The best books about vineyards

Melody Carlson Author Of Looking for Leroy
By Melody Carlson

The Books I Picked & Why

Under the Tuscan Sun

By Frances Mayes

Book cover of Under the Tuscan Sun

Why this book?

I love how Frances, after heartbreak, leaves everything behind to reinvent her life in beautiful Tuscany Italy. Doesn’t that sound dreamy? Although she faces challenges and hardships—language barrier, renovating an old house, making friends—it’s a lovely worthwhile journey. And her descriptions of grand old homes, glorious vineyards, delicious foods... are all scrumptious. I visited Italy ages ago and being transported back there in this delightful autobiographical story was pure delight. 


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A Good Year

By Peter Mayle

Book cover of A Good Year

Why this book?

This story, primarily set in France, is about a guy who loses his job in Great Britain and inherits his uncle’s vineyard in Provence. There are quirky scenes in this book that make you laugh out loud, and scenes that tug at your heartstrings. Years ago, I spent a little time in France and remember looking longingly at French wine country—from the windows of a train, and wishing I could hop off and visit some of those beautiful places. Isn’t that why we love books? We can travel vicariously! 


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A Walk in the Clouds

By Deborah Chiel

Book cover of A Walk in the Clouds

Why this book?

This is a beautiful story set in Post WW 2 era about a young woman on her way home from college. She is ‘in trouble’ and in need of a good friend. Her family of Spanish/Mexican heritage owns a vineyard in California and is very traditional. She meets up with a young soldier, also on his way home. He offers to help her... and the magic, as well as the trouble, begins. This is a lovely romantic story... a celebration of fate and true love. 


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A Year in Provence

By Peter Mayle

Book cover of A Year in Provence

Why this book?

Okay, this is another Peter Mayle book, but there are only so many vineyard books that I can recall at the moment. And this is an excellent one! I think it’s the first ‘vineyard’ book that I ever read. Similar to Under the Tuscan Sun, it’s a true story about how Peter and his wife relocated to Provence France for an amazing year. And it’s an amazingly well-written story that transports you straight into French wine country. I particularly love his description of the ancient farmhouse they occupy during their year. This is a real ‘take you away’ tale.


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The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen

By Frances Mayes, Edward Mayes, Steven Rothfeld

Book cover of The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen

Why this book?

What better way to transport ourselves to a different place than by food. I love how Frances and Edward share simple traditional Tuscan recipes in this cookbook. Things you can actually concoct in your own kitchen, and you know they’re tried and true. These recipes make me want to drag a long table outside, set lanterns and flowers upon it, invite some friends and neighbors, then bring out generous platters of pasta and ragu and chewy bread and... a fine bottle of wine... and just enjoy!


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