Jancis Robinson’s wine writing legacy preserved by UC Davis

Wine writer Jancis Robinson has donated 40 years’ worth of personal archives, including tasting notes and private correspondences with fellow critic Robert Parker, to UC Davis in California.

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Jancis Robinson MW

The extensive collection, which will shed an uncensored light on many of Robinson’s recollections and opinions on wine throughout her illustrious career, will be made public from April of this year.

Among the papers currently being archived are tasting notes dating back to 1976, 275 notebooks recording Robinson’s travels around the world of wine, all of Robinson’s published work since her first (fashion) article written in 1965, and personal memos between Robinson, fellow wine critic Robert Parker and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

“I feel extremely honoured 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.

“It is a particular pleasure to be in the company of such towering figures in the world of wine as Hugh Johnson, Robert Mondavi and Maynard Amerine in the famous UC Davis Library.”

Robinson, who is still actively working as a wine writer and critic, gained her Master of Wine in 1984. She is the founder of JancisRobinson.com, wine correspondent of the Financial Times and currently advises the cellar of Queen Elizabeth II.

She is also co-author of The World Atlas of Wine and Wine Grapes and editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine.

Robinson’s work joins a collection at UC Davis that already features written works by other wine writers, including Hugh Johnson, Maynard Amerine and Harold Olmo, who helped establish UC Davis as a driving force in viticulture and enology, and industry leaders such as Robert Mondavi.

“Winemaking is an art — but so, too, is writing about wine,” said Axel Borg, wine subject specialist at the library. “Having the work of world-renowned wine writers here at the university library also provides a valuable resource for students learning the art of writing.”

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