Let's Talk Wine with Eric Garnier
March 2012

"Wine & War"

There are hundreds of books that have been written about wine. Some are informative, some are educations and not too many are fun to read, unless you are a total wine geek.

Some of the more popular books like "Napa" or "Rise and fall of the Mondavi's" were good sellers and good reading. Books like these give you local history or individual history.

Aside from being a wine geek, I also enjoy history. So, you ask, where am I going with this? I recently read a fascinating book called "Wine & War" by Donald and Petie Kladstrup. This book, written in 2002, describes the struggles that the French wineries encountered during WWll.

France is a county that considers wine their most important resource. It is their passion, their livelihood, their way of life. Everything revolves around wine. So when the war broke out, all the wineries did their best to protect their wines.

It is very difficult for me to talk about the book without discussing it in detail. But the major regions of France, Bordeaux, Rhone, Alsace and Burgundy literally scrambled to save their wine. I have personally been to several of the wineries discussed in the book, and as I was reading the book, I could not help from placing myself at these wineries during their difficult times.

It's the passion, the commitment, the pride that allowed most of these wineries and families to somehow survive the war.

I will leave you with only one tidbit from the book. France was occupied in 1939. That was the worst vintage of the century. France was liberated in 1945. That was the best vintage of the century up to that time and one of the best vintages ever.

I hope you enjoy the book as well as I did

Questions or comments? Reach me at : Wineoeric@gmail.com

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