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In this intimate and uproarious story, two daring New Yorkers convert an ancient, abandoned farm into a world-renowned winery. Finding your dream house with a vineyard in Tuscany is like searching the woods for porcini mushrooms: a labor of love. Such feats require patience, discernment, resolve, and an indestructible sense of humor. The Mates' future home and wine estate lies amid breathtaking scenery in a community brimming with warmth. In Italy's most prestigious wine zone, Montalcino, they restore a thirteenth-century friary nestled on two hills within sixty acres of forest, olives, and potential vineyards. Here they plant fifteen acres of vines, build the winery, and learn from their famous vintner neighbors, like Angelo Gaja, the secrets of how to grow the best grapes and make superb wines. Within the first years, the Mate wines receive international acclaim. This highly entertaining tale of how two dreamers struggle and thrive in idyllic Tuscany will enrich the lives of travelers and wine lovers alike.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780920256565
ISBN-10: 0920256562
Format: Hardback
(215mm x 142mm x 27mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Albatross Publishing,Canada
Publisher: Albatross Publishing,Canada
Publish Date: 27-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: Canada

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » From Italian aficionado Mate (Ghost Sea, 2006, etc.), a sun-drenched memoir about the author's obsessive quest to own a winery.The Hungarian-born, Canadian-raised Mate and his family - Candace, his artist-wife, and their young son - were happily ensconced in La Marinaia, a quaint house in the Montepulciano region of Italy, when Mate confessed his plan to try his hand at making wine. First, he needed a vineyard. After comical encounters with Italian landowners and an uncharacteristically efficient realtor, Mate settled on 15 enchanted acres in the Montalcino region, with a crumbling castlelike house, tangled vines, ancient ruins and fertile soil. Prone to winsome refrains, Mate's prose works only in that it resembles an entertaining newspaper column. He was living the dream, the perfect - but attainable - life, and he's relating it for the benefit of the armchair traveler, the wistful wine lover and the ambitious handyman. The best passages focus on the painstaking restoration of the crumbling house (the land had once housed a friary) and the crew of Italian stonemasons and suppliers who worked with him. Readers interested in a succinct lesson on Italian-building techniques - a subject which, in Mate's hands, is oddly infectious - will be especially drawn to those details, and the lessons in viticulture are also interesting. His wife, who possesses a better "nose" than her husband, completed the ambitious, two-year sommelier course in preparation for their first batch of wine. Their son, nicknamed "Buster," also pops up from time to time to provide comic relief. Rich with details of Tuscan life - the flora (wild roses, rosemary, wild porcini mushrooms), the food (a few delectable recipes and a guide to Mate estate wines) and the people - this is a light read with a fairy-tale ending.A formulaic but romantic tale for readers who dream about a charming Under the Tuscan Sun lifestyle. (Kirkus Reviews)


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