As wine connoisseurs know, Argentine wine was once famously bad. The grapes were overwatered, harvested in brutal heat, fermented in enormous cement pools, aged in antiquated oak vats, and then watered down and adulterated. The final product was industrial plonk, drinkable only on ice. But in 2001, a Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec blend beat Napa and Bordeaux’s finest in a blind taste test. Suddenly, Argentina emerged as a premier wine region with a champion varietal - what best-selling author Benjamin Wallace calls "the humble Malbec". How did this happen?
Ian Mount’s vivid journey through Argentina’s Wild West explores the alchemy of weather, soil, and viticulture techniques that, on rare occasions, produce a legendary bottle of wine. He also investigates the dynamics of taste, status, and money that turned Malbec into a worldwide phenomenon. Profiling the larger-than-life figures who fueled the Malbec revolution - including celebrity oenologist Michel Rolland, acclaimed American winemaker Paul Hobbs, and the Mondavi-esque Catena family - Mount describes in colorful detail the brilliant innovations and backroom politics that put Malbec on the map.
Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the snow-capped Andes and Mendoza’s sweeping plains, The Vineyard at the End of the World tells the fascinating 400-year story of how a wine mecca arose in the Argentine desert. It is at once a sumptuous travel narrative, a riveting history of a fascinating region, and an intriguing business story in which a small group of passionate vintners remade their world.
©2012 Ian Mount (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"A definite must-read for Malbec drinkers everywhere." (Lettie Teague, WSJ.com)
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. That said, if you are not interested in a) wine, b) economic development in third world countries or c) Argentinian subjects and history, this book would not be for you. While there were times when the author jumps around in the narrative in a manner that makes the storyline more difficult to follow (my one criticism of the actual written book), overall I enjoyed the topic and would listen again, despite my main criticism of the audiobook - the inadequacy and inexpertness of the narrator as to this specific subject matter, and lack of attention to finer points of audiobook production.
Likely in an effort to 'save money' -- the narrator's primary qualification was some knowledge of Americanized spanish, and an ability to use inflection to add interest. Certainly her voice was pleasant. It was a) chronic mangling/mispronunciation of terms used in wine lexicon, b) when she 'messed up' she would simply reread the passage, and no one bothered to edit this out, and c) even more basic, an inability to correctly pronouce 'Chile.' It is correctly pronounced "Cheelay" not 'Chilly.' Grating. I cannot see how the author would be happy with the handling/production of his book in such an inexpert manner, unless he had no say in the matter, which is unfortunate.
My perspective is such because I expect an audiobook to 'take me there' - take me on the journey, take me to the land in question, tell me the story in a way that educates me as the author intends! Nice voice, simply poor execution, and one should hold production accountable.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content