According to Don and Petie Kladstrup in Wine & War: the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure, it was a well-known fact that Adolf Hitler did not like wine. Still, their leader's teetotalism notwithstanding, the Germans showed no distaste for French wine when they invaded France in 1940. Indeed, one of the first acts of the occupying army was to seize great stores of wine, sending tens of thousands of barrels to the Third Reich and ordering the conversion of thousands of hectares of vineyards into war production. Some French vintners, the Kladstrups write in this enjoyable study, went along with orders. Many others, however, including the heads of distinguished houses like Moe¨t et Chandon, engaged in daring and dangerous acts of resistance wherever they could. Some lied about their yields; others built false walls to hide precious vintages; and still others concocted elaborate ruses, such as sprinkling carpet dust into inferior grades of new wine to give it a musty, distinguished flavour. Not every German was fooled, and some partisans of the grape died for their troubles. But some Germans, at considerable risk to themselves, also looked the other way. The Kladstrups fill their pages with memories of the wine war from both sides of the struggle, stories sometimes sombre, sometimes amusing, that commemorate those "whose love of the grape and devotion to a way of life helped them survive and triumph over one of the darkest and most difficult chapters in French history". --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A sprightly and amusing book, full of spicy anecdotes (Evening Standard)
Entertaining and informative (Sunday Telegraph)
A vibrant panorama of the different wine-producing regions and how they responded to the challenge (Sunday Express)
An interesting book that covers what it says on its cover...some interesting anecdotes which I'll get around to posting on my blog on the French Touraine region ... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jim McNeill
annoyingly repetitive, as though each chapter were written as a monthly column. having said that where it is good, it is excellent in capturing something of what it must have been... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Leslie Williams
a bit disjointed and too many confusing names..but a good ideaPublished 4 months ago by london walker
Nicish book but not really bought for my pleasure. It was well received by the lady for whom I bought it.Published 16 months ago by ROGER L SAUNDERS