Here are some books and movies that we enjoyed in our journey to starting a winery. I always admired entrepreneurs and quirky individuals who challenge the status quo and dare to live life on their own terms. That’s a large part of what Broken Stone Winery is all about.
The stories are full of challenges and sometimes end badly for the dreamer, which is a little foreboding. But all of them are a brave quest for personal meaning.
A Fool and Forty Acres – Geoff Heinrichs – The memoire of a wine-loving journalist who bravely moves his young family to Prince Edward County to start a vineyard. My wife bought me this book and it inspired us both to buy land in Prince Edward County and to plant a vineyard, however impractical or foolish that idea might be. (book)
Jean de Floret – Gerard Depardieu stars as an accountant that inherits an old farm in the French countryside and arrives with new ideas and unflappable enthusiasm. (Incidentally, Gerard Depardieu is not only a remarkable actor, he is a HUGE wine drinker, at levels that would be great for our business (but absolutely aren’t recommended for health reasons) — check this out.) (French film, subtitled, book)
Manon de Sources – sequel to Jean de Floret. I can’t tell you much about it without a spoiler for Jean de Floret, except that it’s just as entertaining as the first book. (French film, subtitled, book)
Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer – A youthful quest for independence and meaning ending in tragedy in remote Alaska. (film, book. The book is better.)
Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder – An intimate view of a pioneering family on the prairies, viewed through the eyes of a little girl. I used to sit my girls on my lap and read it to them in front of the fireplace. (book, TV series. The book is far better and completely different; the TV adaptation is cute but ignores the core themes of the book.)
Captain Fantastic – Starring Viggo Mortenson – the quirky story of a homesteading family in Oregon and their conflict with mainstream society. (film)
The Wilderness Family – The mostly true adventures of an early 1980’s family who quits the city to homestead on public lands in the mountains, building a log cabin, home schooling the kids, fighting grizzly bears and logging companies that want to evict them. Nowadays this film seems a little cheesy, but nevertheless it’s a classic. (set of three films, you only have to watch the first one to get the idea)
Walden – Henry David Thoreau – A classic experiment in self reliance, written with the beauty of Thoreau’s prose.
Mondavi – The Rise and Fall of a Wine Dynasty – Julia Flynn Siler
What do you think? Have you enjoyed any of these books or films? Do you have any recommendations? Add a comment!
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