Monday, October 24, 2005

The Vineyard by Louisa Thomas Hargrave

I have been captivated by Louisa Thomas Hargrave's memoir, The Vineyard. This is a heartwarming tale about two young dreamers who wanted to grow grapes and make wine on an old Long Island potato farm. They were also pioneers, defying the widely accepted thought that Vitis Vinifera could not grow in that region.

With Louisa, we learn the hardships and joys of frontier life, exactly like young Louisa, avidly following the trail of Laura Ingalls Wilder: constant challenges like drought, storms, weeds, certified pants riddled with virus, accidents, bureaucratic nightmares, but also joyful events like giving birth, sharing food with neighbors, dancing in the fermenting wine must. And sometimes the wildest dream comes true:

“I put my nose over the wine and inhaled deeply. The tears started coursing down my face. I could not speak. This time, I was crying for joy. We had made the wine I had imagined us making. The wine of my dreams was in our barrel, in our winery.&rdquo

I wish I could have tasted Louisa and Alex Hargrave's wine at the time. It looked so special. But I am glad that Louisa shared her memories with us in this precious book.

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