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The Winemaker [Kindle Edition]

Noah Gordon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From the author of The Physician and Shaman now comes this story of a young man—the grapes he grows, the wine he fashions, the women he loves, and his struggle against an evil that seeks to destroy him. Already an international bestseller.

Josep Alvarez is a young man in the tiny grape-growing village of Santa Eulália, in northern Spain, where his father grows black grapes that are turned into cheap vinegar. Joseph loves the agricultural life, but he is the second son, and his father’s vineyard will be inherited by his brother Donat, the firstborn. Josep needs to keep his hands in the soil. He yearns for a job growing grapes and for an opportunity to marry Teresa Gallego.

In Madrid, an assassination plot, conceived against the political leader of Spain by men of wealth and power, creates a storm of intrigue that sucks into its vortex a group of innocent young farm workers in Santa Eulália. How Josep’s life is changed drastically by these events, and how, ironically, they gradually turn him into an inspired vintner with an evolving vision of life, is the fascinating story of The Winemaker.

Editorial Reviews


“Conciseness is Gordon’s greatest skill. He unfolds a plot branching out far, until a panoramic view of a world past emerges—as vivid as the great realistical novels of the 19th century.” —Welt am Sonntag (Germany)
“So suspenseful that you cannot put it down.” —Leipziger Volkszeitung (Germany)
"Gordon's healthy obsession with research, his ability to create extremely realistic characters, and that innate literary talent of his for which there's no explanation are certain to make this book another best seller." —Elle Magazine (Spain)
“A wonderful book. Enjoy it with a good bottle of wine.” —Bücher (Germany)

Book Description

From the author of The Physician and Shaman comes this story of a young vintner—the grapes he grows, the wine he fashions, the women he loves, and his struggle against an evil that seeks to destroy him. Already an international bestseller.

Product Details

  • File Size: 614 KB
  • Print Length: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Barcelona eBooks (June 5, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00840D1EU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,827 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The intersection of wine and literature June 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The intersection of wine and literature is a fine place to rest. The Winemaker will appeal to those who like a good story and to those who appreciate a good glass of wine. Those who love both wine and literature might place The Winemaker on their annual list of favorite reads. It will certainly be on mine.

After four years working in the vineyard and barrel room of a vintner in Languedoc, Josep Alvarez has developed an appreciation of fine wine that he could never have imagined growing up on his father's farm in Catalonia, where grapes are grown to produce vinegar and wine that tastes like horse urine. When he learns that his father has died, Josep decides to return home for the first time since 1870. He discovers that his brother, Donat, wants to sell the farm. Josep buys it and settles in, content to own "a slice of Spain" and hoping to use the knowledge he acquired in France to revitalize the neglected vineyard. Climbing a hill on the property and discovering hundred year old Garnacha vines, he begins to wonder whether it might be possible to produce grapes suitable for something more palatable than vinegar.

After these scene-setting chapters, the novel backtracks to explain why Josep left Spain and how he struggled to make his way into the world. It then returns to the present as Josep pursues his new life as a winemaker. The last section completes a journey of self-discovery as Josep learns to embrace the pleasures of a simple life while resisting his neighbors' urges to be satisfied with its limitations.

While there is satisfying drama in the growing of grapes, Noah Gordon finds things for Josep to do that heighten the story's tension, from chasing a wild boar to the odd but dangerous sport of castell-building.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very satisfying story June 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved this book! It was such a pleasure to read. Josep is a hardworking, honest man who you only want the best for. Of course, he has his flaws, his moments of bad judgment, but generally, he is a wonderful salt-of-the-earth kind of man. While the story has some more exciting moments, most of the tension resides in the general flow of the story: as a reader, I wanted things to go well for Josep. When they didn't, I worried. When they did, I was happy.

The description mentions a political angle to the story which I was a little worried about, as I don't like political intrigues. Luckily, this was only a very small part of the book and served merely to give Josep a history that may come to find him later on in the story.

The story has this friendly, amiable feel similar to that in The Physician (which is one of those books that is eternally in my re-read loop). It reminded me to quite a large extend, in terms of general feel, of The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani. That book starts off in Italy rather than Spain and takes place a little later (1910s rather than 1870s). Also, in Trigiani's book, the story moves to the big city, New York, and later small town America, while The Winemaker takes place mainly in Northern Spain, in a small village.

Even so, these are books about genuine, hardworking people, that struggle through adversity but that deserve a better life than they have. That makes them very satisfactory stories.

The Winemaker follows Josep through a few years of his life, trying to make a living as a vineyard owner. Starting off on his own on his family's vineyard with a debt to his brother, he gains more and more friends and business connections to help him fulfill his dream of successfully running the vineyard. No need to have a special interest in wines or vineyard to appreciate this book.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Formulaic September 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been on a Noah Gorden reading jag. Having enjoyed The Physician I then read Shaman and the last one to complete the trylogy. They seemed to lack something as I headed for the end. This book, 'The Winemaker'took me back to the good writing that I had encountered in the Physician, in this book I learned about Spanish wines and some parts of Spanish history that I must have slept through in class. It was an enjoyable tale not quite a page turner, but almost.
I'd give this 3Stars.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ordinary men January 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
A great story with Spain as the backdrop of one ordinary individual who triumphs through hard work and perseverance and realizes that success comes with the help of others.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Wine Maker September 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A wonderful story with informative information about how the wine industry started. The factual information is so skillfully mixed into the story line you dont know your learning about such elegant stuff.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow paced March 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Normally I don't finish reading a book like this but at least I did read this through to the end. Maybe I was just empathising with the main character's daily toil. The thing that drew me to it was the mental images of Mediterranean vineyards and the historical perspective. It was too slow paced for me though. The central disruption to their lives caused by one of the many civil wars in that country came early in the book and was not enough to prop up the remaining chapters. I only really finished it because of the almost soporific de-stressing effect it had on me.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of an Italian vineyard January 29, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Gordon's historical journey into the making of an Italian vineyard from the 1800s. The book includes political intrigue on a local and national scale, a good look at life in the 1880s in a small village, romance all combined the difficulty of wine making. I enjoyed the character development, both good and bad. If you are into wine and the history of wine at all, this might be a good book for you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Story of hard work, love, and family
I loved the story. There were a few editing errors but I loved the story of adversity to prosperity and the people who mAde it happen. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Jesse
4.0 out of 5 stars Not terribly exciting but with reasonably developed major characters
Engaging because of insight into actual historical events and how they affected one man and his small village in Spain. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Brenda S. Cockrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 22 days ago by C. Fowler
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
A nice read however, it was easy to put down!
Published 28 days ago by Julie McCarthy
2.0 out of 5 stars I felt like I was reading a young adult book
Not as well written as Gordon's other books. I felt like I was reading a young adult book.
Published 1 month ago by Carol S
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great, Gordon is one of my favs
Published 1 month ago by christina miller
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for an evening or two by the fireplace
A charming story but not up to Noah Gordon's standards. It is simply a good, relaxing read.
Published 1 month ago by SC Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I really enjoyed this book. Well written. I live in San Diego which has a wine infrastructure developing. The book gave me valuable insite. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jim Coffee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good story with characters that are real.
Published 1 month ago by Mavis U.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A satisfying and enjoyable read, though not blown away.
Published 1 month ago by TX Horns
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