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Wine Country Reading

I am currently reading the book, “The Far Side of Eden”, by James Conaway. The story of new money, old land and the battle for Napa Valley is the second to the book “An American Eden” written a decade earlier by James outlining the early days of Napa Valley. I really enjoyed the first book and looked forward to this new chapter in the history of the Valley. This book tells of the start of the 90’s in the valley. It no longer was about the wine itself, it had begun to change where owning a winery was a symbol of status. As you can imagine the local folks and the “outsiders” views differed greatly. Let’s face it; you have a home grown Napa Valley winemaker living next door to an absentee winery owner. The fact that one lives in the valley and one merely visits the valley would make them different. It also would naturally change their regard for the land itself. While I am not done with the book, it is clear to see how many issues can result from the scenario above. As well as overcrowding of wineries becoming an issue, the amount of tourists, and the water supply are all key factors in the struggle. Although I don’t care much about the political views outlined in the book, I still find the history of the valley fascinating. What is more exciting to me is the fact that I have visited the valley several times and recognize many of the names and places discussed, but I am also excited by the fact that I will be back in the valley in less than a month. It is always great to read a book about Wine Country just prior to vacation, sometimes it prompts a new idea of some place you’d like to visit or a winery mentioned that you have yet to visit. It sure gets the excitement building if nothing else. A full review of the book will follow when finished. In the meantime if you have a Wine country vacation planned, or just want to gain some knowledge about where some of best wines are produced pick up one of the many books about the valley.

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