A U T H O R   •   P U B L I S H E R   •   W I N E   B O O K   C O L L E C T O R

Gail Unzelman Photo

GAIL UNZELMAN, with a keen interest in wine and its history, has been collecting wine books (and related materials, e.g., pre-prohibition California wine postcards and advertising ephemera) for some forty years. The Unzelman Library now numbers close to 4000 books – in all languages – dating from the 15th century to the present day. This interest led to helping establish, in 1990, “The Wayward Tendrils – A Wine Book Collector's Society.” Since that date she has edited and published Wayward Tendrils Quarterly, a 24- to 36-page journal devoted to wine books, wine authors, wine libraries, bibliography, and all such matters relating to wine literature.

IN 1990 GAIL UNZELMAN FOUNDED NOMIS PRESS for the purpose of publishing her recently completed book, Wine & Gastronomy: A New Short-Title Bibliography Guide based on the André L. Simon Bibliothecas, Vinaria, Gastronomica, & Bacchica. With an Added Checklist of the Works of André L. Simon, 345pp. (Several clever book-people have guessed the origin of the name of the press!) A standard of production was established with this limited edition printing.

IN 1998 NOMIS PRESS produced and published A History of the Sonoma Viticultural District. The Grape Growers, the Wine Makers, and the Vineyards, written by wine historian Ernest P. Peninou, assisted by Gail Unzelman, 456pp. This book was given a distinguished award by the Sonoma County Historical Society.

FOLLOWING THE FORMAT of the Sonoma Viticultural District, Nomis Press published unbound individual histories of the following viticultural districts: El Dorado (203pp, 17 illus.), Los Angeles (255pp, 14 illus.), Napa (345pp, 39 illus.), Sacramento (173pp, 10 illus.), San Francisco (332pp, 31 illus.), and San Joaquin (171pp, 19 illus.). A Statistical History of Wine Grape Acreage in California 1856–1992 (212pp) is a valuable one-volume companion to these histories. Visit for a complimentary download of these volumes.

FOLLOWING IN 2000, The California Wine Association and Its Member Wineries, 1894–1920, co-authored by Ernest Peninou and Gail Unzelman, 414pp, was issued. This wine history is illustrated with many previously unpublished images taken from the private collections of the authors; the book has been well received, and its historical importance honored.

IN 2004, on behalf of and for the benefit of the Wine Librarians Association, Nomis Press produced and published a special, limited edition book in tribute to Roy Brady, a man of many wine talents: The Brady Book: Selections from Roy Brady's Unpublished Writings on Wine. With an Introduction by Thomas Pinney. 199pp, 250 copies, presented in a handsome two-color format, with 14 tipped-in color reproductions of wine labels from the Brady Collection.

OTHER NOTABLE PUBLICATIONS by Gail Unzelman include Sonoma County Wineries, published in 2006 by Arcadia Publishing as one of its “Postcard History Series.” The book features some 200 postcard views from the author's collection and relates the early history of the wine industry in Sonoma County, California. In 2007, in partnership with Nina Wemyss, their Kylix Press issued Autobiography of a Vine, a limited edition book in miniature (2-5/8″ x 2-1/8″). This endearing story of the life of a grape vine, personally told by the vine himself, was first published in 1866 as a chapter of My Vineyard at Lakeview. By a Western Grape Grower. This premier imprint from Kylix Press was printed letterpress by the internationally acclaimed fine press printer and book designer, Peter Koch of Berkeley, California, using the finest materials and craftsmen available. Edition of 185 handbound copies.

Gail Unzelman   •   •

Copyright 2016 Gail Unzelman