Start reading Wine and War on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France's Greatest Treasure [Kindle Edition]

Donald Kladstrup , Petie Kladstrup
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Whispersync for Voice

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of $4.49 after you buy the Kindle book.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $9.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $12.75  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $0.00 Free with your Audible trial
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged $20.48  
Unknown Binding --  
Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Book Description

The remarkable untold story of France’s courageous, clever vinters who protected and rescued the country’s most treasured commodity from German plunder during World War II.

"To be a Frenchman means to fight for your country and its wine."
–Claude Terrail, owner, Restaurant La Tour d’Argent

In 1940, France fell to the Nazis and almost immediately the German army began a campaign of pillaging one of the assets the French hold most dear: their wine. Like others in the French Resistance, winemakers mobilized to oppose their occupiers, but the tale of their extraordinary efforts has remained largely unknown–until now. This is the thrilling and harrowing story of the French wine producers who undertook ingenious, daring measures to save their cherished crops and bottles as the Germans closed in on them. Wine and War illuminates a compelling, little-known chapter of history, and stands as a tribute to extraordinary individuals who waged a battle that, in a very real way, saved the spirit of France.


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Liberty, equality, and fraternity are all well and good, a champion of French culture once remarked. But, he continued, what made France truly superior to its neighbors was the French passion for wine, which "contributed to the French race by giving it wit, gaiety, and good taste, qualities which set it profoundly apart from people who drink a lot of beer."

The commentator may have had a point; after all, write Don and Petie Kladstrup, it was a well-known fact that Adolf Hitler did not like wine. Still, their leader's teetotalism notwithstanding, the Germans showed no distaste for French wine when they invaded France in 1940. Indeed, among the first acts of the occupying army was to seize great stores of wine, sending tens of thousands of barrels to the Third Reich and ordering the conversion of thousands of hectares of vineyards into war production.

Some French vintners, the Kladstrups write in this enjoyable study, went along with orders. Many others, however, including the heads of distinguished houses like Moët et Chandon, engaged in daring and dangerous acts of resistance wherever they could. Some lied about their yields; others built false walls to hide precious vintages; and still others concocted elaborate ruses, such as sprinkling carpet dust into inferior grades of new wine to give it a musty, distinguished flavor. Not every German was fooled, and some partisans of the grape died for their troubles. But some Germans, at considerable risk to themselves, also looked the other way. The Kladstrups fill their pages with memories of the wine war from both sides of the struggle, stories sometimes somber, sometimes amusing, that commemorate those "whose love of the grape and devotion to a way of life helped them survive and triumph over one of the darkest and most difficult chapters in French history." --Gregory McNamee

From Library Journal

Husband-and-wife journalists and contributors to Wine Spectator, the Kladstrups recount the dangerous and daring exploits of those who fought to keep France's greatest treasure out of the hands of the Nazis. Whether they were fobbing off inferior wines on the Germans, hiding precious vintages behind hastily constructed walls, sabotaging shipments being sent out of France, or even sneaking people out of the country in wine barrels, the French proved to be remarkably versatile when it came to protecting their beloved wine. The authors craft a compelling read that shifts back and forth between individual tales of bravery, including those of five prominent wine-making families, and the bigger story of how World War II affected the French wine industry. This history should prove popular with readers who appreciated other books detailing the Nazis' looting of treasures, such as Tom Bower's Nazi Gold (LJ 5/15/97) and Hector Feliciano's The Lost Museum (LJ 8/97). Recommended for public and academic libraries. John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1040 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (June 18, 2002)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1L0Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,535 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wine and Remembrance May 26, 2001
Format:Hardcover
This is not a book about wine--it's actually a non-fiction historical thriller with wine as the prize. All you need to know about wine is what most people know: Wine is part of the French soul. It is not merely a drink or a product. It is more important than all the perfumes and fashions and cheeses put together. Even those funny cars the French make that look like vacuum cleaners. Nothing in American cultural life has similar status.
At the outset of World War II France suffered the shame and disgrace not of defeat but of total collapse. She had the world's largest army--one that gave the Germans pause, in fact-- and yet somehow was under the Nazi jackboot in about six weeks. Naturally, the Nazis set about to systematically loot the country.
Here I'd like to ask a question I've not seen asked before: the Nazis took it as written that they and their culture were absolutely superior to everyone else in the world. Why then their unbridled need to steal the cultural riches of all the nations they conquered? Some booty was sold to finance the war, but most of the cultural treasures--France's wines and artworks, for example--were stolen merely out of greed and jealousy.
When it came to looting France's wines, the Nazis were well-organized. They appointed experts called weinfuhrers to organize the theft, much of which was conducted under a charade of legality: The Nazis overvalued the mark, devalued the franc, closed all other export markets, told the producers what their prices would be and ordered them to sell the wine. Here Don and Petie Kladstrups unveil the amazingly inbred world of wine, in which everbody of importance seems to be related to, married to or employed by someone else of equal importance.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars France's most coveted treasure April 9, 2002
Format:Hardcover
This is an engrossing, and distinctive observation on one of the many impacts of World War II on both France and Germany. It is not simply a book about French wine, but a broader study of the impact of the German occupation upon French daily life. What is fascinating is how much the Germans coveted French cuisine, and especially wine, and how gluttony inspired the Nazi government's quest to strip the French larder as part of spoils of war. "Wine and War" does indicate what a highly regarded treasure French wine represents in Western culture.
This is a terrific read if you like wine or enjoy history (and is twice the pleasure for those, like me, who appreciate both). It is not a serious, scholarly history of the war, but instead a compilation of various anecdotes -- oral history being put into print. From a historical perspective, what I found the most interesting was the author's indication of how the legacy of the harsh reparations extracted from Germany by France in World War I came back to haunt the French in terms of the German thirst for revenge in the Second World War. There is an element of suspense throughout the book, in terms of the Germans possibly killing the goose that laid the golden eggs (though the reader already knows the outcome). However, the work manages to represent that beyond the greed and thuggery of some Germans, a number maintained a sense of humanity and long range vision regarding a people who would always remain their neighbors.
You won't learn alot about wine reading this book; you will learn more about history. But what you will learn about French wine is what a covetted treasure this has regarded in any of the German-French conflicts, and what a critical part of French culture it represents.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read--but I wanted a bit more. May 28, 2002
Format:Hardcover
Having traveled throughout many of the areas covered by the Kladstrups in this remarkable book, I was captured by the not-often told history of the vineyards during World War II. While certainly not expecting a weighty academic tome about the French-German parley over the wine business, I certainly enhanced my appetite to learn more about the actual mechanics of the murky business dealings between the German occupiers (many of whom were pre-war acquaintances of the vintners themselves) and the French vintners.
The book is an easy read; and while history has obfuscated the difference between those in the French Resistance, and those who 50 years ex post facto claim to have been part of the Resistance, I believe the Kladstrups made an honest effort to provide a semblance of balance.
But for those of us who love French wine, the stories of how precious stores of vintage wines were hidden from the Nazis are truly remarkable. I would have loved to have seen a couple of more chapters towards the end of the book, demonstrating how the vineyards got back on their feet, and more importantly, how the pre-war German-French relationships were reestablished.
If you are looking for a good summertime read, this book is for you. A very casual and enjoyable read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Breezy Anecdotes July 24, 2002
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I wasn't looking for some grand new revelations about WWII when I bought this book and I didn't get any. What I did get was an easy-to-read series of inspirational stories and breezy anecdotes about how French vignerons managed to keep their livelihoods and some of their wines at a time when the outcome of the war was very much in doubt.
There is a decidedly pro-French slant to the stories, most of the Germans are made to look like bumbling Colonel Klinks and the French are mostly portrayed as patriotic tools of or members of the Resistance, cleverly hobbling German designs at every turn. To be fair, some Germans are singled out as "righteous gentiles", but these are never Mein Kampf-believing Nazis.
What I like is what I learned about the wine business. There are all sorts of little tidbits about how winemakers can adulterate wine, mislabel wine, and generally fool the general wine-consuming public, not to mention the Wehrmacht. But the book is also filled with tales of winemaking as a craft and a labor of love.
The climax of the book is foreshadowed in the beginning, when French troops were racing to be first to Hitler's Eagles Nest to get a crack at repatriating the fine wines they knew were there.
American readers who were there might well be annoyed by the feeling that the French High Command thought more about rescuing the wine than they did about helping to finish off the Nazis.
That aside, if you love wine as well as stories of good guys outsmarting the bad, then you should enjoy Wine and War.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All was as advertised
Published 5 days ago by sherri
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read about history and wine.
Published 15 days ago by Todd S Sonnier
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Heavy but interesting.
Published 15 days ago by Pearl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story.
Published 25 days ago by Emmy Norris
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating history lesson regarding the fate of the winemakers ...
A fascinating history lesson regarding the fate of the winemakers and their vineyards during World War II. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ripplerose
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful book if you know anything about French wine many...
This is a wonderful book if you know anything about French wine many of the names will be familiar. It also shares a bunch of interesting tid bits about Jewish wine history, and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Aaron
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Giving this book to restaurant owner. Fabulous real story for our foodie generation.
Published 2 months ago by Laurie Mayer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant fast moving read with the educational component as a plus
This is a brilliant book. A fast "cannot put it down" style. I borrowed the book from a friend to read, loved it so much had to have my own copy to read again. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kim Scott Melin Aussie Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Wine and War is an excellent resource for the non-French to truly...
Wine and War is an excellent resource for the non-French to truly understand wine as a "backbone' industry for France. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Claire M Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars This account reminds us that we are inherently good folks and that...
This book is very interesting! And, a marvelous way to enrichen one's knowledge of a horrific chapter in history. Read more
Published 2 months ago by susan schroeder livera
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.


Forums

Topic From this Discussion
Wine and War Be the first to reply
Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for Similar Items by Category