Remember what it was like as a kid when you got to go to the toy store. That pure sense of excitement and joy. Well for me as an adult a trip to the book store has that same feeling. You never know what new treasures you are going to uncover.
A recent trip to my local bookstore uncovered one such treasure, Maximillian Potter’s “Shadows in the Vineyard”.
It’s the the real story of a plot to poison the vines of LA ROMANÈE-CONTI, one of the world’s most famous vineyards in Burgundy France.
The author Maximillian Potter, began this as story for Vanity Fair magazine but based on what he found he eventually turned it into this book. In his own words: “I went to Burgundy to report on yet another crime, but what I discovered was the poetry of grace, unwavering tenderness, and humanity”.
In telling this story Potter goes into great detail about the individuals involved, the actual act of sabotaging the vines, and the ensuing police sting operation that caught the perpetrator. He writes about the history of the individuals involved in a way that you start to feel connected to them. You begin to understand the characters and why they do the things they do.
In addition Potter goes into great detail regarding the history of the vineyard itself so as to help the reader understand the significance of what happened. You are taken back to the earliest days of the vineyard going as far as back as 1757 during the reign of King Louis XV. He also details the politics, business dealings, and emotions that go into running such an esteemed vineyard.
I really liked how the book was laid out in terms of the story. Potter did a good job of integrating the stories of the vineyard history with the story of the actual plot against it. It almost like you were in the midst of a flashback before coming back to present day.
If your more interested in the historical nature and true crime nature of this book you won’t be disappointed. There’s enough of that matter to hold your interest without overwhelming you with wine making and terminology. If your looking for a good story about winemaking and a world famous vineyard then this book is right up your alley.