Amazon.com's marketing causes me problems. Viewing one product always leads to viewing another and that's how I ran across this book and couldn't resist adding it to my cart.
This is a followup to author Máté's The Hills of Tuscany, which I haven't yet read but am now going to have to.
A Vineyard In Tuscany traces the Máté family - Ferenc, wife Candace and son Buster - as they search for their ideal dream house and vineyard in beautiful Tuscany.
The adventure begins as do most things, with a thought. Máté's thought is a dream of owning a vineyard, something, as with most of us, that grows and grows and can't be ignored.
Chapter one ends with this:
And then I dreamt of the very best part: a bottle, on the table cloth, reflecting candlelight, and our dinner guests staring in admiration at the elegant label of our very own wine.
From there the reader is taken along for 37 more chapters on how he made the dream come true. First comes the search for the right place, then the renovations to the house, the planting/development of the vineyards, and the making (and partaking) of the wine.
The chapters are fairly short, for the most part self-contained with only the loose thread of an unquenchable quest for a vineyard and the ultimate wines to show for it tying it all together. It's easy, entertaining reading that's full of joy, enthusiasm and humor (and envy/wistful thinking on my part as I imagined what it would be like to experience such a change of scenery).
I see one reviewer on Amazon was rather critical of the book, opining that it should have had more details about restoring the estate he and his family decided on, as well as the vineyards and wine making process. And more character development. My opining is that doing so would have made for a totally different, and much drier book.
Máté provides just enough detail to keep us in the loop and turning the pages, making it a vicarious experience for the reader. It's like a "best of" compilation of the events that happened along the way.
My only complaint: I was curious about the wines. If you go to FerencMate.com, it refers you to John Morrell and Company as the place where you can purchase them. But searching their site for any of the wines comes up with a goose egg. With names like Banditone, Mantus or Albatro, it should make it easy for a search engine but all three queries, as well as Ferenc Mate or simply Ferenc come up with no results.
But about the book I have no quibble. If you're looking for some entertaining reading this summer, give this one a try.
Here is a link to the product page at Amazon.com: A Vineyard in Tuscany