Hugh Johnson & Jancis Robinson papers provide foundation for world’s greatest wine writer collection
Napa, Calif., Tuesday, February 14, 2017—The UC Davis Library welcomes renowned British journalist Jancis Robinson on February 16th for an event celebrating the gift of her papers to its wine writer collection. A fund to support the library’s work to preserve, curate and provide access to her papers has been established by Napa Valley wine icon Warren Winiarski — part of a broader vision that he shares with the library to build the most comprehensive collection of wine writers’ papers in the world. Mr. Winiarski has spent over 50 years as an advocate for the California wine industry and is pleased to help the UC Davis Library build its collection on California wine history as documented by wine writers in America and abroad.
Over time, Mr. Winiarski has donated $135,000 to the library, more than $100,000 of which established funds to support the Jancis Robinson Papers on Wine Writing and Criticism, the Hugh Johnson Archives, and the library’s wine writer collections overall. It is anticipated that the library will build on the collections donated by Robinson and Johnson, which it acquired independently, by adding the papers of other prominent wine writers, including Americans in the future.
The Jancis Robinson Papers Fund supports the library’s work to preserve, curate and access Robinson’s four decades of wine writing. “I feel extremely honored that all my papers, notebooks, tasting notes and professional photographs have found a home in a part of the world that has been so important to me and my life’s work in wine,” Robinson said. Her papers are currently being cataloged by the library and will become available for public use by April 2017.
The Hugh Johnson Archives Fund supports the preservation, curation and access to Mr. Johnson’s archive of nearly 60 years of wine-book writing, manuscripts and research papers. “UC Davis was my first choice of a permanent home for my work,” said Johnson. “I would like students (and anyone else) to be able to see what I have experienced and recorded in the fastest-moving half-century in wine’s long history.”
Mr. Winiarski’s most recent gift establishes a fund for the UC Davis Library to develop a broad and lasting wine writers collection. Called “the greatest wine library in the world” by Mr. Johnson, the UC Davis Library is the ideal place to collect and preserve wine writers’ papers and make them accessible to the world.
“The legacy of California winemaking and its global ascent in the 20thcentury must be both cared for and made accessible to future students and scholars of enology and the wine industry,” notes Mr. Winiarski. “I think it’s very important that a California institution house these significant papers that document our wine history. I’m proud to help ensure works by the prominent wine writers of our time are documented and cataloged and these individuals are recognized for their contributions to the California wine industry.”
In addition to wine writers, Mr. Winiarski’s gifts to the library have supported the Robert G. Mondavi Papers, which document the life and work of California winemaker and innovator Robert Mondavi, and the Maynard A. Amerine Wine Book Endowment, a fund used to purchase rare and unusual items for the library’s world-renowned viticulture and enology collections. Amerine, for whom the fund is named, was a former professor of viticulture and enology at UC Davis who was legendary for his role in rebuilding the post-Prohibition wine industry in California.
Mr. Winiarski is the subject of some of the wine writers’work, as the founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, whose 1973 SLV Cabernet Sauvignon famously won the Judgment of Paris in 1976, catapulting California wine onto the global stage. He is also a lifelong scholar who, prior to coming to Napa Valley in 1964, was a Lecturer in the Liberal Arts at the University of Chicago while completing his master’s degree and working toward a doctorate. He continues to teach in the Summer Classics Program at his alma mater, St. John’s College in Maryland, renowned for its distinctive curriculum on the Great Books of Western Civilization.
About Warren Winiarski
Warren Winiarski is a Napa Valley resident, grape grower and philanthropist. His well noted Arcadia Vineyards in the Coombsville AVA of Napa Valley grows Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. He planted his first Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in 1970 in what is now the Stag’s Leap District. A longtime advocate of Napa Valley land preservation, Mr. Winiarski has backed legislation over the past 50 years to protect agricultural and open space for future generations. He is an avid supporter of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s American wine programs and has established funds to support the UC Davis Library’s collections of prominent wine writers’ manuscripts and papers. Founder and former proprietor of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Mr. Winiarski is a Napa Valley winemaking icon with a deep legacy commencing when his 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon won the Judgment of Paris in 1976, helping put Napa Valley on the global wine map. He lives with his wife Barbara overlooking the Napa Valley that he loves.