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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This book was a gift for the "man who has everything" and he LOVED the book. Lots of information and very interesting. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Peekaboo
An interesting history of the subterfuge used by the French to deny the Germans
access to their best wines after the fall of France in 1940.
Since I had just finished reading A Train in Winter, this tied in nicely with that. This book touches on an aspect of the invasion of France that probably few know about. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Brenda K. Rolfs
The story of wine during the Nazi reign in france. Easily read almost like a novel.Published 16 days ago by Edan Barulfan
Interesting how the French wine makers tried to hide their best wines from the Germans.Published 17 days ago by Judith L. Hable
Easy to read, very informative and interesting, and another viewpoint on WWIIPublished 18 days ago by ja c
I read "Wine and War" shortly after returning from a 3-week trip to France during which we became much more knowledgeable about French wines and their place in France's... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jill Clardy
My Opa was forced to be a part of the German army and never spoke of the war. It was enlightening to know the French were forced to participate as well. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Karen Meyer