On October 12, 2005, a massive fire broke out in the Wines Central wine warehouse in Vallejo, California. Within hours, the flames had destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California's finest wine worth more than $250 million, making it the largest destruction of wine in history. The fire had been deliberately set by a passionate oenophile named Mark Anderson, a skilled con man and thief with storage space at the warehouse who needed to cover his tracks.
With a propane torch and a bucket of gasoline-soaked rags, Anderson annihilated entire California vineyard libraries as well as bottles of some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Among the priceless bottles destroyed were 175 bottles of port and Angelica from one of the oldest vineyards in California, made by Frances Dinkelspiel's great-great grandfather, Isaias Hellman, in 1875.
Sadly, Mark Anderson was not the first to harm the industry. The history of the California wine trade, dating back to the 19th century, is a story of vineyards with dark and bloody pasts, tales of rich men, strangling monopolies, the brutal enslavement of vineyard workers, and murder. Five of the wine trade murders were associated with Isaias Hellman's vineyard in Rancho Cucamonga, beginning with the killing of John Rains, who owned the land at the time. He was shot several times, dragged from a wagon, and left off the main road for coyotes to feed on.
In her new book, Frances Dinkelspiel looks beneath the casually elegant veneer of California's wine regions to find the obsession, greed, and violence lying in wait. Few people sipping a fine California Cabernet can even guess at the Tangled Vines where its life began.
©2015 Frances Dinkelspiel (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
was put off by the readers total lack of knowledge about the pronunciation of California towns and cities Wineries and French terms intergral to the wine business why on Earth would they pick this reader for this book. I enjoyed the story and I love the way the author weaved her personal story Into the book
but it was so annoying I just waited for the next problem-- like how do you pronounce sommelier how do you pronounce Charles Krug .
Really enjoyed this story but the narrator's horrible pronunciation errors made it so hard to listen to.
As a wine enthusiast and crime story fan, this tale told a great historical journey of the California wine industry and acts of disgrace it has had to endure. finished the book in 2 days.
The writing was good, but I would avoid this narrator in the future.
It was a very interesting portrait of a con man. I didn't finish listening, but am planning to get the book from the library to read the rest of the story.
Probably not. I was frustrated with the flat narration, but even more so by the poor pronunciation of names of people and places, and even of relatively common words of foreign origin (e.g. "sommelier"). It seemed to me a little briefing/practice before the final recording would have prevented this.
It got me interested enough to pursue finding the book, but I can't recommend this recording.
"Thought ready made the story move along and added drama but she should have done homework on pronunciations."
The author wove disparate stories and yet tied them together with the allure of the wine
loved it, but I love wine and loved learning about its beginnings in California. so very interesting. I think it might be more interesting listening to than reading but I want the book too.
Very interesting book that integrates early California history (particularly Los Angeles and San Bernardino) and attitudes, the innovativeness of wine making, and the bizarreness of the human spirit.
The book toggles between a strange, strange man who let his anger(?) get the best of him, what life was like in early California, and how that led it to its place in the wine industry today. The book also gives interesting glimpses behind the screens of such famous players as Robert Mondavi and Franzia.
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