British author Jancis
Robinson, called “the most respected wine critic and journalist in the
world” by Decanter magazine, has donated her archive from over
four decades of wine writing to the UC Davis Library.
Robinson is the author of numerous books including The
24-Hour Wine Expert, a practical guide to the essentials of wine.
She is also co-author of The World
Atlas of Wine and Wine Grapes:
A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties,
and editor of The Oxford
Companion to Wine.
She is founder of the award-winning JancisRobinson.com,
wine correspondent of
the Financial Times, a TV presenter and wine judge.
She currently advises the cellar of Her Majesty the Queen.
In 1984, Robinson became the first person outside the wine trade to qualify as
a Master of Wine, one of the most
prestigious credentials in the wine world. In its 60-year history, fewer than
400 people have passed the rigorous examination to become Masters of Wine.
Robinson broke into the wine world at a time when the field was still dominated
by men and has been called one of the 10
most powerful women in wine.
She has been presented with high honors in more than half a dozen countries,
including the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and France's Officier du
For a full listing of awards, publications and other notable achievements, see
Inside the Collection
The Jancis Robinson Papers on Wine Writing and Criticism, now housed at the UC
Davis Library, include the following:
- Tasting notes dating back to 1976, some of which are accompanied by
materials from the wineries she visited
- 275 notebooks recording Robinson's travels around the world of wine since 1976
- Press clips from Robinson's career as a wine writer and journalist
- Videotapes of television programs featuring her
- Copies of her books in several languages
- Correspondence with luminaries such as fellow wine writer Hugh Johnson,
wine critic Robert Parker, British food writer Elizabeth David, author
Julian Barnes, and former Prime Minister Tony Blair
- Photographs ranging from official events, to shots of filming on location,
to informal photos of Robinson with friends and colleagues
While she is still actively working as a wine writer and critic, the library's
invitation to preserve her papers and her legacy in the field came at a serendipitous
moment, just as she was preparing to move house for the first time in more than 30 years.
“I feel extremely honored that all my papers, notebooks, tasting notes and
professional photographs have found a home in a part of the world that has been so
important to me and my life's work in wine,” Robinson said. “It is a
particular pleasure to be in the company of such towering figures in the world of
wine as Hugh Johnson, Robert Mondavi and Maynard Amerine in the famous UC Davis
Access the Collection
Robinson's papers are currently being cataloged by the library and will become
available for public use by April 2017.
For questions about the Jancis Robinson Papers on Wine Writing and Criticism,
or to schedule a research visit, contact Special Collections at
About the "Greatest Wine Library in the World"
As Robinson's papers become part of the UC Davis Library, which Hugh Johnson called
greatest wine library in the world,” her work will join that of some
of the world's most prominent wine writers, including Johnson, with
whom she co-authors The World Atlas of Wine. The Library is working to
make our extensive resources accessible worldwide through projects such as the
digitization of over 5,000 wine labels
collected by Maynard Amerine and
of 1973-74 viticulture and enology lectures by leading faculty who helped make
UC Davis a driving force in wine. The Library is developing plans to use these resources
and more to tell the story of wine, in California and around the world, in a uniquely
For information on how you can support the library's work to preserve and provide
public access to its world-class collections about wine, please contact Jean Korinke,
Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.