From Publishers Weekly
A chronicle of wine-making as well as a plug for Iron Horse Vineyards, her family's winery in Sonoma Valley, Calif., this first-person account of the wine-growing year also traces Sterling on her business rounds. We follow her as the vineyard's marketing director, dressed to the nines, traveling across the country and abroad, talking to consumers, offering tastings and creating or assisting at events designed to promote Iron Horse wines, which have been served at White House dinners. Sterling presents a seductive picture of the pleasures (and hardships) of making and marketing wine, and recalls her family's years in Paris, where they lived before buying the California vineyard in 1976. While much attention is paid here to her family's elegant hospitality, the book is also a layperson's guide to the intricacies of wine-making from planting the rootstock through nurturing the vines, harvesting the grapes and marketing the Fume Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet and sparkling wines.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Rambling, sometimes rankling account of a year spent producing, promoting, and peddling the wines of the noted Iron Horse Vineyards in California's Sonoma Valley. Sterling--daughter of the firm's original owners, and marketing and sales director of Iron Horse since 1985--packs in so much p.r. that this is like an infomercial between covers. Sterling describes the winery's yearly round of domestic activities--family get-togethers, anniversaries, gardening, entertaining the doyens of the food-and-beverage industries--with an air of superiority that's captured well in her father's observation that ``Ralph Lauren is just an imitation of people like us.'' The author also turns her attention to such wine arcana as the perils of phylloxera, a fungal disease that has decimated vineyards worldwide; the differences between cordon and cane pruning; and the complexities of the malo-lactic fermentation process. Also included are some snipes at rival wineries, mainly in nearby Napa Valley; plugs for various restaurateurs and their establishments (presumably Iron Horse clients); and name-dropping of a host of political and entertainment figures with whom the author and her family have come in contact. One of Sterling's more successful sections deals with wine experts and their metaphorical jargon--about which she says, ironically, ``more often than not, winespeak is merely pretentious and boring.'' Touted by the publisher as a successor to Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence, Sterling's tale merely proves that charm, like wine, often doesn't travel well. (Ten watercolors) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.