Building the UC Davis wine library — “the greatest wine library in the world,” as described by wine writer Hugh Johnson — takes passion, patience, relationships and an understanding that the journey will never truly end. No one knows that better than Axel Borg, Emeritus Distinguished Wine and Food Science Bibliographer, who helped grow the UC Davis wine collection over the entirety of his 33-year career with the university.
Retired in June 2020, Borg now volunteers his time to UC Davis as an emeritus librarian. He recently joined Jane Anson, co-host of The Wine Conversation podcast, where he shares the history of the wine library, some of his favorite items in the collection, and his inadvertent role in returning rare, 18th-century Bordeaux merchant letters — stolen around the first World War — to their rightful owners.
Toward the end of the interview, he notes that the future of the collection is just as bright:
“We’re in a renaissance, if you will, for the collection. My only regret is that I’m not 30 years younger. It’s a huge thing, and it’s going to be wonderful.”
We could go on, but really, you should just give it a listen.
This post is part of Archives and Special Collections’ Food and Wine Wednesdays series. Every Wednesday through February, we’re sharing something from our food and wine collections, whether it be a recent acquisition, an interview, a unique manuscript, a rare book, ephemera from the archives, or an upcoming event. Feel free to share your thoughts and feedback with us!