PROSSER, Wash. — It hasn’t even been published yet, but Washington State University viticulturist Markus Keller has a bestselling book on his hands.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Distinguished Professor of Viticulture, Keller is the author of the soon-to-be-released “The Science of Grapevines: Anatomy and Physiology.” Published by Elsevier’s Academic Press of Burlington, Mass., the textbook is slated for a Feb. 12 publication date.
Remarkably for a textbook, and thanks to pre-orders, “The Science of Grapevines” is already an Amazon.com bestseller in the Plants/Physiology category.
“The Science of Grapevines: Anatomy and Physiology,” Keller’s publisher writes, “is the only book to comprehensively explore the physiology of the grapevine as it occurs around the world.”
“I took a global perspective in discussing how grapevines are built and how they work,” said Keller. Keller has worked in the vineyards of his native Switzerland, where he also earned master’s and doctoral degrees. In addition to teaching in Switzerland, Washington, Australia and Argentina, he has also conducted research in Australia and New York. He’s currently based in Washington wine country at WSU’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser.
“The book addresses a gap not filled by other, currently available texts, which focus on the vines of particular regions. Today’s student, grower and winemaker needs to know about the scientific background in a global context while being able to apply management practices tailored to specific varieties and vineyard sites, because today’s wine industry is global and there has been a net increase in lands around the world being used for grapevine cultivation,” Keller said.
“We see our viticulture and enology students graduating and going to work crush in the wine regions of South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa — and then following the seasons to come back north and work in Europe and North America,” he said.
The approach of Keller’s book is a scientifically grounded exploration, often applying discoveries in other plant species, of the main physiological processes underlying grapevine form and function, their interactions, developmental and environmental control, and their implications for practical vineyard management.
“The Science of Grapevines” addresses not only the specific issues and concerns of grapevines from regions around the world, but includes important emerging topics such as global climate change, water availability, salinity and more.
For more information about “The Science of Grapevines,” visit the publisher’s Web site at http://textbooks.elsevier.com/web/product_details.aspx?isbn=9780123748812. The book may be ordered from Amazon.com by visiting http://www.amazon.com/Science-Grapevines-Anatomy-Physiology/dp/012374881X.