A Letter From The Publisher, Nov. 27, 1972

DURING her childhood in Wisconsin, recalls Patricia Delaney, wine was a holiday treat, sticky-sweet muscatel reserved for family gatherings at Christmas. Her appreciation of what Ben Jonson called the milk of Venus broadened a bit during her travels as a TIME correspondent: in London the cellar of Justerini & Brooks was downstairs from her office. While reporting for this week's cover story on American wines, Delaney became a connoisseur of magnum-size skills.

For three weeks she toured vineyards throughout California, talking to the men behind the new domestic boom. While little old winemakers...

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