This volume has been written and edited to be accessible to a wide range of interests and expertise including academic biologists, urban ecologists, landscape architects, planners, urban designers, undergraduates, other students and people with a general interest in natural history (especially cities) – not only in Europe but throughout the world.
Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs—but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.
This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology—with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners—will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.
In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant—though this time the obsessions revolves around the intoxicating effects of marijuana rather than the visual beauty of the tulip. How could flowers, of all things, become such objects of desire that they can drive men to financial ruin?
In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds’s most basic yearnings—and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we’ve benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?
Weaving fascinating anecdotes and accessible science into gorgeous prose, Pollan takes us on an absorbing journey that will change the way we think about our place in nature.
From the Hardcover edition.
Horowitz introduces the reader to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive abilities and then draws a picture of what it might be like to be a dog. What’s it like to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also to smell sadness in humans, or even the passage of time? How does a tiny dog manage to play successfully with a Great Dane? What is it like to hear the bodily vibrations of insects or the hum of a fluorescent light? Why must a person on a bicycle be chased? What’s it like to use your mouth as a hand? In short, what is it like for a dog to experience life from two feet off the ground, amidst the smells of the sidewalk, gazing at our ankles or knees?
Inside of a Dog explains these things and much more. The answers can be surprising—once we set aside our natural inclination to anthropomorphize dogs. Inside of a Dog also contains up-to-the-minute research—on dogs’ detection of disease, the secrets of their tails, and their skill at reading our attention—that Horowitz puts into useful context. Although not a formal training guide, Inside of a Dog has practical application for dog lovers interested in understanding why their dogs do what they do. With a light touch and the weight of science behind her, Alexandra Horowitz examines the animal we think we know best but may actually understand the least. This book is as close as you can get to knowing about dogs without being a dog yourself.
Anarchy Evolution is a provocative look at the collision between religion and science, by an author with unique authority: UCLA lecturer in Paleontology, and founding member of Bad Religion, Greg Graffin. Alongside science writer Steve Olson (whose Mapping Human History was a National Book Award finalist) Graffin delivers a powerful discussion sure to strike a chord with readers of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion or Christopher Hitchens God Is Not Great. Bad Religion die-hards, newer fans won over during the band’s 30th Anniversary Tour, and anyone interested in this increasingly important debate should check out this treatise on science from the god of punk rock.
If chaos theory transformed our view of the universe, biomimicry is transforming our life on Earth. Biomimicry is innovation inspired by nature – taking advantage of evolution’s 3.8 billion years of R&D since the first bacteria. Biomimics study nature’s best ideas: photosynthesis, brain power, and shells – and adapt them for human use. They are revolutionising how we invent, compute, heal ourselves, harness energy, repair the environment, and feed the world.
Science writer and lecturer Janine Benyus names and explains this phenomenon. She takes us into the lab and out in the field with cutting-edge researchers as they stir vats of proteins to unleash their computing power; analyse how electrons zipping around a leaf cell convert sunlight into fuel in trillionths of a second; discover miracle drugs by watching what chimps eat when they’re sick; study the hardy prairie as a model for low-maintenance agriculture; and more.
This remarkable medical parallel launched Natterson-Horowitz on a journey of discovery that reshaped her entire approach to medicine. She began to search for other connections between the human and animal worlds: Do animals get breast cancer, anxiety-induced fainting spells, sexually transmitted diseases? Do they suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia, addiction?
The answers were astonishing. Dinosaurs suffered from brain cancer. Koalas catch chlamydia. Reindeer seek narcotic escape in hallucinogenic mushrooms. Stallions self-mutilate. Gorillas experience clinical depression.
Joining forces with science journalist Kathryn Bowers, Natterson-Horowitz employs fascinating case studies and meticulous scholarship to present a revelatory understanding of what animals can teach us about the human body and mind. “Zoobiquity” is the term the authors have coined to refer to a new, species-spanning approach to health. Delving into evolution, anthropology, sociology, biology, veterinary science, and zoology, they break down the walls between disciplines, redefining the boundaries of medicine.
Zoobiquity explores how animal and human commonality can be used to diagnose, treat, and heal patients of all species. Both authoritative and accessible, offering cutting-edge research through captivating narratives, this provocative book encourages us to see our essential connection to all living beings.
Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.
As development and subsequent habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. But there is an important and simple step toward reversing this alarming trend: Everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity. There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife—native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife is in crisis and may be headed toward extinction.
Bringing Nature Home has sparked a national conversation about the link between healthy local ecosystems and human well-being, and the new paperback edition—with an expanded resource section and updated photos—will help broaden the movement. By acting on Douglas Tallamy's practical recommendations, everyone can make a difference.
What separates your mind from an animal’s? Maybe you think it’s your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future—all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet’s preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have eroded, or even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition. Take the way octopuses use coconut shells as tools; elephants that classify humans by age, gender, and language; or Ayumu, the young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University whose flash memory puts that of humans to shame. Based on research involving crows, dolphins, parrots, sheep, wasps, bats, whales, and of course chimpanzees and bonobos, Frans de Waal explores both the scope and the depth of animal intelligence. He offers a firsthand account of how science has stood traditional behaviorism on its head by revealing how smart animals really are, and how we’ve underestimated their abilities for too long.
People often assume a cognitive ladder, from lower to higher forms, with our own intelligence at the top. But what if it is more like a bush, with cognition taking different forms that are often incomparable to ours? Would you presume yourself dumber than a squirrel because you’re less adept at recalling the locations of hundreds of buried acorns? Or would you judge your perception of your surroundings as more sophisticated than that of a echolocating bat? De Waal reviews the rise and fall of the mechanistic view of animals and opens our minds to the idea that animal minds are far more intricate and complex than we have assumed. De Waal’s landmark work will convince you to rethink everything you thought you knew about animal—and human—intelligence.
"The most scientifically important dog in over a century." —Brian Hare
Chaser has fascinated dog lovers and scientists alike. Her story reveals the potential for taking out dialogue with dogs well beyond "fetch." When retired psychology professor John Pilley first got his new Border collie puppy, Chaser, he wanted to explore the boundaries of language learning and communication between humans and man's best friend. Exhibiting intelligence previously thought impossible in dogs, Chaser soon learned the names of more than a thousand toys and sentences with multiple elements of grammar. Chaser's accomplishments are revolutionizing the way we think about the intelligence of animals. John and Chaser's inspiring journey demonstrates the power of learning through play and opens our eyes to the boundless potential in the animals we love.
IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites are masters of chemical warfare and camouflage, able to cloak themselves with their hosts' own molecules.
IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE parasites steer the course of evolution, where the majority of species are parasites.
WELCOME TO EARTH.
For centuries, parasites have lived in nightmares, horror stories, and in the darkest shadows of science. Yet these creatures are among the world's most successful and sophisticated organisms. In Parasite Rex, Carl Zimmer deftly balances the scientific and the disgusting as he takes readers on a fantastic voyage. Traveling from the steamy jungles of Costa Rica to the fetid parasite haven of southern Sudan, Zimmer graphically brings to life how parasites can change DNA, rewire the brain, make men more distrustful and women more outgoing, and turn hosts into the living dead.
This thorough, gracefully written book brings parasites out into the open and uncovers what they can teach us about the most fundamental survival tactics in the universe.
The book is in two parts: Pictorial Keys and Master Pages. The Keys are designed for easy visual comparison of details which look alike, narrowing the identification of a tree to one of a small group -- the family or genus.
Then, in the Master Pages, the species of the tree is determined, with similar details placed together to highlight differences within the family group, thus eliminating all other possibilities. The details of the Oak trees on this plate are an example of the system.
All of the more than 1500 photographs were made specifically for use in this book and were taken either in the field or of carefully collected specimens. Where possible, details such as leaves, fruit, etc., appear in actual size, or in the same scale.
For the first time, the University of California Press is offering this resource as an e-book. The Digital Jepson Manual provides an unparalleled new level of interactivity, portability, and convenience. Extensive linking and e-book–friendly illustrations make it easier for users to learn about plant characteristics and identify the native and naturalized plants of California—all in a format ideally suited for use in the field. Using readily available e-book readers, field researchers, students, and enthusiasts can click on links to rapidly navigate through keys to families, genera, species, and subspecies or varieties. Specific features of The Digital Jepson Manual include the following:
—Keys link forward and backward to other taxonomic levels.
—Plate references in taxonomic treatments link to plates for rapid reference.
—Plate captions link to taxonomic treatments.
—Individual taxon figures appear next to species descriptions, and full plates are gathered in a special section.
—Glossary terms link to any relevant illustrations.
—List of families links each family to its taxonomic treatment.
—Index is fully linked to taxonomic treatments.
Optimal devices: iPad, Kindle Fire (but only after conversion)
Will also work on: Computers, Barnes and Noble Nook, Kindle (after conversion)
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the coasts of Indonesia to the rainforests of Peru, venomous animals are everywhere—and often lurking out of sight. Humans have feared them for centuries, long considering them the assassins and pariahs of the natural world.
Now, in Venomous, the biologist Christie Wilcox investigates and illuminates the animals of our nightmares, arguing that they hold the keys to a deeper understanding of evolution, adaptation, and immunity. She reveals just how venoms function and what they do to the human body. With Wilcox as our guide, we encounter a jellyfish with tentacles covered in stinging cells that can kill humans in minutes; a two-inch caterpillar with toxic bristles that trigger hemorrhaging; and a stunning blue-ringed octopus capable of inducing total paralysis. How do these animals go about their deadly work? How did they develop such intricate, potent toxins? Wilcox takes us around the world and down to the cellular level to find out.
Throughout her journey, Wilcox meets the intrepid scientists who risk their lives studying these lethal beasts, as well as “self-immunizers” who deliberately expose themselves to snakebites. Along the way, she puts her own life on the line, narrowly avoiding being envenomated herself. Drawing on her own research, Wilcox explains how venom scientists are untangling the mechanisms of some of our most devastating diseases, and reports on pharmacologists who are already exploiting venoms to produce lifesaving drugs. We discover that venomous creatures are in fact keystone species that play crucial roles in their ecosystems and ours—and for this alone, they ought to be protected and appreciated.
Thrilling and surprising at every turn, Venomous will change everything you thought you knew about the planet’s most dangerous animals.
Read an Interview with Dr. Resh here
With Dr. Howard Resh’s help, you’ll learn:
Background information on how hydroponics evolved The nutritional and environmental demands of plants and how to control these factors How to provide formulations of nutrients optimal to the plants you wish to grow The many different hydroponic systems you can purchase or build for yourself Designs for different types of greenhouses with components to fit your personal taste and budget Crop selection and step-by-step procedures, including seeding, transplanting, training, pest and disease control, and harvesting—along with when to plant and when to change crops How you can grow microgreens on your kitchen counter
The book includes an appendix with sources of seeds and other supplies, along with helpful websites and lists of books, articles, and conferences on growing hydroponically and caring for your crops. By following the guidelines in this book, you’ll understand everything you need to know to get your home-growing operation up and running in no time.
From Russia to Bengal to Palm Beach, Randall Packard’s far-ranging narrative traces the natural and social forces that help malaria spread and make it deadly. He finds that war, land development, crumbling health systems, and globalization—coupled with climate change and changes in the distribution and flow of water—create conditions in which malaria's carrier mosquitoes thrive. The combination of these forces, Packard contends, makes the tropical regions today a perfect home for the disease.
Authoritative, fascinating, and eye-opening, this short history of malaria concludes with policy recommendations for improving control strategies and saving lives.
Published by Teton New Media in the USA and distributed by Manson Publishing outside of North America.
Much has been written about global warming, but the crucial relationship between people and ice has received little focus—until now. As one of the world’s leading experts on climate change, Henry Pollack provides an accessible, comprehensive survey of ice as a force of nature, and the potential consequences as we face the possibility of a world without ice.
A World Without Ice traces the effect of mountain glaciers on supplies of drinking water and agricultural irrigation, as well as the current results of melting permafrost and shrinking Arctic sea ice—a situation that has degraded the habitat of numerous animals and sparked an international race for seabed oil and minerals. Catastrophic possibilities loom, including rising sea levels and subsequent flooding of lowlying regions worldwide, and the ultimate displacement of millions of coastal residents. A World Without Ice answers our most urgent questions about this pending crisis, laying out the necessary steps for managing the unavoidable and avoiding the unmanageable.
Animals Make Us Human is the culmination of almost thirty years of research, experimentation, and experience. This is essential reading for anyone who’s ever owned, cared for, or simply cared about an animal.
Whole Heart, Whole Horse focuses on this idea, covering such subjects as gathering information from the horse, turning rider/trainer mistakes into positive experiences, developing realistic boundaries between you and your horse, understanding how and why horses release energy from real or perceived traumas, and reaching a comfortable balance point between horse and rider. Rashid analyzes developing softness, consistency, dependability, trust, and peace of mind in both horses and humans, as well as how to become a leader whom your horse will willingly want to follow and work with.
Full of examples that extend beyond the training pen, Whole Heart, Whole Horse offers good sense and information that will make you a more astute, capable, and sensitive horseman and person.
Employment of biological scientists is projected to grow 21% over the next decade, much faster than the average for all occupations, as biotechnological research and development continues to drive job growth.
Botany For Dummies gives you a thorough, easy-to-follow overview of the fundamentals of botany, helping you to improve your grades, supplement your learning, or review before a test.Covers evolution by natural selection Offers plain-English explanations of the structure and function of plants Includes plant identification and botanical phenomenon
Tracking a typical course in botany, this hands-on, friendly guide is your ticket to acing this required course for your major in biology, microbiology, zoology, or elementary education.
In the late spring and early summer, as a bee colony becomes overcrowded, a third of the hive stays behind and rears a new queen, while a swarm of thousands departs with the old queen to produce a daughter colony. Seeley describes how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together--as a swirling cloud of bees--to their new home. Seeley investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years, and he considers similarities between the ways that bee swarms and primate brains process information. He concludes that what works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader's influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution.
An impressive exploration of animal behavior, Honeybee Democracy shows that decision-making groups, whether honeybee or human, can be smarter than even the smartest individuals in them.
There are close to 5,500 species in the class Mammalia, including the blue whale—the largest animal that has ever lived—and the pygmy shrew, which weighs little more than a penny. The functional diversity of mammals has allowed them to play critical roles in every ecosystem, whether marine, freshwater, alpine, tundra, forest, or desert.
Many mammal species are critically endangered and present complex conservation and management challenges. This book touches on those challenges, which are often precipitated by overharvesting and habitat loss, as well as emerging threats, such as the impact of wind turbines and white nose syndrome on bats and chronic wasting disease on deer.
Among the updates and additions to the fourth edition of Mammalogy are numerous new photos, figures, and cladograms, over 4,200 references, as well as
• A completely new chapter on mammalian phylogeny and genomics• Current taxonomy—including major changes to orders, suborders, and superfamilies of bats and rodents• An explanation of the recent inclusion of whales with terrestrial even-toed ungulates• Updates on mammalian structural, functional adaptations, and fossil history• recent advances in our understanding of phylogeny, biogeography, social behavior, and ecology• A discussion of two new orders and thirteen newly recognized extant families • Reflections on the implications of climate change for mammals• Thorough examinations of several recently described species, including Durrell’s vontsira ( Salanoia durrelli) and the Laotian rock rat ( Laonastes aenigmamus)• An explanation of mammalian biomechanics, such as that seen in lunge feeding of baleen whales• Breakout boxes on unique aspects of mammals, including the syntax of bat songs, singing mice, and why there are no green mammals (unless we count algae-covered sloths) Maintaining the accessible, readable style for which Feldhamer and his coauthors are well known, this new edition of Mammalogy is the authoritative textbook on this amazingly diverse class of vertebrates.
Salvage Logging and Its Ecological Consequences brings together three leading experts on forest ecology to explore a wide range of issues surrounding the practice of salvage logging. They gather and synthesize the latest research and information about its economic and ecological costs and benefits, and consider the impacts of salvage logging on ecosystem processes and biodiversity. The book examines
• what salvage logging is and why it is controversial
• natural and human disturbance regimes in forested ecosystems
• differences between salvage harvesting and traditional timber harvesting
• scientifically documented ecological impacts of salvage operations
• the importance of land management objectives in determining appropriate post-disturbance interventions
Brief case studies from around the world highlight a variety of projects, including operations that have followed wildfires, storms, volcanic eruptions, and insect infestations. In the final chapter, the authors discuss policy management implications and offer prescriptions for mitigating the impacts of future salvage harvesting efforts.
Salvage Logging and Its Ecological Consequences is a “must-read” volume for policymakers, students, academics, practitioners, and professionals involved in all aspects of forest management, natural resource planning, and forest conservation.
Following a brief description of the biomechanics of the muscles underlying equine movement, the book discusses the muscles of the forelimb, hindlimb, and neck and trunk. These fundamentals have direct bearing on the later chapters, which focus on training and the core exercises for a horse.
This text is illustrated throughout by the author’s top-quality photographs, diagrams, and his own beautiful anatomical drawings. The book is of lasting value to all professionals and well-informed amateurs who work with horses: veterinarians, trainers and riders, researchers, physical therapists, and educators in equine courses.
See what's new in the Second Edition:
Marine mammals as sentinels of ocean health
Emerging and resurging diseases
Thorough revision of the Immunology chapter
Diagnostic imaging chapters to illustrate new techniques
Quick reference for venipuncture sites in many marine mammals
Unusual mortality events and mass strandings
New topics such as a chapter on careers
Wider scope of coverage including species outside of the United States and Canada
Filled with captivating illustrations and photographs, the Handbook guides you through the natural history of cetaceans, pinnipeds, manatees, sea otters, and polar bears. Prepared in a convenient, easy-to-use format, it is designed specifically for use in the field. Covering more than 40 topics, this one-of-a-kind reference is packed with data. The comprehensive compilation of information includes medicine, surgery, pathology, physiology, husbandry, feeding and housing, with special attention to strandings and rehabilitation. The CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine, Second Edition is still a must for anyone interested in marine mammals.
In this second edition, the author includes greatly expanded treatments of families of lycophytes, ferns, gymnosperms, and flowering plants (all with full-color plates), a new chapter on species concepts and the role of systematics in conservation biology, and a new appendix summarizing basic statistical and morphometric techniques used in plant systematics studies. An explanation of maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference algorithms is included in methods of phylogenetic inference, and chapters on morphology and plant nomenclature have been augmented with new material.
The second edition of Plant Systematics has been expanded to include:
* Fifteen fern families, 9 gymnosperm families, and an increase of angiosperm family treatments from 100 to 129. Each family description includes a plate of full color photographs, illustrating exemplars of the group along with dissected and labeled material to show diagnostic features.
* A new chapter on species concepts and the role and impact of plant systematics in conservation biology.
* A new appendix on statistical and morphometric techniques in plant systematics.
* In addition, the second edition contains more detailed explanations of maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogeny inference methods, an expanded coverage and glossary of morphological terms, and an updated chapter on botanical nomenclature.
Stephen Simpson and David Raubenheimer provide a comprehensive theoretical approach to the analysis of nutrition--the Geometric Framework. They show how it can help us to understand the links between nutrition and the biology of individual animals, including the physiological mechanisms that determine the nutritional interactions of the animal with its environment, and the consequences of these interactions in terms of health, immune responses, and lifespan. Simpson and Raubenheimer explain how these effects translate into the collective behavior of groups and societies, and in turn influence food webs and the structure of ecosystems. Then they demonstrate how the Geometric Framework can be used to tackle issues in applied nutrition, such as the problem of optimizing diets for livestock and endangered species, and how it can also help to address the epidemic of human obesity and metabolic disease.
Drawing on a wealth of examples from slime molds to humans, The Nature of Nutrition has important applications in ecology, evolution, and physiology, and offers promising solutions for human health, conservation, and agriculture.
With The Book of Barely Imagined Beings, Caspar Henderson offers readers a fascinating, beautifully produced modern-day menagerie. But whereas medieval bestiaries were often based on folklore and myth, the creatures that abound in Henderson’s book—from the axolotl to the zebrafish—are, with one exception, very much with us, albeit sometimes in depleted numbers. The Book of Barely Imagined Beings transports readers to a world of real creatures that seem as if they should be made up—that are somehow more astonishing than anything we might have imagined. The yeti crab, for example, uses its furry claws to farm the bacteria on which it feeds. The waterbear, meanwhile, is among nature’s “extreme survivors,” able to withstand a week unprotected in outer space. These and other strange and surprising species invite readers to reflect on what we value—or fail to value—and what we might change.
A powerful combination of wit, cutting-edge natural history, and philosophical meditation, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings is an infectious and inspiring celebration of the sheer ingenuity and variety of life in a time of crisis and change.
Communicating the passion of the scientists who have driven the discipline, John Byers draws together evolutionary theory, ecology, population biology, genetics, physiology, and anatomy to demonstrate the diversity involved when studying animals. By explaining the mechanisms and motivations behind a range of animal movements he illuminates key issues about our own behavior while equipping readers with the core knowledge and skills to further their own studies.
Tropical Ecology begins with a historical overview followed by a sweeping discussion of biogeography and evolution, and then introduces students to the unique and complex structure of tropical rain forests. Other topics include the processes that influence everything from species richness to rates of photosynthesis: how global climate change may affect rain forest characteristics and function; how fragmentation of ecosystems affects species richness and ecological processes; human ecology in the tropics; biodiversity; and conservation of tropical ecosystems and species.
Drawing on real-world examples taken from actual research, Tropical Ecology is the best textbook on the subject for advanced undergraduates and graduate students.Offers the first comprehensive introduction to tropical ecology Describes all the major kinds of tropical terrestrial ecosystems Explains species diversity, evolutionary processes, and coevolutionary interactions Features numerous color illustrations and examples from actual research Covers global warming, deforestation, reforestation, fragmentation, and conservation The essential textbook for advanced undergraduates and graduate students Suitable for courses with a field component
Leading universities that have adopted this book include:Biola University Bucknell University California State University, Fullerton Colorado State University - Fort Collins Francis Marion University Michigan State University Middlebury College Northern Kentucky University Ohio Wesleyan University St. Mary's College of Maryland Syracuse University Tulane University University of California, Santa Cruz University of Central Florida University of Cincinnati University of Florida University of Missouri University of New Mexico University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of the West Indies
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
In Land and Wine, Frankel takes readers on a tour of the French winemaking regions to illustrate how the soil, underlying bedrock, relief, and microclimate shape the personality of a wine. The book’s twelve chapters each focus in depth on a different region, including the Loire Valley, Alsace, Burgundy, Champagne, Provence, the Rhône valley, and Bordeaux, to explore the full meaning of terroir. In this approachable guide, Frankel describes how Cabernet Franc takes on a completely different character depending on whether it is grown on gravel or limestone; how Sauvignon yields three different products in the hills of Sancerre when rooted in limestone, marl, or flint; how Pinot Noir will give radically different wines on a single hill in Burgundy as the vines progress upslope; and how the soil of each château in Bordeaux has a say in the blend ratios of Merlot and Cabernet-Sauvignon. Land and Wine provides a detailed understanding of the variety of French wine as well as a look at the geological history of France, complete with volcanic eruptions, a parade of dinosaurs, and a menagerie of evolution that has left its fossils flavoring the vineyards.
Both the uninitiated wine drinker and the confirmed oenophile will find much to savor in this fun guide that Frankel has spiked with anecdotes about winemakers and historic wine enthusiasts—revealing which kings, poets, and philosophers liked which wines best—while offering travel tips and itineraries for visiting the wineries today.