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Seasons Among the Vines: Life Lessons from the California Wine Country Paperback – October 30, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Seasons Among the Vines interweaves the practicalities of farming and making wine with the changes of the seasons and life. Paula Moulton's charming anecdotes of her personal experiences unfold into vital details for growing grapes. Moulton ultimately gives the reader a story about life - and the emotional and spiritual development associated with farming and making wine."
- Rob Loutherback, The Wine Club

"Everything the urban and suburban backyard vinegrower needs to know to design and grow a small vineyard and make a bottle of wine. Seasons Among the Vines comes complete with war stories and inspiration."
- Mike Benziger, Benziger Family Winery

"Paula Moulton's fresh approach and passion for the vineyard, combined with her extensive knowledge, make for humorous experiences that arise from practical application. Seasons Among the Vines is a wonderful reference to the natural progression of the seasons from the vineyard to the bottle."
- Joan Coleman Little, granddaughter of Julio Gallo and owner of Little Vineyards Family Winery

From the Inside Flap

Seasons Among the Vines invites the reader to experience the California wine country through the eyes of a city girl turned country. Paula Moulton’s story is one of wonder and enchantment, unpreparedness and hard lessons. Ten years into her metamorphosis, she hasn’t looked back (well, maybe a glance), as she’s survived the ups and downs associated with producing wine grapes for some of California wine country’s best-known wineries, including Glen Ellen and Ravenswood. This fun-loving tale is both adventurous and informative; interspersed throughout are solutions for weekend gardeners and wine-loving suburbanites who will find that making wine at home is not only possible, it’s all right here! Tips and instructions correlate to each season, encouraging the reader to consider the prospect of bringing self-made bottles of wine to future dinner parties. For the casual weekend gardener who has looked to vines with a mix of wonder and trepidation or for the city-stress! ed who fantasize about escaping to the country, Moulton lays out all the stops of country living. From animal escapades, to unforeseen disasters, to trial and error with the vines, events both charming and rueful make for a very bona fide picture of what it means to follow a dream.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Frog Books; First Edition. First Printing. edition (October 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583940820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583940822
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,357,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is the most superb book I have ever read. From the moment I opened the front page and read the first couple of pages I knew it was the book I had been searching for all my life. This book really inspired me on how to follow my dreams in a cool and stylish way. From the tales of her three children to the excitement from a city girl gone country I would recommend this book to any type of readers out there. Beginners advanced whatever you are this is the book for you.
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Format: Paperback
Having embarked on a program to learn as much about the world of wine as I can, I was excited about the opportunity to read a book by a woman who pursued her dreams,left the city, and became a grape grower in California wine country.

For anyone seeking a reasonably amusing tale of family life by a woman who, largely unprepared for what she was about to take on at the outset, made a major change in her life and successfully met life's challenges as a grape grower, you'll find this book enjoyable. Paula's account is clearly more about motherhood, family, friendship, and lifestyle than it is about being in the wine business. The insights offered are about learning the commonsense things to making a life in wine country. To her credit, she learned what she needed to know and became a successful grower, no small accomplishment.

If on the other hand, you are seeking great insights and a wealth of information about the world of wine, this book offers some of that, but not as much as I hoped for. Although for the home grower, there are what I would call highly useful "Guide to Growing Grapes and Making Wine" sections in each chapter. Paula covers topics, such as planting grapevines, dealing with insects and diseases, and making wine. I think anyone embarking on the goal of making their own wine at home would find this highly useful.

You can't help but admire Paula's spunk and attitude towards life. You come to know her and pretty well get a good sense of her in this book. You can't help but finish it without feeling there is so much more she could have told you. It would have been great if the book was another 200 pages...but maybe that just means she should write another book someday.

I was saddened to learn from another reviewer that her husband Chuck was killed on his commute shortly after this book was published. I have no doubt his spirit fills her vineyard.

Mark Vincent
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Format: Paperback
Seasons Among the Vines, subtitled Life lessons from the California Wine Country, is a wonderful book for any lovers of wine, products of our earth or protecting our earth.

This memoir follows the story of Paula Moulton's move from the busy, fast lane life to the owner of a working vineyard in the Sonoma wine country of California. It follows her and her family as they move and adapt to their new lives. It is a dream come true for Paula and an easy adjustment for her children. Her husband continues his busy medical career and leaves the farming end to his wife. Finding the task even more than she expected, she joins the local college program for viticulture and so her adventure begins. Through lesson, trial and error, and experience she becomes a true farmer and vintner. Her devotion to the process, her desire to farm in the way best for the earth and her enthusiasm for the life of a California vineyard owner is evident in every well chosen word.

The book covers both the narrative side of her story and the practical. She includes information on a wide variety of topics from "Farming Styles" with composting tips to how to work with grape vines to what you need to make wine. It is not a textbook, does not read like a textbook, but it does cover quite a bit of information that will be of interest to anyone considering going into the field or just enjoys the background information on a favorite hobby (wine). It is fascinating to read the amount of work and knowledge that goes into growing the grapes for the wines we consume.

It is written with a calm, loving passion that shines through with every word. Pour yourself a fine glass of your favorite wine (or Ravenswood in hope that is contains some of Ms Mouton's grapes), find a comfy chair and enjoy this book of heart and soul. It is a celebration of grape growing, wine making and living life to its fullest.
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Format: Paperback
"What you don't know won't hurt you." Paula Moulton and her husband decide they've had enough of the rat-race in the city. So they decide they will move to the lush California wine country to produce their own grapes for celebrated wine countries. But soon enough, they discover what they don't know will hurt you and your product.

Seasons Among the Vines is an exciting journey about farming that parallels life lessons for any reader. This is fascinating reading that covers soil texture and structure, grape vine anatomy, the connection between cows and lush fertilizer, bugs and funguses that attack vines, compost and cover crops that generate yielding soil for the perfectly desired grape, poisons that solve one problem only to produce a far larger problem to one's fruit, cohabiting with animals natural to farm areas, grapevine spacing and cycles of growth for certain types of grapes, trellis or cane/spur pruning systems of growing vines, proper and improper irrigation systems and so much more.

What, however, truly stands out is the love for farming and the robust engagement Paula Moulton has with learning all about this new world. Her passion in this process is infectious and her willingness to be taught from experts and her own mistakes focuses her humility and growth in this most formidable of industries. Love for it all stands out so very clearly that the reader finds one's self rooting for her success every step of the way and celebrating her initial victories.

Love that wine but love it even more after reading about this magical but real venture into the seasons and vicissitudes of producing the finest fruit for the dabbling tasters, drinkers and connoisseurs of this magnificent fruit of the vine, grapes for wine!

Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on October 7, 2007
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