MapCarte 279/365: World Atlas of Wine by Littlehampton Book Services, 1971

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Hugh Johnson’s world alas of wine, publihed by Littlehampton Book Services is a magnificent example of thematic atlas cartography. The numerous pages explore the terroir in a way that had not previously been¬†attempted in such detail. Each page explores the specific local geography of a region and the various wider geographies that impact the wine of that region. For instance, the page here showing Chablis, France, illustrates the topography and differentiates between Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru through a pleasing colour scheme. The main map is placed in its regional context and the nice addition of different labels adds to the layout.

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The maps are simple yet beautiful works of art that explore the fields and vineyards of the different producers. They show clearly the topograpy as well as the local land ownership and production.

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But the maps are not just topographic; a number explore the geography through 3D block diagrams and alternative representations which bring to life the geography of wine. The atlas is jam packed with maps of all parts of the world though the focus of this first edition is on he main European producers. Later editions give more prominence to the increasing contribution of new world winerys.

A perfect excuse to pour a glass of your favourite wine and then pour over a delightful atlas to explore its origins.