In 2001, Michael Sanders spent a year abroad creating an eloquent portrait of rural French life, a story he told through the seasons of a local restaurant and its patrons, the critically-acclaimed FROM HERE YOU CAN'T SEE PARIS. After spending some time back in the States, Sanders decided to return to southern France to complete his journey. This time he decided to focus on the regional wines. FAMILIES OF THE VINE invites the reader into the working lives of three families whose sole crop is the grapes grown in their vineyards, grapes from which they all make very good, yet quite different, wine, as they have been doing for more than four generations. FAMILIES OF THE VINE loosely follows them throughout the winemaking year, from the hopes of spring, through the drama of a summer drought and heat wave, to the mad dash of fall harvest, and then into the wine barns heady with the smells of fermentation and the reek of aging barrels. Rich with the history and tradition of French winemaking, FAMILIES OF THE VINE is told through the voices of winemakers and their friends, from a barrelmaker in Bordeaux to a sommelier in a one-star restaurant.
Whether puzzling over the maddeningly imprecise French concept of terroir or taking a gentle swipe at the 'science' of wine tasting, Michael Sanders has an engaging writing style that will appeal to amateur and enthusiast alike.