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Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2014
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.
|Publisher:||Grand Central Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Maximillian Potter, an award-winning journalist, is the senior media adviser for the governor of Colorado. He was the executive editor of 5280: Denver's Magazine, and previously a staff writer at Premiere, Philadelphia, and GQ. He has been a contributing editor to Men's Health/Best Life and Details, and contributes to Vanity Fair. Potter is a native of Philadelphia, with a BA from Allegheny College and an MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School. He lives in Denver with his wife and two sons.
Table of Contents
1 The Grand Monsieur 1
2 Unthinkable 22
3 Conti 35
4 Edmond's Hope 50
5 A Sick Joke 69
6 Not a Joke 90
7 Devastator of Vines 103
8 Born Again 114
9 The Obvious Question(s) 129
10 Almaden 140
11 Leads 167
12 Loss 184
13 Drop-off 197
14 Secret Expeditions 203
15 Quelle Pagaille 226
16 Le Maître Chanteur 237
17 A Taste 259
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It's not often you come across books that read as compelling, fictional accounts cast in the world of wine. Rarer still that such an account could be non-fiction and based, very accurately, on actual events. This is why this book is such a delight to read. Yes, Potter steeps us in the intoxicating atmosphere that is Burgundy, with the glowing tenor and timbre of anyone that has had the privilege to travel and spend some time there. But the real hook for me, as a wine lover and someone in the industry, was the realization that this whole story actually took place, building over centuries and culminating in the act of terroirism just a couple of years ago. The novel reads as much a biographical account of Aubert de Villaine as it does a crime plot, which only endears itself to the reader. The language, whilst never technical, is technically accurate, and an immense educational exercise whether you're a novice or an expert. A wonderful book to read and just as others have already mentioned, a great gift for just about anyone, but especially those tuned in to wine.
The crime was 15% of the book the rest was wine history. The book had no flow either.
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