What people are saying

… about The New California Wine. A sampling of reviews, interviews and recommendations:

“Bonné has been positioned perfectly to observe the profound pendulum swing in style and attitude that has occurred among California winemakers over the last decade.”

Eric Asimov, The New York Times

“The big California wines may never go away, but now we have choices. Bonné’s intelligence and knowledge are on full display in this book. There is no better guide to delicious wines from California.”

Edward Behr, The Art of Eating

“… a wonderful, engaging read with an actual narrative and a cast of characters who think outside the box, care about sustainability, and have a strong curiosity and work ethic.”

S. Irene Virbila, The Los Angeles Times

“The good news is that for those who prefer the fresher style there is now a generation of young California winemakers providing just that. In his book, Mr. Bonné has unearthed a few.”

The Wall Street Journal

“Bonné’s book should be mandatory reading for all fans of American wine.”

Dave McIntyre, The Washington Post

“Brisk, elegant, steely and most of all, nuanced—with this seminal account of a vinicultural revolution, these are the adjectives with which we will now be describing the Golden State’s wines.” (Favorite Food Books of 2013)


“Thanks to Bonné’s manifesto, North American wine hasn’t been such a buzz topic since The Judgment of Paris in 1976 when Steven Spurrier shocked and outraged the French wine establishment by organising a blind tasting in which a wine from Stag’s Leap managed to outrank some of Bordeaux’s finest names.”

Victoria Moore, The Telegraph

“Jon Bonné takes on the ‘reign of big flavor’ in this smart guide to the new talents of California wine.” (Top 10 Gift Picks)

Ray Isle, Food & Wine

“In his impressive new book … Bonné has come to praise rather than bury his adopted state, describing the counter-cultural scene that is flourishing in the margins.”

David Williams, The Observer

“This is a superbly written book from the get-go in a style that flows seamlessly across the page, offering a well-balanced view of what is happening on the ground from a writer who seems to have captured the zeitgeist of a paradigm shift. It’s up there with the best books of the year.”

Paul O’Doherty, Jancisrobinson.com

“Many of us have had an inkling that something special is happening in the California wine industry — in his new book, The New California Wine, Bonné chronicles the wines and winemakers changing California’s industry in a way that turns that inkling into a solid foundation of excitement.”

Besha Rodell, L.A. Weekly

“Bonné had the vision to recognise a shift in the tectonic plates that underpin the vast mass of the California wine industry.”

Adam Lechmere

“… the book is full of great insight, history and stories about the California wine industry and if each one of these winemakers is merely a pebble in a great big pond, it is only a matter of time before ripples begin to make waves.”


“Jon Bonné does not have time for big, jammy, $200 Napa Cab oak bombs.”

Tasting Table National

“The San Francisco Chronicle’s wine editor will give any novice the confidence to chat about the California wine renaissance and its leanings toward a lighter-bodied, more global point of view.” (The Year’s Seven Best Cookbooks)

San Francisco Magazine

The New California Wine is a comprehensive look at the vanguard of personalities who are bucking what’s expected and boldly redefining California’s place in the wine world.”

Wine Enthusiast

“From his perch at the Chronicle, Bonné was able to dig deep into California’s wine culture to find the winemakers who never compromised.”

Zester Daily

“[I]f I were going to put just one new book on my must-buy list for wine lovers, it would be The New California Wine by Jon Bonné of the San Francisco Chronicle. This book brings to life the people and places of California’s current wine scene: the innovators, the experimenters, and risk-takers who are making some of the most exciting wines in the country today. … It’s an exciting book about an exciting time in our country’s wine history, and it will leave you thirsty to taste some of the many wines he recommends.”

Maggie Hoffman, Serious Eats

“Bonné, the wine editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, knows his stuff from the land to the glass — this is a book of on-the-ground reporting, historical breadth, and keen insight.”


“Looking to move beyond the wine basics and into hipper bottles? This is your book.”


“Jon Bonné … raises the curtain on California winemaking and shares insights into that industry that could only be unearthed by someone so close to it. There’s no sugar-coating here; Bonné’s authoritative look at California wine is unflinching.”

Salt Lake City Weekly

“This season’s most controversial book may be Chronicle wine editor Jon Bonné’s The New California Wine ($35), out in November. It’s sure to infuriate big-Napa-Cab fans as it trumpets winemakers advancing a more idiosyncractic vision.”

Tasting Table

“Jon Bonné fashions a rich tapestry of context for California wine. He weaves history, science and his own extensive visits with producers into essays that are tremendously informative yet energetic and absorbing. … I’ve been focused on California wine for quite some time now, have read and tasted widely, and spent a good deal of time at wineries and with winemakers. Yet there are many pages in New California Wine which taught me something new in every single paragraph.”

Fred Swan, NorCalWine

“If … Jon Bonné is the new tastemaker, then let the counter-reformation begin.”

“Scratch your idea of what California wine is and start over with Jon Bonné’s new book, a must-read.”

Katherine Cole, The Oregonian

“A timely guide for wine buyers to a set of wineries that, on the whole, are indeed making some of the most exciting California wines right now.”

Wine & Spirits

The New California Wine is a perfect gift for the sophisticated wine lover who has turned his eyes elsewhere in the wine world and is missing out on all that California has to offer.”

The Huffington Post

 “You know that saying, everything old is new again? Well, actually that is the case with California wines.”

Evan Kleiman, KCRW’s “Good Food” [listen]

“California wine is experiencing a renaissance and this book really brings it to light.”

San Francisco Magazine

The New California Wine is more of a coffee table book than it is a reference guide, and yet it’s more of a reference guide than your typical coffee table book.”

Rachael Myrow, The California Report [listen]


“It could be argued that not since Frank Schoonmaker advocated for quality by focusing industry attention on varietals has a critic been positioned so closely to a set of ideas and a group of winemakers whose time has come. Certainly, I can’t remember the last time I read a book about wine with quite so great a sense of thrill.”

Andre Darlington


“For anyone who has any interest in either America or wine, this is an important one.”



“Wine book of the year.”

Santa Barbara News-Press


San Francisco Chronicle Wine Editor Jon Bonné visits the new generation of California winemakers, the mavericks taking American wines way beyond massive Cabs and oaky Chardonnays.”