Wine Writers Collection

As part of our leadership as the greatest wine library in the world, we are working to build the world’s greatest collection on wine writers. Wine writers have made a tremendous impact on both the wine industry and public appreciation of wine.

Wine writers are the storytellers who shine a light on the people and places in wine — moving beyond regions, types of wines and ratings to influence the very aesthetic and legacy of the industry. They offer unique insights into what made the wine industry what it is today. Not only does their writing help shape what wines consumers choose, it can influence which new technologies, techniques and trends take root in the winemaking world.

A look into our wine writers collection

Hugh Johnson

Johnson was Decanter Man of the Year in 1995 and is the author of several books, including the ground-breaking World Atlas of Wine. He has been published in notable publications such as The New York Times, Gourmet, Vogue and The Sunday Times.


Jancis Robinson

Robinson is founder of the award-winning, wine correspondent for the Financial Times and currently advises the cellar of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The author of numerous books and editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, she has been called “the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world” by Decanter magazine.

Leon David Adams

Adams was considered to be the seminal wine historian in the United States in the 20th century by wine aficionados and the wine industry. He was a founder of the Wine Institute, the trade organization that represents California’s wine industry and is most widely known for his book, The Wines of America.

Roy Brady

Brady was a wine writer, educator and wine judge at the Los Angeles County Fair wine competition. He wrote regularly for magazines such as Saveur, Gourmet, Wine Spectator and the Journal of the International Wine and Food Society.

Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher

Gaiter and Brecher wrote the Wall Street Journal‘s Pulitzer Prize-nominated wine column, Tastings, for more than a decade. They co-authored four books about wine, and both still write for Grape Collective. They also created Open That Bottle Night, an annual tradition that encourages wine lovers to open and enjoy that special bottle they have been saving.

Photography of James Conaway, by Peter Menzel

James Conaway

Conaway is the author of ten books of non-fiction, including the Napa trilogy Napa: The Story of an American Eden, The Far Side of Eden: Old Land, New Money and the Battle for Napa Valley, and Napa at Last Light: America’s Eden in an Age of Calamity.


Charles Sullivan

Sullivan is a famed California wine historian who has chronicled the wine industry in the Santa Clara Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and Napa Valley. He received a Veuve Clicquot award in 2003 for best wine book, Zinfandel: A History of a Grape and its Wine.

Steven Spurrier

Steven Spurrier was a British wine expert, merchant and writer who organized the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting, which unexpectedly elevated the status of California wine and promoted the expansion of wine production in the New World. He was the founder of the Academie du Vin and Christie’s Wine Course, and he authored and co-authored several wine books.

Bob Thompson

Thompson is widely regarded as one of the preeminent writers on the topic of California and West Coast wines. He started his career as a sports writer, and transitioned to writing about wine in 1961 when he was hired by Sunset Books as an assistant editor. He has written several books on the California wine region including Notes on a California Cellarbook and The Wine Atlas of California and the Pacific Northwest, as well as The California Wine Book written in conjunction with Hugh Johnson. Thompson’s collection is the newest addition to the library’s collections on wine writers; once his materials are processed, we will link to further details about them.

How you can help

Help the UC Davis Library expand, preserve and enable discovery of wine writers collection for the benefit of wine scholars, consumers and the industry worldwide. If you are interested in supporting the library’s efforts to create the world’s greatest wine writers collection, please contact Jane Fortner, Assistant Director of Development, Library and Student Affairs at (530) 752-9842 or

A special thanks

Jancis Robinson (left) with Warren Winiarski (right).

Thank you to all who support these collections and a special thank you to legendary Napa winemaker, Warren Winiarski, who has made a generous gift to fund a new position, the Warren Winiarski Wine Writers Collection Fellow. The fellow will provide general oversight of the wine writers program, acting in an advisory capacity regarding acquisition and management of new wine writers collection, and conducting outreach within and beyond the University community to promote awareness and use of the collections.


To learn more about private support of the UC Davis Library and how you can help, please contact Toni Arellanes-Miller, Senior Director of Development, UC Davis Library at (530) 752-2422 or