Last year Dr. Debs over at Good Wine Under $20 proposed the idea that every month wine bloggers would get together, choose a book on wine, and all read it and review it. Initially I was excited because I have a ton of wine books sitting around. But then reality set in and in all honesty I have neither the time nor the energy to make it through a book a month. It’s a sad state of affairs, I’ll admit, but 3 years out I’m still recovering from the nightmare that was law school which zapped any desire to read I had. Couple that with a job that has me reading a ton of technical publications on a daily basis, and my avid wine blog reading, and I just couldn’t do it. I participated a couple times, and thought, since I already have this month’s book and had read it, that I’d participate in the final edition of WBC.
Dr. Debs chose A Vineyard in Tuscany by Ferenc Máté for the last WBC. I purchased this book in December 2007 from R.J. Julia’s in Madison, CT. I actually read it ages ago, though apparently I never wrote about it for some odd reason. I truly thought I had. Last winter/spring I went through a period where I actually was reading a book a week…on the plane to and from Atlanta where I was detailed for a work project and had to travel to and from every week or so. It’s possible the post got lost in the transition from Blogger to WordPress…I had some issues when I moved.
A Vineyard in Tuscany is a fairly quick read. I polished it off on the round trip flight to Atlanta from National Airport…about a 1.5 hour flight each way. Then again, according to Matt, I’m the only person he’s ever met who reads faster than he does (a skill that did serve me well in law school!). Or perhaps the book went fast because I wanted to gobble up the story of the Máte family as they purchased a vineyard, planted it, got through their first harvest, and bottled the wine.
Not only did they purchase a vineyard site, but they purchased a ruin site…that they fully restored. My favorite bits were when Ferenc insisted on chasing down ancient beams to restore the ceilings to their former glory as well as an old front door. I loved the dedication to making the restoration truly authentic and not just substituting modern materials.
I was as drawn into the restoration of the ruins as I was into the planting of the vineyard. Of course, the stories were interwoven, but at times, it seemed as if the focus was mostly on the house. I think I would have enjoyed a bit more info about the vineyards and how they chose to plant the grapes they did. At the same time, I cheered when they harvested their first grapes after 3 years of getting the vineyard ready and restoring the ruin. And, the descriptions of their Syrahs made me want to hunt one down just so I could try it!
Overall, I loved the idea of building something from scratch–making it totally yours and just the way you want it. The fact that it was a vineyard of course made it more appealing to me, seeing as how I still harbor the seemingly impossible dream of someday owning my own vineyard!
Many thanks to Dr. Debs for her efforts with the WBC, and my sincerest apologies for not being a better participant.