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by Fred McMillin
for December 2000

Grape Guru David P. Jones

Grape Guru David P. Jones.

110. Xmas—Give a Wine Event!



A Christmas gift of a wine course was explored in the first December Annex article. This second article suggests giving a Wine Event as a gift.


Shoot The Works

If you are in, or will be in northern California, David P. Jones of Wine Works is our choice to conduct a wine event, such as a tour or a tasting.

A native San Franciscan with two degrees in geography from the University of California at Berkeley, Dave teaches, tours, and writes about the grape. Here's a sampling of his words.

Horror Story—Baron Philippe Rothschild personally gave Art Buchwald a treasured case of his 1959 Mouton. One night he returned home to find the remaining bottles empty! His daughter and friends had consumed them because they couldn't find what they preferred, a chilled, inexpensive white wine like Blue Nun!

Horror Story—One acre of undeveloped land in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley was recently sold to a vintner for one hundred thousand dollars! [In contrast, 150 years ago the Korbel brothers bought their land for 35 cents an acre!]

Merlot Mania—In a recent Jones' tasting of $25 to $75 Merlots, the winner was "dark, brooding...a dried-herb edge in the nose...massively-structured powerhouse. Drink from 2002 to 2012." I quote the words as an example of what you can learn in a Jones' wine program.

Oh yes, that wine: Ridge Merlot, Monte Bello Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains, California, $40.

Sonoma's Not in a Coma—Sonoma vineyard acreage now surpasses that of Napa, 43,314 to 37,486.

Personality—I'm sure we've all known persons of great knowlege who can't convey it. On the other end of the scale, I've done programs with marvelous communicators, including Robert Mondavi and James Beard. Dave Jones reminds me a bit of Mondavi...they both have a contagious enthusiasm that produces an exciting evening.

Contact - David P. Jones, Wine Works, #8 Bob Kaufman Alley, San Francisco, CA. 94133, phone (415) 421-5797, FAX (415) 421-4167,


Geography and Enology - We mentioned Dave's degrees in geography. That discipline seems to stimulate an interest in the grape. Examples:

Professor of Geography, University of Miami, Harm Jan de Blij. Author of Wine, A Geographic Appreciation and Wine Regions of South America.

Professor of Geography, University of London,Tim Unwin. Author of Wine and The Vine, An Historical Geography of Viticulture.

Professor of Geography, East Stroudburg University (A state university of Pennsylvania), John J. Baxevanis. Author of The Wine Regions of America, Geographical Reflections and Appraisals.

And as far as Cal-Berkeley Geography grads, there's another one with a grape connection. His first name is John and in 1983 in Mendocino County he founded the sparkling winery that bore his name, Scharffenberger Cellars!


This page created December 2000