Fairs | February 2022 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Wine & Rare Books: A Perfect Pairing at CA Book Fair

Courtesy of the UC Davis Library / Archives and Special Collections

The Wine (2008), a miniature accordion book illustrated and bound by Suzanne Thomas Weinert, is on exhibit at the California Antiquarian Book Fair.

The 54th California International Antiquarian Book Fair opens tomorrow in Oakland, and aside from the thousands of books, maps, and manuscripts for sale, this year’s fair will feature a major historical exhibition on wine and viticulture, drawn from the collection of the Shields Library at the University of California, Davis.

Courtesy of the UC Davis Library / Archives and Special Collections

This Big Tree Brand California Wines label is one of over 5,000 historic wine labels collected by former UC Davis Professor Maynard Amerine, who was a driving force behind California’s post-Prohibition wine industry.

UC Davis holds one of the largest collections on wine, viticulture, and enology in the country. It is particularly strong in wine pamphlets, but also contains rare books and artists’ books on wine; photographs and ephemera from the collections of leading wine writers and winemakers such as Robert Mondavi and Hugh Johnson; vintage wine labels and menus collected by Maynard A. Amerine, professor of viticulture and enology; and research materials from emeritus faculty who helped shape UC Davis’ viticulture and enology department. An online introduction to the collection is available here.

Two related events are taking place on Saturday afternoon, with a YouTube live-stream for those of us attending virtually:

12:45 PM - 1:45 PM (PST) — “Good Words Make Better Wine: Building the UC Davis Library's Wine Writers Collection” with Jullianne H. Ballou

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (PST) — “The UC Davis Library Wine Collection: Origins, Highlights, and Use” with Christine Cheng and Axel Borg