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4.5 out of 5 stars186
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on 10 July 2012
I highly recommend this book. It was well-written and made me lose track of time, which is the sign of a good book. As a fellow South African and wine-lover, I enjoyed reading about the Feely's adventures in France. I am inspired by their passion and their guts to follow their dreams. Even though Sean and Caro have gone through great stress, financial anxiety etc, I get the impression they are really living life to the full which is an example to risk-averse, fearful people like me!
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on 16 July 2012
I really enjoyed the book . I felt like I was part of the journey that the Feely family took , sharing in the triumps and the diasters and being angry at the social services organisation inspecter for placing blocks in the way forward . Feeling really good when things took an upward turn . There has got to be a sequal PLEASE .
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on 11 August 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this heartfelt tale of a brave family who followed their dream to become organic viticulteurs and who overcame difficulties with incomprehensible bureaucracy, a lifestyle change and a steep learning curve coping with a dilapidated building, overgrown terrain and savage machinery-and all while not speaking much French initially.
Visit Haut Garrigue if you live nearby [or even if you make a special journey] and toast the Feely's success in some lovely wine. A well-written book for lovers of France and lovers of good wine that inspired me to visit them.
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on 3 July 2012
For anyone who enjoys French holidays and good wine and dreams of owning their own vineyard this is a brilliant book! Despite all the trials and tribulations the Feely family survive and thrive in the most difficult of situations. Well written, thoughtful and amusing. A tribute to family life and the value of good friends. Read and enjoy! You will certainly learn a lot about French wine as a result!
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on 3 August 2012
After reading an article in the Mail about the author I bought the book and was not disappointed. Whilst the book is about starting a fairly elitist wine business,a dream out of reach for alot of people, Caro has managed to bring alive the grim realities and the total joy of starting any business,it is an inspiring read and I can't wait for her sequel!
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on 23 July 2012
This book was a joy to read from beginning to end. It combined what one expects from a book about moving to rural France (renovations, language, neighbours, food and sunsets) with a detailed story of learning the art of winemaking as you go along. Highly recommended if you want to start becoming a garagiste or maybe something more ambitious.
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on 5 June 2012
This book is a super insight into what it takes to make a good bottle of wine. It is essential reading for anyone who likes wine. Easy to read and entertaining it makes one appreciate all the hard work that goes into making a glass of red or white. It has me convinced never to buy a bottle of non-organic wine again. If you ever had a dream of buying a property in France with vines to make your own wine - read this book before you commit yourself!

Grape Expectations: A Family's Vineyard Adventure in France
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on 17 November 2014
I very much enjoyed Grape Expectations. I found Caro's writing style lucid and free flowing. It gave me an insight into the difficulty of, and hard work needed, to take on a vineyard and old house in France along with the need to develop language skills and learn how to deal with the local bureaucracy. With a bottomless pocket it would have been just hard work and not too stressful but with limited resources it must have been a nightmare. Caro is to be congratulated on developing "sidelines" to help stabilise their venture. I would like to sample the products of all their hard work but it is not likely to make its way "downunder". I look forward now to reading her second book "Saving Our Skins" which I understand was published earlier this year (2014).
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on 1 February 2015
Like so many people who have a dream of living in France, it's never as easy as you imagine. The red tap and archaic laws make it extremely hard to make a living. This book tells of yet another couples dreams and then the reality. Two high flyers in the UK, giving it all up for years of renovation, trying to run a vineyard with no experience, running out of money and aspirations of living organically in rural France. Some of the dialect was tedious. Although your heart goes out to this couple, and I wish them well, there was far too much technical information for the average reader. I skipped page after page, finding it boring. If you reach the closing chapters, you'll find glimmers of hope.
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on 26 January 2015
I stumbled across this book by accident on my newly acquired Kindle thingy, and thoroughly enjoyed it! As an amateur home winemaker myself, I was intrigued to learn that many of the issues I face at home are present in the commercial world. But this is so much more than a book about making wine, rather it is a book about a journey of discovery. Discovering new opportunities, new lifestyles, new family circumstances, new pleasures, as well as new frustrations, fears and disappointments. The author is not afraid to tell it like it is, even to the extent of relating relationship 'issues'! This is a warts and all story and I loved it!
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