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.
Why did I want to read (listen) to this book? Wine fascinates me. It has been talked about since biblical times and has taken on the prestige drink of celebrations, congratulations, acceptable item to bring to a dinner party, an accompaniment to dinner, with friends, or yes… while reading a book. While I myself am not a big wine drinker (I like sweeter wines, I refer to them as “baby wines”), I am still fascinated by the process and the beauty of wine in a glass.
Shadows in the vineyard is an engaging true story. It was interesting to learn about this event in our not too distant history and the impact it had on this community. The story line is well paced and kept me fascinated in what was happening. If you have interest in true events this book may be just the one for you.