“The sunlit days of Tuscany can bewitch you: the cypresses pointing to the sky, the hard shadows, the cicadas, the long hot afternoons, the sunsets that set the edges of the clouds on fire.  But it’s the moonlit nights that steal your heart away!”  ~ A Vineyard in Tuscany, p. 238

TuscanyThis is the first passage I read as I thumbed thru this month’s Wine Book Club selection, A Vineyard in Tuscany, written Ferenc Mate. 

Sadly, August marks the final month for the Wine Book Club which was started, organized and run by Deb from Good Wine Under $20.   Although this is the last formal virtual meeting of the Wine Book Club, I’m sure our core group of monthly participants (Deb along with Kori from Wine Peeps) will continue to read wine related books, and post our respective reviews.   Long before I began participating in the WBC, I relied on book reviews written by wine bloggers for ideas and insights in to wine-related books to read.

A Vineyard in Tuscany is Ferenc’s fairytale account of purchasing a 13th century friary located in the Montalcino region of Italy.  Not only did Ferenc and his wife Candance purchase a remarkable property located in one of the world’s renowned wine regions, the book includes Mate’s obsession with remodeling his new home with an uncompromising attention to authenticity.  As a side note, the finished product is absolutely amazing (pictures here ). 

“Planting a vineyard to make your own wine is not for those with short attention spans.”

As if remodeling a 13th century structure wasn’t enough, A Vineyard in Tuscany includes Ferenc’s foray in to winemaking – preparing his land for a vineyard, entertaining potential customers and surviving the process of making wine.  All of the work paid off for Mate as his wines appear to have been well received by the wine scoring press.

Although the book is fairytale like – with a famous wine making neighbor, living in a historic structure in one of the most beautiful regions on earth – I actually appreciate the low-key moments of the book… the quality time the Mate’s spent with their friends the Paolucci’s, searching out porcinis, taking a family hike in the snow, and even having relations while their son was outside.

A.D.D. Summary = Quick read.  Engaging.  Humorous.  Fairytale-esque. Excellent book!  Buy it.  Read it.

To celebrate our final Wine Book Club, I tried to find Mate’s wines here in Virginia, but was unable to.  I also checked a few wine shops in Seattle and Portland while I was on travel, but alas none.k

A big virtual hat tip to Deb for taking this on and keeping the WBC going for so long!  I’ve read several great books that I would not have otherwise made the time for because of the Wine Book Club!  Also a hat tip to Kori of Wine Peeps for participating each month and writing such thorough reviews – you provide a great writing benchmark to aim for.