While Australia has a large library of wine reference books, New Zealand has been rather less well served until the release of this work by eminent geographer Warren Moran.
Surprisingly, Moran is not a full-time wine writer, but rather professor emeritus at Auckland University, although he has written about both rural industries and wine for several decades.
New Zealand Wine, the Land, the Vines, the People, is published on December 1, making it an excellent Christmas present for any lover of vinous product from the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Moran is of a vintage that has enabled him to follow the New Zealand wine industry from small beginnings 50+ years ago to a major global player right now.
He is able to tell an educated tale of the growth of regions such as Auckland, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, the Wairarapa, Canterbury and Central Otago, as well as the behemoth that Marlborough has become.
His book is illustrated not only by some spectacular photographs but also by a range of very interesting maps and charts. This is both a scholarly work and a darn good read.
New Zealand Wine is a coffee table book that also serves as a valuable source of information. Moran's stories on the birth of the New Zealand industry are particularly fascinating.
New Zealand Wine, The Land, the Vines, the People is published by Hardie Grant Books on December 1 for $75.