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Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of a Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine

Maximillian Potter

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True crime, Prose: non-fiction

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

When Maximilian Potter went to Burgundy to report for Vanity Fair on a crime that could have destroyed the Domaine de la Romanee Conti-the tiny, storied vineyard that produces the most expensive, exquisite wines in the world-he soon found a story that was much larger, and more thrilling, than he had originally imagined.

In January 2010, Aubert de Villaine, the famed proprietor of the DRC, 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; the crime was committed and shocked this fabled region of France. The sinister story that Potter uncovered would lead to a sting operation by top Paris detectives, the primary suspect's suicide, and a dramatic trial. This botanical crime threatened to destroy the fiercely traditional culture surrounding the world's greatest wine.

Like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, SHADOW 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 run through it.

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