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Hardcover The Vineyard: The Pleasures and Perils of Creating an American Family Winery Book

ISBN: 0670032212

ISBN13: 9780670032211

The Vineyard: The Pleasures and Perils of Creating an American Family Winery

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

Louisa and Alex Hargrave were pioneers. Fresh out of Harvard in 1969, in love with each other and their dream of owning a vineyard, they searched the West and East coasts before they bought a run-down 1680-vintage potato farm in 1973, on Long Island's North Fork-and planted ten thousand vinifera vines. At the time, experts said that growing wine grapes on Long Island was impossible. Today, the region is famous for its premium wines. In The Vineyard,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Excellent Read! Inspirational!

The Vineyard takes you on a wonderful adventure that details the Hargraves' ups and downs not only in their business, but also the impact it has upon their personal life. Written with the touch of a wise sage, Louisa should continue to produce more books in my opinion.

The Vineyard

Nice read. This book will be inspiring to those who are contemplating getting into the winery business, and will be interesting to those who just enjoy wine.

Entertaining and Engaging Experience of a Modern Pioneer

A fascinating account of how a highly educated couple from a suburban background became successful "farming" pioneers growing grapes and making wine on Eastern Long Island. This was not sit-on-the veranda farming. The author makes reference to stories of the American frontier, and certainly that is apt, as the dedication and endurance of these pioneers was extraordinary. Their hard personal work in the fields was the equal of the pioneers, and they also had to deal with modern government. All in all, very intriguing and very well written, with enough human detail to make the people come to life.

If you loved "Little House on the Prairie" you'll love this

If you loved "Little House on the Prairie" you'll love this true modern pioneer saga set in (of all places) Eastern Long Island, New York. You don't even have to be a wine enthusiast to enjoy the book, although Louisa Hargraves' descriptions of tasting may make convert you. While telling her 30 year history of growing French varietal grapes (which people said couldn't be done), the author allows us to experience the grit behind the glamour in all its (pardon me) juicy details. As in all successful memoirs, we get a chance to live someone else's life, imagine what it would be like to follow our dream as singlemindedly as she did, and rejoice when dreams come true. We also get to see the price that is exacted. Because Louisa Hargrave keeps us by her side, I stayed up until 2 AM to finish the book. I put it down feeling touched, informed, and inspired.

Work and Love

Here?s a book for a sparsely populated publishing niche: agricultural history as memoir. Hargrave?s declared subject is how she and her husband built a vineyard from scratch on the eastern end of Long Island but it?s also an engaging account of how she got from being an hopeful inexperienced young person of 21 to the mature woman who wrote this book.There's nothing I don't like about The Vineyard.. I like Hargrave?s voice--direct,unadorned, humorous, clear. I like the sense we get of how hard the work was. She doesn?t complain--much--but she does describe her daily life in enough detail that a reader has a vivid, physical sense of the vintner's life. Also, of how tough it isto run a business according to one?s own lights. Her amateurishness--goodsense, not bad sense--at the outset gives way to know-how, but only as shefigured things out. And since the Hargrave wines can't be tasted as we turn thepages, we have to take her word for the standards to which she and her husband aspired. And that?s just what we do; her writing is that persuasive. She doesn?t preen, never tries to show us her best profile, so we hear about her worries and annoyances, as well as about her joys. The book is not all grapes and weather worries. Her children make frequent welcome appearances; her account of her marriage, its beginning, its long happy middle and its end, sounds pretty true-to-life. (If there were messy details, Hargrave doesn?t get into them. Hargrave?s ability to tell the hard truths and yet take the high road is one of her strengths as a writer.) Readers won't feel they know Alex as well as they know Louisa and their children but it?s a sastisfying read nonetheless. On balance, a well-rounded portrait of a couple of people and their business.
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