A Vineyard in Tuscany: Shooting for the Moon

( 3 )

Overview

In this intimate and uproarious story, two daring New Yorkers convert an ancient, abandoned farm into a world-renowned winery.
Finding your dream house with a vineyard in Tuscany is like searching the woods for porcini mushrooms: a labor of love. Such feats require patience, discernment, resolve, and an indestructible sense of humor. The Mátés’ future home and wine estate lies amid breathtaking scenery in a community brimming with warmth. In Italy’s most prestigious wine zone, ...
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Overview

In this intimate and uproarious story, two daring New Yorkers convert an ancient, abandoned farm into a world-renowned winery.
Finding your dream house with a vineyard in Tuscany is like searching the woods for porcini mushrooms: a labor of love. Such feats require patience, discernment, resolve, and an indestructible sense of humor. The Mátés’ future home and wine estate lies amid breathtaking scenery in a community brimming with warmth. In Italy’s most prestigious wine zone, Montalcino, they restore a thirteenth-century friary nestled on two hills within sixty acres of forest, olives, and potential vineyards. Here they plant fifteen acres of vines, build the winery, and learn from their famous vintner neighbors, like Angelo Gaja, the secrets of how to grow the best grapes and make superb wines. Within the first years, the Máté wines receive international acclaim. This highly entertaining tale of how two dreamers struggle and thrive in idyllic Tuscany will enrich the lives of travelers and wine lovers alike.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Ference Máté's 1998 travel memoir The Hills of Tuscany excited the passions of thousands of would-be expatriate readers who longed for old-world simplicity. In A Vineyard in Tuscany, he offers a personal memoir of how he made that dream come true, recounting how he restored a rural medieval friary and transformed it into a successful winery. As in his previous book, the Hungarian-born author spices his narrative with atmospheric asides that convey the rich culture of this blessedly "primitive" region.
Publishers Weekly

Hungarian-Canadian author and sailor Máté (The Hills of Tuscany) recounts in wry, candid detail how he rebuilt a Tuscan ruin into a world-class winery. Living in Tuscany with his artist wife and son while savoring the landscape, food and pleasant neighbors wasn't enough for Máté, who admits he thrives on adversity. He wanted his own castle and finagles the purchase of a 13th-century friary in Montalcino, with a proper forno(oven), a forest crammed with porcini and 60 acres of land-15 of which he fashions over three hard years of work into a vineyard sprouting robust harvests of Sangiovese, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and Syrah grapes. His diary of sorts regales the reader on the process of restoring the ancient ruin, called La Colombaio: first by detailing how an Etruscan house was constructed, then by observing how the various workmen were hired (and what they ate for lunch). While hacking in the forest, he finds the remains of a 3,000-year-old city, inviting the interest of archeologists. Máté breaks from the construction and excavation for treks through the Dolomites before returning to prepare for the toilsome but ultimately satisfying vendemmia(harvest). (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
From Italian aficionado Mate (Ghost Sea, 2006, etc.), a sun-drenched memoir about the author's obsessive quest to own a winery. The Hungarian-born, Canadian-raised Mate and his family-Candace, his artist-wife, and their young son-were happily ensconced in La Marinaia, a quaint house in the Montepulciano region of Italy, when Mate confessed his plan to try his hand at making wine. First, he needed a vineyard. After comical encounters with Italian landowners and an uncharacteristically efficient realtor, Mate settled on 15 enchanted acres in the Montalcino region, with a crumbling castlelike house, tangled vines, ancient ruins and fertile soil. Prone to winsome refrains, Mate's prose works only in that it resembles an entertaining newspaper column. He was living the dream, the perfect-but attainable-life, and he's relating it for the benefit of the armchair traveler, the wistful wine lover and the ambitious handyman. The best passages focus on the painstaking restoration of the crumbling house (the land had once housed a friary) and the crew of Italian stonemasons and suppliers who worked with him. Readers interested in a succinct lesson on Italian-building techniques-a subject which, in Mate's hands, is oddly infectious-will be especially drawn to those details, and the lessons in viticulture are also interesting. His wife, who possesses a better "nose" than her husband, completed the ambitious, two-year sommelier course in preparation for their first batch of wine. Their son, nicknamed "Buster," also pops up from time to time to provide comic relief. Rich with details of Tuscan life-the flora (wild roses, rosemary, wild porcini mushrooms), the food (a few delectable recipes and a guide toMate estate wines) and the people-this is a light read with a fairy-tale ending. A formulaic but romantic tale for readers who dream about a charming Under the Tuscan Sun lifestyle.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780920256565
  • Publisher: Albatross
  • Publication date: 10/29/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 974,243
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ferenc Máté is the author of 15 books translated into 12 languages, including New York Times Notable Book A Vineyard in Tuscany and the Dugger/Nello historical sea adventure fiction series. He lives in a 13-century friary with his family tending vines and olives in Tuscany. Visit www.ferencmate.com
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Customer Reviews

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( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2008

    I'm on my way

    I loved this book. I've always hoped to move to Italy 'being a soldiers wife', and this book just re-affirmed that. I fell more in love with Italy through this book than I ever was before. WOW. Beautiful. Not to mention we are wine connoisseurs in the making and now I will be in search of some of the Mate wines. This book is a must read for anyone who has ever dreamed of Italy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I am now sending it to my soldier 'serving in Iraq', to enjoy and dream.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    Anyone with a love of either Italy or wine must read this book! Mate captures Italian life and the gorgeous landscapes with inimitable style. He does it with wit, detail and a sensitivity to human emotions. He captures delightful Italian idiosyncrasies and their lust for life, good food and great wine. His experiences come alive as he takes us through the restoring of the friary, walking the woods and planting the vineyards with his artist wife who has the 'nose' for judging wine, and their young son. If you can read this book and not want to catch the next flight to Tuscany you must be comatose!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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