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Summary

Already provoking debate and garnering significant attention in France and within the wine world, Vino Business is a surprising and eye-opening book about the dark side of French wine by acclaimed investigative journalist Isabelle Saporta.

While Bordeaux has been a bastion of winemaking tradition and excellence for centuries, in recent decades the industry has changed dramatically under the influence of large-scale international investors. French insurance companies, international fashion houses, and Chinese businessmen are all speculating on the area's wines and land, some of whose value has increased tenfold in the last decade alone. Saporta investigates in detail the 2012 classification of the wines of Saint-Émilion, the most prestigious appellation of Bordeaux's right bank, which has come into disrepute, not least because the scoring system was changed in order to give points for a châteaux's lecture facilities and the size of its parking lot.

A shocking exposé of the French wine world and a cri de coeur for the lost values of traditional winemaking, Vino Business pulls back the curtain on the secret domain of Bordeaux, a land ever more in thrall to the grapes of wealth.

©2014 Éditions Albin Michel. Translation copyright 2015 by Kate Deimling. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Stephen J Lee
  • 03-08-16

Unlistenable

The narrator's overdone French accent for every French word was too distracting to continue. Book returned. While I didn't make it to the end, the author used a tone that indicated a bias, rather than a more objective journalistic style.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Doom
  • 23-08-17

Great Exposé on the Wine Business!

This book was really well written. As a wine professional, I found it immensely engaging and thoroughly informative of the underbelly of the wine world. My only complaint is that the narrator was so ridiculous with the French pronunciations that it quickly became excessively irritating. I appreciate that she can obviously speak French, but seriously- we get it. Dial it down a notch. Other than that, great book!

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  • John
  • 30-08-16

Please, we need more "truthiness" like this book

Any additional comments?

I export select premium California and Oregon pinot noir to France and have been hosting face to face wine tastings with the French in my small wine shop in Annecy, France for almost 4 years now. Most French have never tasted such good pinot noir wines and they say so.

People should know what is really going on in the wine industry and this book is just a sip of the glass.

Winemaking is the best its ever been, which has attracted avarice hedge fund types and
multinational conglomerate distributors and merchants that are buying up family owned vineyards and replacing winemakers with students with a couple years of internship. I see it happening in Santa Barbara, Monterey and Napa and Sonoma. and it’s happening in France too, after bad weather in Bourgogne forces families to sell. The result is the same, industry driven tastes with less distinctive wines.