Apr 6, 2012

The Vineyard

by Louisa Hargrave

This is a book I picked up just out of curiosity, at a library sale one year. It was a really good read. It tells the story of a young couple who decide to try growing grapes for winemaking on Long Island, where no-one had successfully done so before. They had no experience managing a vineyard or making wine, but loved wine and so set out to make their dreams a reality. Their story is all about what it took to purchase land, establish the vines, learn to care for them, pick the first harvest, learn to make wine, etc. Also details about how they had to create marketing strategies, attract customers and fend off rivals- it turns out the wine industry is full of people who want to sabotage each other's work! It's also about their family life- how they raised two children, eventually sending them off to boarding school so they could focus on the work in the vineyard. About their division of labor- the author (and wife) ended up doing most of the outdoor labor, since her husband had medical issues he ended up in the office dealing with paperwork, marketing, etc. There's everything in here from pests and unreliable employees to regulations, inspections, tourists and family problems. I'm not one who enjoys drinking wine, but I still found reading about the process very interesting. I knew it was an intricate and complicated business, but had no idea how much!

rating: 3/5 ........ 254 pages, 2003

more opinions:
Loving Long Island
Purple Liquid: a wine and food diary
Books Drinks & Beverages

2 comments:

Jenny said...

Whoa, they sent their kids off to boarding school?

...Is it wrong that I want to read a book about the kids' adventures in boarding school? :p

Jeane said...

Yeah, they did. They felt like boarding school had helped them become more independent, and wanted their kids to have the same experience.