A Vineyard in Tuscany: A Wine Lover's Dream [NOOK Book]

Overview

"A sun-drenched memoir with a fairy-tale ending."—Kirkus Reviews

In this laugh-out-loud tale, two adventurers discover that rare combination: joy and success. Candace, a painter, and Ferenc, a writer, begin a new life near the hill town of Montalcino. They restore a thirteenth-century friary, plant fifteen acres of vines, build a winery, tame a runaway tractor, excavate an Etruscan village, and battle volcanic fermenting vats, while learning from famous vintner neighbor Angelo Gaja the secrets of growing the best...
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A Vineyard in Tuscany: A Wine Lover's Dream

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Overview

"A sun-drenched memoir with a fairy-tale ending."—Kirkus Reviews

In this laugh-out-loud tale, two adventurers discover that rare combination: joy and success. Candace, a painter, and Ferenc, a writer, begin a new life near the hill town of Montalcino. They restore a thirteenth-century friary, plant fifteen acres of vines, build a winery, tame a runaway tractor, excavate an Etruscan village, and battle volcanic fermenting vats, while learning from famous vintner neighbor Angelo Gaja the secrets of growing the best grapes and making superb, award-winning wine. This extraordinary tale will enrich the lives of travelers and wine lovers alike. A New York Times Book Review 2007 Notable Travel Book.
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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: 9780920256732
  • Publisher: Albatross
  • Publication date: 11/17/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 371,636
  • File size: 526 KB

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

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2012

    Recommended with reservations

    If you are planning to renovate a dilapidated friary in Tuscany or tackle the job of restoring an almost nonexistant vineyard, then this is the book for you. It seems to be more of a how-to manual than a narration of a life changing experience. "A tractor needs twenty feet of space to turn around at the end of each row" or "We ran a pipe from the cistern along the top of the vineyard..." were the beginnings of two paragraphs of a step by step description of the exhausting ordeal. Mate illustrated with words his colorful companions and helpmates in a humorous fashion, which was enjoyable, but I kept waiting to read more about his charming and unpredictable wife, Candace and their irrepressible son, Buster. I wanted to know more about their part in such a huge undertaking. Perhaps he is saving that for another book.

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  • Posted December 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great story

    This is a great story about the author's life in Italy. It has humor, sadness, drama and great information about the Tuscany area in Italy and the winemaking process. An easy read.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    Mate does it again!!!

    Mate writes books that I love, I feel as though I am in Tuscany when I read his books. I turn down pages, underline passages. The only thing better would be to have our own Tuscany home.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    Fluffy Escapism

    Mate clearly knows his way around the page; he can craft a sentence with the best of them. Unfortunately, this book is really just a string of little vignettes about buying a Tuscan property and fixing it up (yawn, been there done that). He had an opportunity to add his experiences about growing grapes and establishing a winery on the property, but he blew it. The story simply never ties together. It left me wanting more that just never came. It was nice to read a book like this by a *writer* instead of by an expat looking for something to do. I just wish that there was more "there" there than there is.

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