Thursday, July 07, 2005

An Eloquent and Exceptional Wine Memoir

So many winemakers end up scribbling some kind of tome, and many are mostly self congratulating bumper stickers for their careers. I did this...I did that...I was right. They are written by ghosts who have no real sense of the wine world and often fail to bring across the charm and difficulties of vineyard life.

Louisa Hargrave's book The Vineyard is not one of those above mentioned snores. Ms. Hargrave tells of the hardscrable life of a pioneer vineyard owner, which brings across the struggles of everyday farming, bringing up a family, and growing a vineyard business. She and her husband Alex founded Hargrave Vineyards the first winery on Long Island. There are mistakes a plenty, and Hargrave handles it with a great sense of humor and a wonderful sense of grace.

For all those who harbor dreams of owning a vineyard, or wonder what owning a vineyard must be like, Ms. Hrgrave's heartfelt memoir recounts her failures, her triumphs, and her troubles. She is an uber mom, raising children and tending vines, year after year. And Ms. Hargrave details the winery's eventual triumph, as well as detailing the painful, emotional split with her husband.

She is as funny as she is charming...on the page as she is in real life. A fascinating, eloquent, and intimate prtrait of vineyard life.