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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.
The books reads like a novel and I definitely recommend it for history and wine buffs.
The authors have made an interesting collection of anecdotes into a fine story full of charm, humor, drama, danger and a dash of treason that reads like a good novel.
This book recounts the French wine industry's response to Nazi occupation during World War II.
I bought this for an ailing elderly friend who loves history and wine. He loved it.Published 7 hours ago by KT BN
I read this while in France where this took place..Intriguing true accounts of what actually took place...The Nazi's were relentless, but the French? Read morePublished 19 days ago by Ann Bedard
A fascinating history lesson regarding the fate of the winemakers and their vineyards during World War II. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ripplerose
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 morePublished 2 months ago by Aaron