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Friday, December 28, 2007

Review: Wine & War

Here’s a good read for when you’re iced in and your sprayer has been winterized, and before you start pruning. Despite its focus on the weighty subjects of the title, it’s easy reading, following anecdotes from winegrowers and winemakers from most of the great regions of France as they suffered under German occupation. It’s often amusing as when defiant vignerons build false walls in their cellars and re-label their plonk for shipment to Berlin. Other vignettes find winemakers facing execution for supporting the Resistance or helping to hide a Jewish family from the Gestapo. Growers also face shortages of labor for harvest or lack of copper for fungicide as the Germans commandeered all metals for their war effort. It will make you grateful that your greatest obstacle to growing good fruit is the weather, as nasty as it can sometimes be.

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