• Shadows in the Vineyard

  • The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine
  • By: Maximillian Potter
  • Narrated by: Donald Corren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (247 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Journalist Maximillian Potter uncovers a fascinating plot to destroy the vines of La Romance-Conti, Burgundy's finest and most expensive wine.

In January 2010, Aubert de Villaine, the famed proprietor of the Domaine de la Romance-Conti, the tiny, storied vineyard that produces the most expensive, exquisite wines in the world, received an anonymous note threatening the destruction of his priceless vines by poison - a crime that in the world of high-end wine is akin to murder - unless he paid a one million euro ransom. Villaine believed it to be a sick joke, but that proved a fatal miscalculation and the crime shocked this fabled region of France. The sinister story that Vanity Fair journalist Maximillian Potter uncovered would lead to a sting operation by some of France's top detectives, the primary suspect's suicide, and a dramatic investigation. This botanical crime threatened to destroy the fiercely traditional culture surrounding the world's greatest wine.

Shadows in the Vineyard takes us deep into a captivating world full of fascinating characters, small-town French politics, an unforgettable narrative, and a local culture defined by the twinned veins of excess and vitality and the deep reverent attention to the land that runs through it.

©2014 Maximillian Potter (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Shadows in the Vineyard

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Eet waz eenteresteeng

I do not know why zee reader had to adopt a silly Fronch accent. Zee story was eenteresteeng, zo. Not great leeturateur, but passable.

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and astonishing

An amazing true story of villainy surrounding France’s most sacred soil, enriched wonderfully by a close and engaging exploration of its history and poetic descriptions of the many characters involved. The reader has worked hard to get the French pronunciations correct and can be forgiven a small handful of errors such as pronouncing the “n” in monsieur. A real delight start to finish. As a winemaker myself, the first and last chapters were the most delicious in depicting why we devote our lives to this ethereal fluid.

2 people found this helpful

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So boring! Deceptive marketing

I heard about this book on a podcast. It was marketed as a mystery about a vineyard crime. This book is not that at all. A very small portion of the book has to do with the crime at the Vineyard. The circumstances of the crime are not very mysterious. Most of the story is irrelevant history and ramblings on by the author. While the winemaker seems very endearing, most of this book is pretentious and not very interesting.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gh
  • 07-27-16

Wife YES Husband NO

Great if you are interested in wine and a rambling tale. Painful if you like a good tight story.

2 people found this helpful

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Too many unnecessary details

This was an okay listen. The crime and wine history are very interesting, but the details that had nothing to do with those were very boring. I skipped through chapters that didn't apply to the story

2 people found this helpful

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Could be way better

I am a true wine nerd and work in the wine industry, so I was excited for this book. Sadly, the story is mired down with unnecessary details, a myriad of foreign names you will not be able to keep track of, and the story jumps around in time very often. I think if the author stuck to giving a small amount of backstory on DRC and why it's so important and then discussed the crime committed against it, the book would flow better and keep the listener engaged. The painful detail on some of the history behind DRC made me lose interest quickly. I'll still research this crime on my own as it's fascinating, so at least the author got me interested, but I couldn't handle the litany of names, facts, dates, and endless inconsequential details presented in the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Lot of promise little substance

The book was mostly filler material in the story better fit for a magazine or a book. The author tried to cram a week story to a manageable tell that failed and all accounts.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating history of wine

Really enjoyed the story along with the history of wine, terroir, & the families. A really good story even if you are not "into" wine.

1 person found this helpful

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surprisingly exceptional

I didn't expect too much from this book because how could you turn a small crime story into an entire book? but as a lover of burgundy this is not to be missed!!

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An extraordinary story

The author has provided a wonderfully rich tapestry and backdrop for his love and reverence of wine and it’s creators! Very Well Done

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-04-21

good story, performance of mr Corren is not good

I like the book and its build up, but is sincerly annoyed by the storytellers idiotic inspector Clousseau-accent when delivering dialog.

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  • Nathan
  • 08-16-20

Unbelievably boring

Of the nearly 9 hours of listening, about 1 hour is dedicated to the actual story of the book. The other talks about the history of France and the history is DRC and burgundy (from the 1700s onward). Every character has about a 30min talk about their childhood and upbringing etc etc. very little time is spent on the actual crime which is why I bought this. I was bored out of my mind.......zzzzzz