Savvy oenophiles may recognize the author as the proprietor of Vintage '59, a local wine import shop specializing in the best of the French vignerons. This charming chronicle of his first foray to France as a buyer for a newly launched import business finds an eager and trepidatious Cloud with a few tricks up his sleeve: an excellent palate and sound connections, thanks to his time employed at MacArthur Liquors and his older brother, Joe, who was living in France. Did we mention that Roy didn't speak any French? That's just one of the challenges in store for those willing to follow the Cloud brothers around the French countryside over 12 days that would forever alter their lives." --Christoper Schoppa, The Washington Post
“Geography, history and viticulture lessons abound in this buoyant tale of brotherhood and Bordeaux. With New World vigor, debut author Cloud invites the reader into the intimate spaces of wine importing with one of the oldest schools in the book—the vignerons of France. . . . The book is rich in detail, knowledge and even a bit of wisdom, which . . . leaves the reader . . . craving another taste, but thrilled at the fortune of experiencing such a wonderful ride.”
“Cloud’s account clips along with ease, including passages of lush, expressive language that shapes the idyllic beauty of the French countryside as well as the unending potential of a fine wine. Readers will relish his experience, and those who love wine will ache to tour the country themselves or, at the least, wander down the French wine aisle to unearth a great bottle of their own.”
"the antidote to Sideways . . . Roy Cloud's gentle, heart-warming account of his French wine initiation is deliciously readable and full of insights." --Andrew Jefford, author of The New France
From the Back Cover
“An engaging memoir.”—Gerald Asher, author of Vineyard Tales and former wine columnist for Gourmet magazine
How one man’s wine-tasting tour of France became a story of discovery, adventure, and brotherhood
Roy Cloud had worked in the wine business for years, watching it transform from a retail backwater to a mainstream fixation, with a huge influx of consumers looking for wine with terroir. By a twist of fate, he found himself on a hurriedly arranged trip to France to persuade small-scale winemaking farms that he should represent their interests in the growing U.S. import market. While Roy’s palate would be challenged in finding the hidden gems of the Loire Valley and Burgundy, his real dilemma was this: He didn’t speak a word of French.
Enter Joe, Roy’s older brother. Different from Roy in every respect, Joe had studied in France and was fluent in the language—and, most importantly, he was free to join Roy in his search. It was simple: Roy would do the tasting, and Joe would do the talking. What could go wrong?
In To Burgundy and Back Again, Roy presents a richly evocative account of their journey—one replete with discovery, adventure, and poignant surprises. Written in the tradition of A Year in Provence and Sideways, this elegantly penned book will delight wine lovers and armchair travelers alike.