Exquisite book Into the Earth: A Wine Cave Renaissance illustrates the history, charm, and eco-conscious qualities of California wine caves
“There is clearly something about caves that spurs creativity—and that marriage of talent, wine and holes in the rock has taken off in Napa Valley as nowhere else on Earth … Perhaps this remarkable book, Into the Earth, only represents the beginning.” ―Hugh Johnson
Dallas—Into the Earth: A Wine Cave Renaissance (Panache Partners, published by Brian Carabet and John Shand), written and photographed by Daniel D’Agostini with Molly Chappellet, is one man’s exhilarating journey into subterranean California, the birthplace of wine caves in the Americas. The hardcover book features a foreword by world-renowned wine expert Hugh Johnson and includes stories and images of never-before-photographed caves like Sloan Estate, exclusive underground sanctuaries like Far Niente and Schramsberg, wineries that are closed to the public like BOND, widely known estates like Beringer and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, and dozens more.
The first documentary of its kind, Into the Earth celebrates the history and future of caves for making, aging and storing wine as well as entertaining. Opening with a concise yet descriptive history of caves from ancient times to the present day, the book is chronologically organized by cave construction date and concludes with a behind-the-scenes chapter with perspectives of prominent cave designers, engineers and drillers. In the striking 240-page volume, readers are introduced to the cave men and women—from winery owners to cave constructors—who have spent the last several decades expanding the design and concepts of these underground works of art.
While learning about the inspiration behind each cave and the process whereby it was created, readers learn about roadheaders, shotcrete and other industry tools and terms through friendly commentary. Building these extraordinary underground complexes, which range from modest to massive—some larger than 40,000 square feet—is equal parts challenging, dangerous and invigorating. The element of the unknown has been ever-present for pioneer cave builders like Alf Burtleson, Dale Wondergem, Glen Ragsdale and Graham Wozencroft for decades. “If you don’t respect the ground, Mother Earth will teach you a lesson,” shares cave driller Stephen Hawks.
Despite the inherent challenges, cave drilling is rich in memorable moments, as Into the Earth so eloquently demonstrates. Dutch Henry’s proprietor fondly recalls the drilling process: “I was able to say ‘fire in the hole’ and ignite 750 pounds of dynamite!” While the Porter family’s cave was being built, they discovered 20-million-year-old fossilized bird prints and later welcomed Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe to the site. Within the book, Schramsberg’s Jamie Davies eloquently describes the experience of being in a cave: “It creates an emotional sensation; it’s romantic because of the shades of darkness and the cracks of light coming through and the lack of openness. What is there? What sleeps there? You’re not sure where all of these passages go, and you’re not sure what is going to be at the end of all of them. It stirs you.”
Into the Earth positions caves as functional, beautiful, sustainable creations. Architect Jon Lail avers: “Caves may well become the most energy-efficient spaces available for human habitation. With the warming of the planet and other environmental changes, underground living could be in our future.”
Appealing to wine connoisseurs, design aficionados, travel enthusiasts, history buffs, sustainability advocates, photographers and anyone interested in cultural enrichment, the phenomenal caves presented in Into the Earth will engage and inspire readers the world over.
Complementary to Panache’s coffee-table books on wine, PanacheWine.com showcases even more fabulous photographs and stories. Along with a winery search feature, the site includes interesting articles, fun videos, and helpful news updates, and industry links. PanacheWine.com is part of the PanacheLuxury.com family of inspirational sites.
Book Title: Into the Earth: A Wine Cave Renaissance
Publisher: Panache Partners
Distributor: Independent Publishers Group
Publication: November 2009, $50, Hardcover, ISBN 9781933415826
TRAVEL, 240 pages, 12" x 10½", 200+ color photographs
With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, Brian Carabet and John Shand are drawn to creating spectacular publications for discerning readers. The founders of Panache Partners have produced upward of 100 books and continue to redefine what it means to create sophisticated publications. Panache Partners specializes in coffee-table books showcasing luxury lifestyle subjects, including high-end interior design, custom home building, architecture, golf, wine, art, event planning and travel. For more information, visit Panache.com.