Book Description for The Winemakers
1956: When Caterina Rosetta inherits a cottage in the countryside of Italy from a grandmother she’s never known, she discovers a long-buried family secret — a secret so devastating, it threatens the future of everything her mother has worked for.
Many years before, her mother’s hard-won dreams of staking her family’s claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition; but as an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragic secret that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother’s buried past.
From author Jan Moran comes The Winemakers, a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.
Researching The Winemakers at Grgich Hills in Napa Valley
“Wine loosens the tongue of even the most ardent soul.” – From The Winemakers
While in Napa Valley conducting research for The Winemakers, I had the good fortune of visiting with winemaker Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, co-founder of Grgich Hills.
Mike is recognized as one of the leading winemakers in the world. His 1973 Chardonnay, created for Chateau Montelena, garnered top accolades for white wine at the Paris Judgment in 1976. In a blind taste test, a panel of expert French judges tasted white French Burgundy wines and Napa Valley Chardonnays and pronounced one the winner. The judges were shocked when it was revealed that a California wine had taken the top honor as the world’s finest white wine.
I was honored to celebrate Mike’s ninetieth birthday at a special vintner’s dinner in the cave at the Meritage Resort and Spa, where he shared more of his amazing, trailblazing accomplishments in the wine business. Originally from Croatia, Mike and his team adhere to natural winemaking in a style reminiscent of that of his grandfather’s.
With his jaunty royal blue beret and perennial smile, Mike’s eyes still sparkle when he speaks of wine. He shared his philosophy his life with me, saying, “The secret to success is suffering, so that you work hard to achieve more.”
Mike followed up that comment with three pieces of advice his father gave him. “First, work your hardest every day. Second, learn something new every day. And third, make a friend every day. That way, at the end of a year you’ll have 365 new friends.” He then added, “And friends are the most valuable thing in the word.”
Today Mike’s daughter Violet and his nephew, Ivo Jeramz, look after the family business. I also met with Ken Morris and Maryanne Wedner, who explained that Grgich wines are 100% estate-grown, produced, and bottled. The company has 366 acres planted in five vineyards in Napa Valley, including vineyards in the appellations of American Canyon, Carneros, Yountville, Rutherford, and Calistoga. To learn more about the Paris Tasting, look for the film Bottle Shock, and visit Grich Hills online.
Jan Moran is a Rizzoli bestselling and award winning author. She writes historical women’s fiction for St. Martin’s Press (Scent of Triumph, The Winemakers), contemporary women’s fiction (Flawless, Beauty Mark, Runway), and nonfiction books (Vintage Perfumes, Fabulous Fragrances). Her stories are smart and stylish, and written with emotional depth. Jan often draws on her international travel and business experiences, infusing her books with realistic details.
The Midwest Book Review and Kirkus have recommended her books, calling her heroines strong, complex, and resourceful. She likes to talk to readers on her website and on social media. She lives in southern California and loves lattes and iced coffee, anything chocolate, and Whole Foods Double Green smoothies to balance it all out.
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