Richard and Rob Sands have an amazing story to tell.

Their grandfather, Mack Sands, started in the wine business back in 1933 when Prohibition was lifted. Mack's son Marvin then built the family business into a small, highly respected powerhouse in East Coast wine. Then Richard and Rob came in and built that small family business into Constellation Brands, the largest wine company in the world, with brands like Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Franciscan and also Corona Beer. 

We worked with Richard and Rob and wove their family story into the larger history of American wine, producing a book of beauty, impact, and historical value. Were the Sands brothers satisfied? Yes. And they hired us to do a second edition to bring their story up to the present day. 
A.P. Giannini was a true American pioneer.

He built the Bank of America, from scratch, into one of the most powerful banks in the world, and he did so on the strength of an unshakable faith in “the little guy.”
Forget the rich; if a man had integrity and calluses on hands, A.P. would loan him money. His bank embedded that philosophy inside the BankAmericard, which later became the Visa card, that revolutionary piece of plastic.

In this book, we tell the whole story, with a detailed narrative and exquisite visuals. Reviewers have called it the finest book ever written about the credit card industry. Visa executives were over the moon. 
Hemingway’s Michigan. Steinbeck’s Salinas. Faulkner’s Mississippi. And more. This book, “A Journey Through Literary America,” explores how great American writers were influenced by the places where they lived and worked. Author Tom Hummel and photographer Tamra Dempsey have brought forth a gem of a book, one that shines light across the full landscape of American literature. No wonder it was honored with an Eric Hoffer Award as one of the finest books of 2010.

As this book typifies, at Val de Grace Books all the arts flow together, and that includes writing, photography, design, and printing and binding. Bringing those elements together is our passion and our calling.
Doing books like these is pure excitement. Just ask Richard Mendelson.

One day Richard came to us with the idea of doing a simple portfolio of his work as a sculptor. We encouraged him to go deeper, to draw together his work, yes, but also to tell the story behind his artistic journey. Soon Richard caught fire, producing a magnificent account of one man's artistic awakening.
Inspired by the result, Richard then poured his energy and expertise into creating “Appellation Napa Valley,” another brilliant Val de Grace book. 

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What a guy.

When Robert Mondavi launched his signature winery back in 1966, many people here in the Napa Valley thought Bob was downright crazy. “Come on, Bob, make wines as good as the French? Are you kidding? They’ve been at it for centuries!” To all the doubters and nay-sayers, Bob would stick out his jaw and say, “Oh, yeah? Well, I’ll show you!”

And show them he did; he showed all of us. Today we in America are making wines that are every bit as good as the French, and fine wine and fine food have become shining pillars of American culture and our daily lives. Thanks to one man of vision and courage who refused to take no for an answer. We salute you, dear friend, and we thank you for your many years of inspiration. Bob Mondavi, the spiritual godfather of Val de Grace Books.

99 Bottles of Wine

The Making of the Contemporary Wine Label

This book, created by Dave Schuemann and his team at CF Napa -- wine label and branding specialists in the Napa Valley -- is something special. With lush design and photography, this book showcases 99 bottles of wine and explains how the character, spirit and marketing needs of the wine company are expressed through the look, feel and information on the label.

“99 Bottles of Wine” offers wine lovers, travelers and general readers a unique window into the wine industry. A book and a gift to savor! 
For more than a decade, Mark Tuschman has taken his heart and his camera into villages and hamlets across Africa, Asia and Latin America to document the hopes and fears of young women and girls struggling to be free. Their personal stories are rife with episodes of horror and almost unspeakable brutality. But through his compassion and his art, Mark is able to find the deeper essence of these amazing women and bring out their underlying strength, dignity, and courage.  

What Mark has produced is more than a book; it is a stunning look at women living on the perilous edge between hope and horror, with little control over their own lives and bodies and little or no access to education or proper health care. Mark's work is a unique document of one of the most burning humanitarian crises of our time and it is also a compelling call to action on behalf of women whose only voice is the yearning in their eyes and the beauty in their souls. 

Our Books

This is the fascinating inside story of the transformation of the Napa Valley from a sleepy, inward-looking farm and ranching community into a true American treasure and one of the great wine-growing regions of the world.

And Richard Mendelson knows the story inside out. For   more than 30 years, Richard has been the preeminent wine lawyer in the Napa Valley and far beyond, and here he takes us deep inside the critical legal and commercial debates and decisions that facilitated the valley’s historic transformation. For anyone interested in wine, and the rise of American wine, this book is a must. Enlivened by exquisite maps and drawings, plus an introduction by the world renowned chef Thomas Keller, this is a book to be read and cherished for many years to come. 

The book has won three major awards and deservedly so.

Our mission, our passion, is creating books
 of extraordinary quality and significance.  
           Val de Grace Books
             Napa, California   
Photographer Kurt-Inge Eklund has a special passion. From Alsace to South Africa to the Napa Valley, he roams the great wine-making regions of the world, looking, tasting, and doing beautiful books featuring his favorite wines. What makes his work so special is his focus on people, on the skilled men and women who work in the vineyards, the wine cellars, and the bottling lines. These are the unsung heroes of the wine business, and Kurt-Inge gives them the attention they so richly deserve.

His many books are available on iTunes at this link: