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Gold in the Vineyards: Illustrated stories of the world's most celebrated vineyards (Hardcover)

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Informed by wine insider and fourth generation vintner Dr. Laura Catena, Gold in the Vineyards highlights the true stories of love, family, betrayal and war at the origin of twelve of the New and Old World’s most famous vineyards. Detailed maps, infographics and stylish illustrations allow the reader to journey through wine history and into the details of vineyard soil and climate - what winemakers call terroir – in order to understand what is at the birth of any great wine. Organized by country and producer, each chapter tells the story of a wine and finishes with maps of the region, vineyard, and illustrated factoids about the wine’s rise to fame. It also won the prestigious 2020 Gourmand Award for Best in the World Wine History Book.
  • Start off meeting the Rothschild family, prisoners of war and world-famous bankers behind the “First of Firsts,” Château Lafite Rothschild. Learn why a bottle of the 1787 vintage was sold for $160,000 US dollars or why the Maréchal de Richelieu was convinced that drinking Château Lafite was the secret to eternal youth.
  • Head down to Italy to meet the Antinori family, for the first time, under female leadership since making wine for 26 generations. Learn about the connection between the Antinoris and the Medicis, through the story of the murderous Pietro de Medici. 
  • Learn about the French wine classification system and Château d’Yquem, the only Premier Cru Superieur, a wine made from what the French call pourriture noble or noble rot, and whose grapes are harvested only by women.
  • Travel to Spain to meet María José Lépez de Heredia of Viña Tondonia, whose family is known for ageing their wine in barrel for 10-20 years, longer than most, and for refusing to adopt new technologies in their vineyards and winery.
  • Get introduced to Bill Harlan, an adventurer and real estate mogul mentored by Robert Mondavi, who has a 200-year plan to make a Grand Cru and create a European-style wine dynasty in America. 
  • Travel back to the 18th Century and witness the fight between a Prince and a Marquise, for the ownership of the exquisite Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Meet current owner Aubert de Villaine, who spearheaded the effort to turn the Burgundy wine region into a World Heritage Site. 
  • Hike the hills of the Mosel in Germany, and understand why its slate soils yield some of the most age-worthy wines in the world from the Riesling variety, born in the Middle Ages.
  • Understand biodynamic winemaking through the eyes of the late Anne-Claude Leflaive, who inspired generations of winemakers around the world to stop using pesticides in their vineyards.
  • Experience the magic from the old vines of the Henschke family, who fled religious persecution in Prussia, and founded Australia’s most celebrated vineyard, Hill of Grace.
  • Defy the norms with rule-breaking Italian winemaker Angelo Gaja and his daughter Gaia Gaja, known for bringing about the renaissance of Italy’s Barolo region and the Nebbiolo variety.
  • Dive into the dream of a farmer boy Etienne Guigal, who grew up wanting to make wine as a child, and through hard work and fanatical devotion to winemaking created one of France’s most collected wines in the Rhône Valley’s terraced vineyards.
  • Finish with the story of Dr. Laura Catena’s family, Italian immigrants to Argentina, who discovered a magical new place for wine at high altitude in the Andes mountains, and made the Malbec variety famous around the world.

About the Author

A Harvard and Stanford trained biologist and physician, Dr. Laura Catena was born into one of the world’s great wine families. In her journey to elevate Argentine wine, Laura became obsessed with understanding what lies behind the most collected wines in the world. After publishing Argentina’s definitive wine guide, Vino Argentino (Chronicle Books, 2010), Laura began to put together the materials for a book that would highlight the historical circumstances and relevant vineyard details that are at the core of the world’s most iconic wines. This book is the result of 25 years of Laura’s research into wine history, interviews and meetings with the world’s best-known wine families, and vineyard studies at the Catena Institute of Wine, which she founded in 1995. Dr. Laura Catena has been named one of the top 25 wine innovators by Grape Collective, and has been an invited speaker at Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience, the Nantucket Food and Wine Festival, the Naples Winter Wine Festival, the MUST Summit, the Master of Wine Symposium, the American Society of Wine Educators, the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter in London and Shanghai, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Vancouver Playhouse, among others. She has appeared in Oprah magazine as one of the World’s Top Women Vintners. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine Magazine, Decanter, and The Economist 1843 magazine, among others. She has a robust social media following on Instagram (@LauraCatenaMD) and Twitter (@lauracatena).

Praise For…

These charmingly illustrated stories on twelve of the world's most celebrated vineyards say more about the people who created and continue them than about the wine, for if the people had not come first, the wine would not be with us today. This book is enchanting, enhancing, insightful and delightful, for Laura Catena has stepped through the looking glass to these estates to give us wonderland.—Steven Spurrier, Journalist Behind the 1976 Judgement of Paris

"The book is for all ages—and includes stories and facts that will surprise any wine lover. It covers a dozen wineries—including a brief, intriguing history of each, as well as including maps and illustrations that highlight details such as average bottle cost and percentages of grape types within icon wines…..To be enjoyed by any combined oenophile/bibliophile."—Tom Mullen,

Catena gives an engaging, minimalist account of renowned wineries and vineyards, including, of course, her family’s Adrianna Vineyard in the Andes foothills of Mendoza in Argentina. Drawings and infographics provide as much information as text — the modern way to impart knowledge in the age of short attention spans and twitchy fingers. And yet, Catena catches the classic elements: ambition, hardship, even sex and violence when she describes the scandalous connection of Tuscany’s Antinori wine dynasty with the Medicis in 16th century Florence. Great fodder for your next dinner party.—Dave McIntyre, The Washington Post

Gold in the Vineyards entertains, informs, encourages and inspires. Highly recommended for young and old alike.—The Wine Economist

Decanter recommends Gold in the Vineyards for “Virtual Wine Learning.” Dr. Laura Catena’s gorgeously illustrated book, Gold in the Vineyards, also highlights foundational stories of love, loss, and viticultural magic through 12 of the world’s most famous vineyards.—Decanter

The book profiles 12 different vineyards, located in both the New and Old World, charting their history and explaining why they have become so well-known. It also comes with detailed maps, infographics and charming illustrations throughout. Perfect for a stealing a moment in the garden, on the balcony, or leaning out of the window of your London flat with with a glass of good claret and pretending you’re somewhere else.—The Drinks Business

Catena's childhood passion for illustrated books was the inspiration for Gold in the Vineyards, and the book is a culmination of 25 years of painstaking research and numerous discussions with families who make some of the world's greatest wines.

Grape Collective

Gold in the Vineyards, is a charmingly illustrated study of twelve of the world’s most iconic wineries — a result of 25 years of research, vineyard studies and discussions with families who make some of the greatest wines in the world. Gold in the Vineyards would be an ideal gift for wine lovers and history buffs.

The Wine Chef

Laura Catena takes the reader for a journey to the best wines in the world and explains why Family and Terroir are the cornerstones of these wines.—Deutsch Journal

Gold in the Vineyards is amazing and should be on every wine lover's Christmas list this year!—Lauren McPhate, Tribeca Wine Merchants

By presenting the behind-the-scenes of the most famous wines in the world, both in prose and illustration, Laura Catena aims to capture all the romance in a better way and allows readers to dream and fantasize.—Cathy Huyghe, Forbes
Product Details
ISBN: 9789876376662
ISBN-10: 9876376667
Publisher: Catapulta Editores
Publication Date: March 10th, 2020
Pages: 184
Language: English