A Tale of Two Valleys: Wine, Wealth and the Battle for the Good Life in Napa and Sonoma

A Tale of Two Valleys Wine Wealth and the Battle for the Good Life in Napa and Sonoma It s Napa versus Sonoma and the antics are rampant When acclaimed Vanity Fair journalist Alan Deutschman came to the California wine country as the lucky house guest of very rich friends he was surp

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  • Title: A Tale of Two Valleys: Wine, Wealth and the Battle for the Good Life in Napa and Sonoma
  • Author: Alan Deutschman
  • ISBN: 9780767907040
  • Page: 330
  • Format: Paperback
  • It s Napa versus Sonoma, and the antics are rampant When acclaimed Vanity Fair journalist Alan Deutschman came to the California wine country as the lucky house guest of very rich friends, he was surprised to find a civil war being fought between Napa Valley, which epitomized prestige and wealthy excess, and neighboring Sonoma Valley, a ragtag bohemian enclave so stubbornlIt s Napa versus Sonoma, and the antics are rampant When acclaimed Vanity Fair journalist Alan Deutschman came to the California wine country as the lucky house guest of very rich friends, he was surprised to find a civil war being fought between Napa Valley, which epitomized prestige and wealthy excess, and neighboring Sonoma Valley, a ragtag bohemian enclave so stubbornly backward that rambunctious chickens wandered freely through town In A Tale of Two Valleys, Deutschman wittily captures these stranger than fiction locales and uncorks the hilarious absurdities of life among the wine world s glitterati The cast of characters brims with eccentrics, egomaniacs, and a mysterious man in black who crashed the elegant Napa Valley Wine Auction before proceeding to pay a half million dollars for a single bottle What develops is nothing less than the struggle for the soul of one of America s last bits of paradise A San Francisco Chronicle bestseller

    One thought on “A Tale of Two Valleys: Wine, Wealth and the Battle for the Good Life in Napa and Sonoma”

    1. This was the non-fiction selection for my in person book club. It's about the Napa/Sonoma Valleys in N. Calif our backyard. All of us have spent a lot of time there so we thought it would be interesting. It's not and all because of the conceited, egotistical writer who was way too excited about being around rich people. The Silicon Valley has produced many things including too many rich people with money on their hands and a desire to spend it ridiculously. As they expand into other areas like S [...]

    2. I've learned that Sonoma is overrun with chickens.Further in, another interesting story:At a late-90s wine auction in Napa, the stage was a set for an evening of elaborate purchases of old wine. The paddles were handed out in the order of most $ spent the previous year. So, the woman with paddle 1 had spent the most(just over 1.2 million the year before.)A man dressed entirely in black saunters in a bit under the wire. He has no reservation, and no one knows who he is. After much bristling, the [...]

    3. I finished reading A Tale of Two Valleys: Wine, Wealth and the Battle for the Good Life in Napa and Sonoma. I found myself laughing out loud at Deutschman's descriptions of the quirky locals he meets in Sonoma (including roosters and their advocates) and the book is tempting me to infiltrate the Tuesday Farmer's Market over summer vacation!A paragraph I recently enjoyed from this book:"If you saw an overweight thirty-five-year-old man steer his car into the empty parking lot of a neighborhood ba [...]

    4. The flowery "I'm a clever writer guy" language kind of made me crazy.Guy from big city goes to Sonoma and Napa, learns that Sonoma is full of hippies and Napa is full of rich snobs, and glassy-winged sharpshooters will destroy all the wine - like hubris destroys all heroes. There wasn't really any revelation or introspection about how or why Sonoma and Napa are so different, and it was mostly self-indulgent, look how rich my friends are.

    5. I enjoyed this book. I grew up in the town of Sonoma, and it took place in the early 2000s, which is when I graduated high school. It felt familiar and brought back lots of memories. The only thing I didn't like was how political the book was. I think I might have enjoyed more of the local/average citizen's perspective. Nevertheless, if you are familiar with Sonoma, or are curious about this wonderful place, it's worth the read!

    6. This book presents a short history of Napa and Sonoma, the famous wine making regions, with a look at the divisions that have arisen between various factions in the area. The author, a financial journalist, spends time crashing at the weekend homes of his wealthy friends so that he can really get to know wine country. What he finds is a community that comes to life when the rich weekend visitors depart, and a hostile political climate pitting the longtime residents and hippie contingent against [...]

    7. I picked up this book purposedly for a travel article I am currently working on. So I have visited Napa and Sonoma Valley, but I think I need more indepth feel about the places, so imagine my surprise as I stumbled upon this book. Although the book is still far from finish, but it cease to amaze me so far and here are some of my fave pharagraphs I wonder why such book didn't get famous"A well known vineyard is known for zinfandel, a grape that had become popular in California. It wasn’t one of [...]

    8. This book really addresses the problems of environmentalism, land development, overproduction, overuse, corruption, egoism, social stratification and the good life in Northern California withe flair, wit, and fairness. If you want to know how Napa became Napa and how Napa and Sonoma became the country's preeminent wine producing regions, read on. There are hilarious characters, political intrigues, wild chickens, luxurious mansions and a message about human development and its impact on the envi [...]

    9. The only non-fiction I really like is travel writing, which is essentially what this is. It was a nice portrait of Sonoma, less so of Napa and totally made me want to live there. However there were some things that I objected to in his writing. Fistly calling farmers "shitkickers." I find that totally offensive. Also, don't call anyone white trash, while I'm not offended by that phrase myself I feel that it's just poor taste. You don't see the word ass in the new york times crossword puzzle and [...]

    10. This is less a book about wine country and more a chance for the author to brag about how his deci-millionaire and centi-millionaire friends let him stay for free in their wine country weekend homes. I found it hard to focus on what he was saying b/c I kept trying to theorize why so many rich people wanted to be friends with him. A quick glance at the jacket picture and a lack of a sense of humor in the writing didn't explain things. I settled on childhood friendsor possibly imaginary.

    11. The author of this book was fortunate to have several friends who own weekend homes in Sonoma and Napa California. While he was there during the week he got to know some of the people and learn about the politics going on with these two touristy spots. I found the politics of Sonoma boring but loved reading about the history of both wine producing spots. The author discovered that Napa is for the super rich who can afford the expensive wines and 5 star restaurants while Sonoma is mostly bohemian [...]

    12. I loved the details about Sonoma Valley and it's history (gorgeous), but I found the author to be an obnoxious cultural snob and sadly not even an interesting cultural snob. In the end this book comes across as endlessly shallow and lacking the depth of characterization that comes from a truly thoughtful writer. This would have been two stars for me if not for the compelling subject matter.

    13. This was a nice accompaniment to my trip to Sonoma. It not only helped me understand the area better, but led me to some lovely spots, such as Gundlach Bundschu winery, and the Basque Boulangerie. It was nice having a backstory for it all. What a charming paradise. Sonoma over Napa any day!

    14. I liked this book alot going in. Very informative, lots of juicy gossip, but it lagged towards the end for me,waaaaay too much detailed info on the glassy-winged sharpshooter. I kept waiting for him to move on, but thats what he left his readers with in the end.

    15. Not a researched effort by the author, but more of a tale about his life and times in the Sonoma Valley. He compares the Sonoma Valley as a sleepy town trying to prevent big industry in, unlike Napa Valley. Good short read. The chickens are a fun storyline.

    16. Going to Napa in September! This is just getting me ready!Was trying to read this before my trip but I was SO much better after I was there. I meant more to me having been to many of the areas that are mentioned.

    17. I read this book twice, and I happen to live in Sonoma during the time. For me it was a good read because a lot of the characters in my town were familiar to me. It's a great audiobook for driving through the Sonoma and Napa valleys.

    18. I enjoyed the book quite a lot. I didn't expect to have that much of a story to tell. The various characters,the locales, and the comparison between the two valleys was enjoyable as well as very informative.

    19. a somewhat disheartening view of the real life behind the glamour of wine country. lots of history and wine world gossip

    20. Sense of evolution of Napa & Sonoma - a place I love. Easy to see how love of a place by many can also destroy the soul of what made it beautiful

    21. I just didn't like this book at all, but I did make it to the end and to tell the truth, I don't know how. I ended up scanning alot of it and thought it would get better, but it never did!

    22. A somewhat interesting history on the differences between the Napa and Sonoma valleys. It wouldn't have been as interesting if I hadn't been vacationing in the area for a significant amount of time.

    23. Fun read especially if you're into wine or have traveled or are planning to travel to Napa or Sonoma. Gives a brief history on both valleys but also dishes tons of juicy gossip!

    24. Rather abrupt ending. Seemed like it should have kept going. But it was a good account of the peoples lives in Sonoma. Just sort of glossed over the Napa valley unfortunately.

    25. Good accounting of the story behind the story - the small winemakers and their everyday lives in the Napa(and more particularly) Sonoma Valleys.

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