The Heartbreak Grape: A California Winemaker's Search for the Perfect Pinot Noir

Marq de Villers, Author HarperCollins Publishers $23 (197p) ISBN 978-0-06-258523-3
Josh Jensen, the wine-besotted hero of this adventure/love story and founder of the small Calera Wine Company, set out to produce a California wine to rival the best French burgundies--an impossible quest, he was told by vintners. De Villiers ( White Tribe Dreaming ) traces Jensen's apprenticeship in the vineyards of France, his frustrating search in California for the right limestone soil and climate, his acquisition of a barely accessible mountainside in the central part of the state and his dedication to his goal, which ruined his marriage. Along the way, the character of the pinot noir grape and the difficulties of its transformation into the ``perfect'' wine become as compelling to the reader as to Jensen and the author. Equally absorbing are the details of financing the winery, bottling, labelling, pricing and marketing the wine. This gracefully written tale will delight anyone who takes pleasure in a good burgundy. Illustrations. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1993
Release date: 11/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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