourism, and consumers flocking to wineries for a degustation at the source demonstrate that drinking wine is now as much a part of what it means to be French as speaking French.

By Marion Demossier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wine Drinking Culture in France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book provides a new interpretation of the relationship between consumption, drinking culture, memory and cultural identity in an age of rapid political and economic change. Using France as a case-study it explores the construction of a national drinking culture -the myths, symbols and practices surrounding it- and then through a multisited ethnography of wine consumption demonstrates how that culture is in the process of being transformed. Wine drinking culture in France has traditionally been a source of pride for the French and in an age of concerns about the dangers of 'binge-drinking', a major cause of jealousy for the…


Book cover of The Botanist and the Vintner: How Wine Was Saved for the World

Steven Laine Author Of Root Cause

From my list on on wine history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have visited all the major wine regions since I developed my passion for wine as a Sommelier and Beverage Director in luxury hotels in London and around the world. To learn more about wine, I studied to become a French, Italian, and Spanish Wine Scholar, joined the Champagne Academy in France, and recently completed a two-year Diploma in Wine at the WSET School in London. I’ve also worked two harvests as a winemaker at Mission Hill Winery in British Columbia in 2020 and Trius Winery in Niagara, Ontario in 2021. My novels are inspired by my studies, work experience, and travels through the world’s best wine regions.

Steven's book list on on wine history

Steven Laine Why did Steven love this book?

I first read this incredible book based on real events following a California winemaker friend's recommendation. I was immediately captured by this true story that reads like a modern-day thriller and details the sudden rise, devastating spread, and unlikely solution to halting the world-conquering, grapevine-killing aphid phylloxera. No other event in winemaking history has so profoundly impacted the history and modern-day status of viticulture and viniculture worldwide.

The impacts of phylloxera echo through to this day in the grapes that are grown in vineyards and the wine in our bottles. I loved this book for its detailed exploration of wine history and its breathless retelling of science versus superstition. Much like the recent debates surrounding the origins, spread, and prevention of COVID-19, this book tells an eerily similar tale of man versus nature and the battle of arguments on both sides of a global pandemic.

By Christy Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Botanist and the Vintner as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the mid-1860s, grapevines in southeastern France inexplicably began to wither and die. Jules-Émile Planchon, a botanist from Montpellier, was sent to investigate. He discovered that the vine roots were covered in microscopic yellow insects. What they were and where they had come from was a mystery. The infestation advanced with the relentlessness of an invading army and within a few years had spread across Europe, from Portugal to the Crimea. The wine industry was on the brink of disaster. The French government offered a prize of three hundred thousand gold francs for a remedy. Planchon believed he had the…


Book cover of Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours

Ian Tattersall Author Of A Natural History of Wine

From my list on the joys of alcoholic beverages.

Why are we passionate about this?

Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle are both curators at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  Rob is a molecular systematist who has done research on everything from fruit fly diversity to human language, and Ian is a specialist in the study of human evolution and primates. They have collaborated on several exhibition projects, including the American Museum’s Spitzer Hall of Human Origins, and have written several books together, including the trilogy we are featuring here.

Ian's book list on the joys of alcoholic beverages

Ian Tattersall Why did Ian love this book?

This enormous volume is not for the faint of heart – or for the thin of wallet – but it is the most comprehensive account available of the many hundreds of different grape varieties that are made into wine. It is the varietal that makes the greatest contribution to the characteristics of each wine and that helps make each bottle you open distinctive, and Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vuillamoz profile nearly 1,400 grape varieties providing descriptions and thumbnail histories and the latest DNA-based conclusions on how they are all related. If this book does not start you thirsting to open a Graševina, a Nosiola, or a Tribidrag at the earliest opportunity, nothing will!

By Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, Jose Vouillamoz

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wine Grapes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An indispensable book for every wine lover, from some of the world's greatest experts.

Where do wine grapes come from and how are they related to each other? What is the historical background of each grape variety? Where are they grown? What sort of wines do they make and, most importantly, what do they taste like?

Using the most cutting-edge DNA analysis and detailing almost 1,400 distinct grape varieties, as well as myriad correct (and highlighting almost as many incorrect) synonyms, this particularly beautiful book includes revelatory grape family trees, and a rich variety of illustrations from Viala and Vermorel's…


Book cover of Roadside Geology of Oregon

Emily Hoff and Maygen Keller Author Of Scenic Science of the National Parks: An Explorer's Guide to Wildlife, Geology, and Botany

From my list on exploring the National Parks without Roosevelt, Mather, and Muir.

Why are we passionate about this?

Nature enthusiasts, David Attenborough superfans, and the best campsite hot toddy makers you’ll ever encounter… We’re best friends who have been traveling through national parks together for millenia. During our travels, we’ve developed our own style of tourism based on science and following our curiosity. We’ve hiked with paleontologists, asked renowned scientists ridiculous questions about which prehistoric creature they’d want for a pet, and introduced a parks astronomer/pilot/ER doctor to bourbon. In 2023, we released National Parks Trivia: A Card Game so that when you’re done hiking around with our first book, you have something to keep you entertained at the campsite all evening long. 

Emily's book list on exploring the National Parks without Roosevelt, Mather, and Muir

Emily Hoff and Maygen Keller Why did Emily love this book?

If you’re taking a road trip through any of the fifty states, you’ll want to grab the relevant copies of the Roadside Geology series. It’s especially fun to read aloud in the car as the geology flies by your window.

We’re highlighting Oregon here because it’s by badass author, geologist, and photographer Marli Miller, but the whole series is gold. One favorite memory from our 2018 book-writing research trip: this guide helped us spot the very impressive band of ash from the Crater Lake (Mount Mazama) Eruption in a road cut on the highway south of the park. 

By Marli B Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roadside Geology of Oregon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the first edition of Roadside Geology of Oregon was published in 1978, it was revolutionary�the first book in a series designed to educate, inspire, and wow nongeologists. Back then, the implications of plate tectonic theory were only beginning to shape geologic research and discussion. Geologists hadn�t yet learned that Oregon�s Klamath and Blue Mountains were pieces of far-traveled island arcs and ocean basins that had been piled against the growing North American continent. Steaming volcanoes, ghost forests, recent landslides, and towns heated with geothermal energy attest to Oregon�s still-prominent position at the edge of an active tectonic plate.
Author,…


Book cover of The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology

Sam L. Pfiester Author Of Solomon's Temple: Musjid-i-Suleiman

From my list on earth history.

Why am I passionate about this?

For most of my career as an oil explorationist I have worked with geologists, an exceptional group of men and women who, from observing earth’s surface as it is configured today, can decipher earth’s history. By understanding how rocks were originally formed and how in subsequent millennia rocks have been buried, transported warped, eroded, re-deposited, and altered by high pressures, high temperatures, hot water, and all the tectonic forces of nature that have formed the surface as we see it today, they believe, really believe, that they can visualize the subsurface.  It’s a fascinating four-dimensional detective story. 

Sam's book list on earth history

Sam L. Pfiester Why did Sam love this book?

Winchester’s book is a biography of William Smith, the orphaned son of a village blacksmith. It is the story of one man’s passion, triumph, and tragedy. In his youth Smith was engaged in digging canals in England. Through careful observation of the fossils, he was the first to document the sequential layers of earth’s history. His geologic map, completed in 1815, heralded the beginning of a new science, the science of geology. 

By Simon Winchester,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Map That Changed the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE EXTRAORDINARY TALE OF THE FATHER OF MODERN GEOLOGY

Hidden behind velvet curtains above a stairway in a house in London's Piccadilly is an enormous and beautiful hand-coloured map - the first geological map of anywhere in the world. Its maker was a farmer's son named William Smith. Born in 1769 his life was troubled: he was imprisoned for debt, turned out of his home, his work was plagiarised, his wife went insane and the scientific establishment shunned him.

It was not until 1829, when a Yorkshire aristocrat recognised his genius, that he was returned to London in triumph: The…


Book cover of Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park

Elizabeth Wenk Author Of John Muir Trail: The Essential Guide to Hiking America's Most Famous Trail

From my list on the High Sierra.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hiking in the Sierra has been equal parts recreation and profession since I’ve been an adult. I’ve worked for the concessionaire in Yosemite Valley, surveyed lakes for rare amphibians, completed a PhD on alpine plants, and, over the past 15 years, written nine books on the Sierra Nevada. I continue to spend every summer obsessively exploring its trails, peaks, and remote lake basins, always excited to see a new view, find a rare flower, or simply see a favorite place in a new light. The rest of the year is spent writing—and reading what others have written, broadening my knowledge about my favorite place on Earth before I set out on the next summer’s adventures.

Elizabeth's book list on the High Sierra

Elizabeth Wenk Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Every step in the Sierra leads you across landscapes shaped by a succession of geologic eventsoverwhelming to comprehend at times. I’ve read and reread this book because it describes not just what you see, but explains, in approachable language, the processes that led to the rocks you see. The book is comprised of as series of vignettes, each focused on a different rock outcrop, formed through a unique process at a particular moment in the Sierra’s geologic history. 

By Allen F. Glazner, Greg M. Stock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few places in the nation rival Yosemite National Park for vertigo-inducing cliffs, plunging waterfalls, and stunning panoramic views of granite peaks. Many of the features that visitors find most tantalizing about Yosemite have unique and compelling geologic stories�tales that continue to unfold today in vivid, often destructive ways. While visiting more than twenty-seven amazing sites, you�ll discover why many of Yosemite�s domes shed rock shells like onion layers, what happens when a volcano erupts under a glacial lake, and why rocks seem to be almost continually tumbling from the region�s cliffs. With a multitude of colorful photos and illustrations, and…


Book cover of Annals of the Former World

Brian Villmoare Author Of The Evolution of Everything: The Patterns and Causes of Big History

From my list on former English majors who like science.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a college professor and paleoanthropologist–I study human fossils and the evolution of the human lineage. My field site is in the Afar region of Ethiopia, and I regularly spend a month or so wandering across the desert, picking up fossils. I view myself very much as a scientist and believe that the scientific view is the most reliable in some important ways. However, I came to science fairly late in life–I was an undergraduate philosophy and English literature student and didn’t go to graduate school until I was 30. Because of my liberal arts background, I have always felt it was important to bridge the science-humanities divide. 

Brian's book list on former English majors who like science

Brian Villmoare Why did Brian love this book?

Geology can be a tough sell for the popular science audience. It can seem boringly commonplace yet remote in relevance to our day-to-day lives. But it is probably the most important science for understanding how and where we live.

In this beautifully written compilation, McPhee drives across North America, generally in the company of a local geologist, exploring the deep past and our modern relationship with it through roadcuts, quarries, eroded exposures, volcanoes, and mountains pushing up through the sediments.

McPhee is a New Yorker writer, with all that implies–his work is meticulously written, detailed, and literary. This book is simply a visceral pleasure to read–I recommend you find a hammock and a few days.

By John McPhee,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Annals of the Former World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Pulitzer Prize-winning view of the continent, across the fortieth parallel and down through 4.6 billion years

Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States, he planned to describe a cross section of North America at about the fortieth parallel and, in the process, come to an understanding not only of the science but of the style of the geologists he traveled with. The structure of the book never changed, but its breadth caused him to complete it in stages, under the overall title Annals of the Former World.

Like the terrain…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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