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Shadows in the Vineyard

The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine
Narrated by: Donald Corren
Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Journalist Maximillian Potter uncovers a fascinating plot to destroy the vines of La Romanée-Conti, Burgundy's finest and most expensive wine.

In January 2010, Aubert de Villaine, the famed proprietor of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the tiny, storied vineyard that produces the most expensive, exquisite wines in the world, received an anonymous note threatening the destruction of his priceless vines by poison - a crime that in the world of high-end wine is akin to murder - unless he paid a one million euro ransom. Villaine believed it to be a sick joke, but that proved a fatal miscalculation and the crime shocked this fabled region of France. The sinister story that Vanity Fair journalist Maximillian Potter uncovered would lead to a sting operation by some of France's top detectives, the primary suspect's suicide, and a dramatic investigation. This botanical crime threatened to destroy the fiercely traditional culture surrounding the world's greatest wine.

Shadows in the Vineyard takes us deep into a captivating world full of fascinating characters, small-town French politics, an unforgettable narrative, and a local culture defined by the twinned veins of excess and vitality and the deep reverent attention to the land that runs through it.

©2014 Maximillian Potter (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What members say

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  • Clark R. Smith
  • 29-09-2018

Brilliant and astonishing

An amazing true story of villainy surrounding France’s most sacred soil, enriched wonderfully by a close and engaging exploration of its history and poetic descriptions of the many characters involved. The reader has worked hard to get the French pronunciations correct and can be forgiven a small handful of errors such as pronouncing the “n” in monsieur. A real delight start to finish. As a winemaker myself, the first and last chapters were the most delicious in depicting why we devote our lives to this ethereal fluid.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary
  • 27-07-2016

Wife YES Husband NO

Great if you are interested in wine and a rambling tale. Painful if you like a good tight story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • dullman
  • 28-03-2015

Fascinating history of wine

Really enjoyed the story along with the history of wine, terroir, & the families. A really good story even if you are not "into" wine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel Morrison
  • 24-09-2018

Very good book for wine people

If you’re a wine guy, and especially like Burgundy and the history of the region, you’ll dig this book. It’s a good mystery, but a better history lesson of DRC is DRC.

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  • Shane Dalzell
  • 05-08-2018

Worth a credit of you like wine

Good light story, heavy on the history which I liked. The end was a little bit of a letdown but that certainly isn't the author's fault. Liked it.

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  • Colorado Listener
  • 01-10-2017

Wow. Absolutely loved it!

Wonderful story full of mystery and intrigue. Great insight into how wine is made from grape to fermentation to tasting. It was as if I was there with the author during the picking and harvesting of the grapes. I wondered until the end who was the one poisoning the wine. The additional mix of French history really added to the story. Loved it! Well narrated , easy to hear, understand and great use of French and French accent. Now it's time for me to plan my trip to the DRC!

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  • Maria
  • 08-08-2016

So boring! Deceptive marketing

I heard about this book on a podcast. It was marketed as a mystery about a vineyard crime. This book is not that at all. A very small portion of the book has to do with the crime at the Vineyard. The circumstances of the crime are not very mysterious. Most of the story is irrelevant history and ramblings on by the author. While the winemaker seems very endearing, most of this book is pretentious and not very interesting.

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  • Matthew
  • 03-08-2016

Lot of promise little substance

The book was mostly filler material in the story better fit for a magazine or a book. The author tried to cram a week story to a manageable tell that failed and all accounts.

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  • J. Cadow
  • 25-04-2016

Eet waz eenteresteeng

I do not know why zee reader had to adopt a silly Fronch accent. Zee story was eenteresteeng, zo. Not great leeturateur, but passable.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Benjamin
  • 27-10-2015

just Ok

A bit trite, strangely unnecessary use of basic french words to express obvious concepts makes the book sound needlessly pretentious.