Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher as a sample.
I make no bones about the fact that I want to buy a vineyard and make wine. I know I've never done anything of the sort, but hey, it's just a pipe dream, so I can wistfully think about it. Plus, I've recently discovered that I actually have a green thumb. But that's it, I dream of giving up my life in the city and moving to the country to start a new vineyard or buy one that's already there. Probably not likely to ever happen, so now I just drink the fruits of other peoples' labors.
The book is Seasons Among the Vines: Life Lessons from the California Wine Country by Paula Moulton. Paula and her family picked up and moved from San Francisco to Sonoma County to start new lives as grape growers. They purchased a property that already had acres of land, and her husband kept his job in the city, leaving the grape growing and tending of the family and home mostly to Paula.
Seasons Among the Vines literally had me laughing out loud. The story is peppered with vignettes of the trials and successes of starting life as a farmer. I laughed as a cow came to call the vines home for a period, and was sad as the family fought in the first years over the inevitable troubles of owning a vineyard.
The book is interspersed with short sections on the technicalities of vine-growing, choosing your root stock, methods of training vines, etc. However, if you aren't interested in learning about how to prep your vineyard for the winter, it's easy to skip over these sections and get back to the story.
As with some other wine books I've read recently, I found myself rooting for the success of this family, against the improbable odds: coming from the city, knowing nothing about growing grapes of farming in general, and adjusting to life in a very new and different place. Ultimately, an easy read and a touching, personal story.