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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting history
Doug Shafer writes an interesting story of he and his father and their wine business. I have been a fan of Shafer Wineries for years and my one visit to their place in Napa sticks in my mind as I read this book. Modest to a fault, both father and son have done an amazing job to create a world class wine business out of a father's dream. Read it and learn a great deal...
Published 16 months ago by L. P. Roberts

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3.0 out of 5 stars Napa Auto-bio
This is a carefully written story of a winery which has great wines and has been a part of a fascinating time. A good beach book that leaves you wanting to know more about the area
Published 7 months ago by Chauncey Gardner


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting history, November 25, 2012
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This review is from: Vineyard in Napa (Kindle Edition)
Doug Shafer writes an interesting story of he and his father and their wine business. I have been a fan of Shafer Wineries for years and my one visit to their place in Napa sticks in my mind as I read this book. Modest to a fault, both father and son have done an amazing job to create a world class wine business out of a father's dream. Read it and learn a great deal about the pain and the pleasure of this special business. It is a very readable story that should appeal to wine lovers and those aspiring to be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shafer Family is a legacy, March 24, 2013
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This review is from: A Vineyard in Napa (Hardcover)
this book is an incredible window into the world of a farming family that has superseded most other wineries in Napa Valley in so many ways. There couldn't be a better family to have written such a book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shafer, March 5, 2013
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This review is from: A Vineyard in Napa (Hardcover)
This entrepreneur have built an amazing winery that produces one of my favorite wines. If you haven't tried their "1.5" wine, you really should.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, October 17, 2013
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This review is from: Vineyard in Napa (Kindle Edition)
Interesting to see how napa developed from the early years to 2010. Real life is often more interesting than fiction. Good luck to the shafer family moving forward.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An American Story, October 10, 2013
This review is from: A Vineyard in Napa (Hardcover)
The story of Shafer Vineyards as told by Doug Shafer is a very American tale. A man moves west with his family, faces trials and tribulations, overcomes challenges, and triumphs. In this case it was the smart and gentlemanly John Shafer who showed up at the right time and the right place to help propel the Napa Valley to its current status as the most recognizable "brand" in American wine. It's an engaging story well told with a light touch and a readable style, interweaving the family story with the wine story. It nicely captures a unique time and place from the vantage point of a participant embedded in the recent history of Napa.

But the American story is also about experimentation and innovation, and the shaping of taste profiles for American wines, responding to both market signals and the (then emerging) power of Parker. The driving theme of the Shafer endeavor has been a search for excellence, another very American theme, fueled by a desire to figure out what great American wine might taste like and how it might fit into the pantheon of the greats wines of the world.

If you're a Napa fan, there are some excellent stories here of early days.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging memoir, September 14, 2013
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This review is from: A Vineyard in Napa (Hardcover)
Honest, heartfelt account of struggles for one family in Napa creating a cult wine. Learned a lot about winemaking in the process. You will love this family.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Napa Auto-bio, August 22, 2013
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This review is from: A Vineyard in Napa (Hardcover)
This is a carefully written story of a winery which has great wines and has been a part of a fascinating time. A good beach book that leaves you wanting to know more about the area
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4.0 out of 5 stars More than a look at a winery, February 26, 2013
This review is from: A Vineyard in Napa (Hardcover)
What made a successful publishing executive living in Chicago, approaching his 50th birthday, decide to purchase a vineyard in California and, without any knowledge of winemaking, change careers "on a whim"?

This book looks at the interesting, remarkable life of John Shafer who has managed to establish what wine critics say is one the world's greatest wineries in a remarkably short time. Despite being written by Shafer's son, this is no hagiography. The trials and tribulations of setting up a business, learning a lot of things from scratch and the problems that beset the operation are all covered in graphic detail through 50 small chapters. Ups as well as downs.

There is no detailed analysis of the Napa Valley wine industry as a whole. This is a clear personal narrative, a written documentary of the journey that the Schafer family has made and a look at their present blueprint for the future. The company, despite its success, is not resting on its laurels and has to keep an eye out for changing customer tastes, environmental, ecological, regulatory and business challenges that may come in the future.

Obviously it helps to have at least an interest in wine, the region or business to at least make the most out of this book. Sure, it could even be classed as a real-life general interest novel (sic) if you wish but a lot of the real joy is the colour material, the nuggets of information, the personal testimony that accompanies this book. Despite the acknowledged pride, justifiable love and admiration that the author holds for what is the family business, an element of objectivity, reserve and discretion remain. The author's I and W-E keys have not been overburdened, so despite it being a book about Shafer, other pertinent things are also covered.

The chapters are concisely, yet informatively written, allowing this book to be one of those things you can read on the move, such as when commuting or when on vacation, if you should so desire but the text is strangely addictive and compelling that you might in any case find that you are navigating through many chapters at a time. It would have been nice for a bit more information about Shafter Wineries and the region on-the-whole for the general reader, but that is more a desire than a serious omission.

The book concludes, or should one say really pauses as Shafer continues, with a bit of a philosophical introspection, looking at a period of economic recession which doesn't put a dampener on the story-so-far, despite one's initial feelings that it would in fact do so. In conclusion, an interesting book that grows on you as you read through it. It is really more than just a look at a winery!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Vineyard In Napa, January 16, 2013
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mark w gibson (SAN JOSE, CA, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Vineyard in Napa (Hardcover)
You will need an intrest in wine making or a general interest in the Napa Valley. Well written and easy to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent History of Napa, December 26, 2012
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This review is from: A Vineyard in Napa (Hardcover)
If you love wine and want to learn more about Napa Valley, buy this book. It is also an incredible success story about what father, son an Elias did to build one of the greatest wineries in the world. When I finished the book, I went to my cellar and opened a bottle of the One Point Five Stags Leap District Cabernet.
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