Ray Walker had a secure career in finance until a wine-tasting vacation ignited a passion that he couldn't stifle. Ray neglected his work, spending hours poring over ancient French winemaking texts, learning the techniques and the language, and daydreaming about vineyards. After Ray experienced his first taste of wine from Burgundy, he could wait no longer. He quit his job and went to France to start a winery - with little money, a limited command of French, and virtually no winemaking experience.
Fueled by determination and joie de vivre, he immersed himself in the extraordinary history of Burgundy's vineyards and began honing his skills. Ray became a pioneer in his use of ancient techniques in modern times and founded Maison Ilan. In 2009, Ray became the first non-French winemaker to purchase grapes and produce a wine from Le Chambertin, long considered to be one of the most revered and singular vineyards in the world.
Along with his struggle to capture his wine's distinct terroir, Ray shares enthralling stories of late-night tastings, flying down the Route National on a vintage Peugeot bicycle with no brakes, and his journey to secure both the trust of his insular Burgundian neighbors and the region's most coveted grapes. Capturing the sunlight, the smell of the damp soil, and the taste of superlative wine, The Road to Burgundy is a glorious celebration of finding one's true path in life, and taking a chance - whatever the odds.
©2013 Ray Walker (P)2013 Tantor
This book will make you jealous. Ray Walker found a passion. That passion grew into a dream. Hard work, and serendipity fermented into success. A love of wine, became a passion for making it. The Road to Burgundy is a long, and winding one. Full of twists, and turns. Bumps, and pot wholes. But a road you will love walking with Ray. I'll bet you will became so engrossed, that you, like I, will google Ray Walker to see what he is up to today.
Beautifully written, compelling story of courage and following a soul-calling. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and would wholeheartedly recommend this book!
Narration was beautifully done. Crisden's French accent, however - well, if he meant to convey that the author has (or had) an atrocious accent in French, he succeeded thoroughly. We nearly fell over laughing at his pronunciation of "Beaune" throughout the book...
I enjoyed this memoir of a guy who had a dream and followed that dream. He immersed himself in wine making and made his dream happen and he appears to have been fully supported by his wife. Not many of us would dare to give up a job, move to another country and culture and become an expert and success in a field we previously really knew nothing about. And not many partners would hold down the home fort an ocean away. Plus it was educational and well narrated.
Great story, well told, and full of wonderful information about Burgundy and basic wine making. This is a very enjoyable listen.
Man lives out his dream
thought Sean Crisden did wonderful job! Kept me involved and interested, doing an admirable job with difficult French pronunciations
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