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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.
Simply fantastic. This book is enthralling in the way it conveys the heart and soul of the people involved with the wine and the war.Published 12 days ago by Lisa Fidder
An interesting perspective on some of the important back stories in WW II. The book was well researched and very interesting, especially from a historical perspective. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Vladimir N
I thought it was an excellent look into the mind of occupied France. The books reads like a novel and I definitely recommend it for history and wine buffs.Published 1 month ago by Frequent Traveler
A great read for anyone travelling to the French wine country, anyone who loves French wine, or anyone who loves history!
That about covers it ! I have the hard copy. Read more
Riveting from beginning to end. The real stories of these men and women, is incredible. It's a seemingly insignificant part of history that actually affected so much. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Giordana
This is an excellent book for understanding the importance of the wine indudtry in a region torn by regular wars.Published 2 months ago by S. Hopkins
The stories of World War II and the vinyards were really well written. It was enjoyable reading and well researched. Read morePublished 2 months ago by sandra wiseman