The most exquisite fruit-bearing plant that civilization has ever known — vitis vinifera, the grapevine that gives us wine — has been on life support for 150 years. Menaced by an unstoppable root-killing parasite named phylloxera, the chardonnays and pinot noirs and rieslings of the world survive today only by being grafted, Frankenstein-style, onto the trunks of hardier species. So what could compel a small cluster of renegade winemakers to risk everything and grow a grape on its own endangered roots?
Propelled by an encounter with one adventurous winemaking family — the Cobbs of California — sommelier and National Magazine Award-winning journalist Andrew Braithwaite embarks on a half-drunk journey through France, Oregon, Germany, and the wild Sonoma coast. His mission: to discover what motivates an exceptional cast of characters to put their vineyards on the line for a bottle of something special and true.
By turns breezily funny and deeply moving, An Inconvenient Fruit is an original and enchanting debut about grapes, vines, bugs, death, and magic. But it’s also, at its roots, a love story. And with each sip of these rare and star-crossed wines, shared with the determined mavericks who’ve crafted them against all odds, Braithwaite stumbles towards the answer to one of life’s most intoxicating mysteries: what are we really tasting when we drink wine?
Customer ReviewsSee All
A touching story that puts a family face on winemaking
I am not usually the kind of person who buys and reads books about wine: too many dry, snobby descriptions of things I can neither taste nor understand. But this isn't that kind of a book (to put it lightly).
Instead, the author is a truly gifted writer who shares humor and deep insight on the people who have made the struggle against one powerful, microscopic bug into their life's work. By drawing you in to whole winemaking families like the Cobbs of California - and sharing their dreams, their struggles, and their very human flaws - An Inconvenient Fruit gives a thrilling and often touching face to something we usually consume without thinking.
I highly recommend this book for wine drinkers, and especially for those who plan on visiting a vineyard or a tasting room in the future. It's a lovely quick read, and will definitely give you something to talk about!
The book ended too soon! Going to read it again.
Will have you uncorking that great bottle you’ve been saving!
Wonderfully light and unexpected story about the evolution and preservation of winemaking. Makes a great pairing with your favorite bottle.