It turns out one of Napa Valley’s best places to learn about wine doesn’t even require a glass.
The Napa Valley Wine Library, which is housed at St. Helena’s public library, maintains one of the country’s most comprehensive collections of writing about wine. Since being organized in 1962, it has acquired 3,500 books, as well as periodicals, newsletters and oral histories from three decades starting in the 1960s — the golden era of Napa’s development.
Perhaps you want to find, say, Morton Shand’s “A Book of French Wines” from 1960 or Sunset’s “California Wine” pictorial from 1973 — a perfect snapshot of the era’s industry — or Lindley Bynum’s “California Wines: How to Enjoy Them” from 1955. (Perhaps the answer was less self-evident back then?) They are all readily available.