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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than vineyards
I bought this as a wine enthusiast. In his year off in the Languedoc Patrick Moon was lucky to come across Virgile who needed every spare pair of hands in his struggle to produce wines in the traditional way, true to the terroir - rather than selling out as bulk production to the local co-operative. After reading the book I was pleased to see that Virgile's 2001 is one of...
Published on 11 Oct 2004 by JONATHAN GOODWIN

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dearie me
I really struggled with this book , i found it very slow , and quite boring . I gave up half way through as it just didnt hold my interest . This is obviously just my opinion , it just wasnt for me at all.
Published on 20 April 2011 by caravancat


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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than vineyards, 11 Oct 2004
By 
JONATHAN GOODWIN (LONDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I bought this as a wine enthusiast. In his year off in the Languedoc Patrick Moon was lucky to come across Virgile who needed every spare pair of hands in his struggle to produce wines in the traditional way, true to the terroir - rather than selling out as bulk production to the local co-operative. After reading the book I was pleased to see that Virgile's 2001 is one of the few Coteaux de Languedoc to be awarded 2 stars in a leading 2004 French wine guide.
While vines and wine making are at the heart of the book, its appeal is far wider. the fun really starts when the bottles get opened - usually at the instigation of Moon's neighbour and self-appointed wine guide, Manu. The tone of the book is set at their first encounter over a bottle of next door's home made at 10 am on a January morning. Despite all the pleasure of the seemingly endless tastings, one can't help feeling some sympathy for the author in the face of the ever cunning Manu - a cat and mouse game in which Moon is always the mouse. In his helplessness he emerges as the real hero of the book. A great read for anyone loving wine, food, France or just humour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning the way of the wine from the heart of the vineyard, 24 Mar 2014
This review is from: Virgile's Vineyard: A Year in the Languedoc Wine Country (Kindle Edition)
In this first book, we join Patrick as he spends a year in the Languedoc at the house he inherited from his uncle. As well as exploring, taming his land and getting to grips with the unique water supply, Patrick sets himself a challenge to discover and understand the wine of the region. With his three self-appointed experts we learn alongside him; the history of the area (from an expat divorced history teacher), the way of the locals (from Manu, his wine drinking neighbour) and the art of Languedoc wine making (from Virgile, a local vigneron).

This book was a pleasure to read and I have to admit to smiling to myself from the very beginning as so many of the great descriptions were spot on. It is not difficult to imagine you are in the Languedoc and learning about the life and wine, alongside Patrick with just enough information and snippets of history to be interesting rather than over bearing.

For a memoir, Patrick unusually keeps himself in the background and it is his three experts who come alive from the pages, especially Manu – the loveable rogue. I couldn’t wait to carry on and read book two Arrazat’s Aubergines.

This book has recently been updated and re-released and would be ideal for those who love life in France memoirs, plus those with an interest in French wine and the food of the Languedoc. But be warned, it will make you hungry and want to visit the area.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best holiday read, 18 Mar 2014
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what a fantastic read if you enjoy a glass of wine this is well written and moves at quite a pace and will leave you yearning for sunny days in the languedoc
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A year's worth of fun!, 20 Nov 2013
This review is from: Virgile's Vineyard: A Year in the Languedoc Wine Country (Kindle Edition)
Read all about Patrick who inherits a French property in the Languedoc, and meets up with a variety of characters, some heroes and some villains! That includes one dapper French winemaker Virgile Joly who has just started his own winery, and with whom he spends a year tracking and assisting the progress of his vines and wines; whilst also discovering some of the history and tastes of the Languedoc wine region too.

A thoroughly enthralling book which I love to go back and re-read - it is an excellent choice as a present for any wine-lover, Francophile, or just anyone really!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and Very Readable, 9 Nov 2013
The story begins when Patrick moves into a property he has inherited from his Uncle. Taking a sabbatical from his regular job, he relates his experiences of living in the Languedoc during 2001. He learns about the region, its wines and winemaking, and becomes integrated with the locals. Travelling around, he visits many historical monuments and wine cellars, becoming acquainted with many of the local wines in order to stock his own cellar.

Very early on in the year, he discovers Virgile's Cave in the nearby village of St Saturnin. Virgile is just getting going on his own. He needs all the help he can get, and he and Patrick become good friends.

With a chapter on each month of the year, Patrick writes about all the stages of the winemaking process, from pruning the vines on cold winter mornings through to picking the grapes in the early autumn, fermentation and bottling. Virgile has to make many difficult decisions along the way. He is very meticulous about everything he does and comes across as a bit of a perfectionist! It's long hours and hard work, but Virgile's raw passion and determination to succeed are second to none. His motto, "Si tu veux, tu peux", has clearly got him where he is today.

Written with wit and in a very readable style, I'd heartily recommend this highly informative and light-hearted book to all wine lovers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a delight for wine lovers, 7 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Virgile's Vineyard: A Year in the Languedoc Wine Country (Kindle Edition)
If you want to find out about the secrets of growing a vineyard and making wine in a clear and amusing way this is your book. Even if you are just a wine lover and have no viticultural ambitions (like me) there is a lot to learn and be entertained by.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read for anyone visiting the Langedouc, 25 Mar 2013
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A great book, I already have this as a hardback and wanted a cheap paperback to lend out. At 1p plus postage you can not go far wrong and and delivery was speedy,

however it was dogearred

"Seller note: The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged"

20 or so pages folded over in the top corner, I would still have bought it for a penny but the description system used by Amazon appears not to cover this issue of dog earred pages adequateley. The pages are indeed intact and they are not marred by notes or highlighting and the spine is intact, however!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dearie me, 20 April 2011
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I really struggled with this book , i found it very slow , and quite boring . I gave up half way through as it just didnt hold my interest . This is obviously just my opinion , it just wasnt for me at all.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, what can the matter be?, 4 Aug 2004
I picked up this book in a French book-shop. Reading the reviewing comments on the rear cover prompted me to purchase it, at a cost of 12 euros. Alas if ever there was a case of the journey being far more exciting than the arrival, then this was a case in point, except that the journey never got above the normal pulse rate.
After a slow start it got even slower, most of the characters, Manu, Krystina, Virgil and Madame Gros were not believable. Nobody can possibly be so naive - especially not a lawyer - as the author appeared to be. I detected familiar plots in parts of a rather dull story line. I kept hoping that the author would do something to snap me out of my boredom, I awaited in vain. At the end of two weeks I still had not finished reading it - despite being kept indoors by horrendous weather - preferring travel flyers, brochures etc. Having read a number of books connected to France as seen through the eyes of a British writer, I am usually left with a curiosity for the area written about...on this occasion I was just glad I managed to finish the book, but I did so want to enjoy it.
This is just 'another book on France' but with nothing out of the ordinary to justify its publishing...or price.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Basic vin de pays, 25 April 2014
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I found this mildly diverting, mainly because it deals with places and wines with which I'm familiar - I've been buying the wines of the eponymous Virgile for several years. The book runs amiably through a range of cliches and awkwardly stitched in background that would probably leave most readers less than fully engaged.
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