Journalist Maximillian Potter uncovers a fascinating plot to destroy the vines of La Romanée-Conti, Burgundy's finest and most expensive wine.
In January 2010, Aubert de Villaine, the famed proprietor of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the tiny, storied vineyard that produces the most expensive, exquisite wines in the world, received an anonymous note threatening the destruction of his priceless vines by poison - a crime that in the world of high-end wine is akin to murder - unless he paid a one million euro ransom. Villaine believed it to be a sick joke, but that proved a fatal miscalculation and the crime shocked this fabled region of France. The sinister story that Vanity Fair journalist Maximillian Potter uncovered would lead to a sting operation by some of France's top detectives, the primary suspect's suicide, and a dramatic investigation. This botanical crime threatened to destroy the fiercely traditional culture surrounding the world's greatest wine.
Shadows in the Vineyard takes us deep into a captivating world full of fascinating characters, small-town French politics, an unforgettable narrative, and a local culture defined by the twinned veins of excess and vitality and the deep reverent attention to the land that runs through it.
Really enjoyed the story along with the history of wine, terroir, & the families. A really good story even if you are not "into" wine.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Wonderful story full of mystery and intrigue. Great insight into how wine is made from grape to fermentation to tasting. It was as if I was there with the author during the picking and harvesting of the grapes. I wondered until the end who was the one poisoning the wine. The additional mix of French history really added to the story. Loved it! Well narrated , easy to hear, understand and great use of French and French accent. Now it's time for me to plan my trip to the DRC!
I heard about this book on a podcast. It was marketed as a mystery about a vineyard crime. This book is not that at all. A very small portion of the book has to do with the crime at the Vineyard. The circumstances of the crime are not very mysterious. Most of the story is irrelevant history and ramblings on by the author. While the winemaker seems very endearing, most of this book is pretentious and not very interesting.
The book was mostly filler material in the story better fit for a magazine or a book. The author tried to cram a week story to a manageable tell that failed and all accounts.
Great if you are interested in wine and a rambling tale. Painful if you like a good tight story.
I do not know why zee reader had to adopt a silly Fronch accent. Zee story was eenteresteeng, zo. Not great leeturateur, but passable.
A bit trite, strangely unnecessary use of basic french words to express obvious concepts makes the book sound needlessly pretentious.
This was an okay listen. The crime and wine history are very interesting, but the details that had nothing to do with those were very boring. I skipped through chapters that didn't apply to the story
2 of 4 people found this review helpful