Book Review: One Vintage

By John ~ November 6th, 2009.

One Vintage: A Year in the Vineyard by Chris JonesI’ll get right to the bottom line: One Vintage: A Year in the Vineyard by Chris Jones is a good, short read, and a very attractive book. I thought its $30 price tag was a little high in this market, but that’s for you to decide.

For over ten years, Chris Jones and her husband have grown Sauvignon Blanc and Sangiovese grapes on their small seven acre Faith Vineyard in Los Olivos, California. John’s day job is as a pilot for United Airlines, while Chris is a writer. A dozen years ago, during the last real estate bust in California, they bought land down the road from Michael Jackson’s Neverland estate.

John says that growing grapes is a lot harder than it looks as he laments the rodents, birds, and coyotes who insist on making a feed trough out of the vineyard. Chris has taken tons of photographs and uses the best of them to complement her stories of what it’s really like in the vineyard

A third-generation Central Coast native, Chris was originally going to write a simple “how to grow grapes” book for wine lovers. Intuition led her in a different direction, however, and One Vintage evolved into a more contemplative work, focusing on the annual rhythm of the vineyard.

In One Vintage, which is an eye catching, small coffee table book bound in natural cork, Chris reveals the everyday reality of work on the farm, from pruning to harvest. It’s a quick read that can teach readers the basics of how grapes develop and the winemaking process as she weaves into the story how the cycle in the vineyard mirrors life.

One Vintage is available directly from the publisher, at select retailers, or through

Full Disclosure: We received this book as a review copy.

[Update as of 12/1/09: The publisher has dropped the price to $19.95]

Filed under: Wine Books

Reader's Comments

  1. chris jones | November 10th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    John, how kind of you to review my book ONE VINTAGE: A Year in the Vineyard. Thank you.

    My intuition guided me, as you’ve already stated, throughout the creation of ONE VINTAGE. I made a conscious decision to have the limited first edition made “locally” in Arizona rather than Asia, it felt like the right thing to do. In retrospect, should I have had the book produced in Asia at a much lower cost? I’m still wondering. I love second guessing myself.

    Thanks again for your comments. I’m grateful to you and WinePeeps.


  2. John | November 10th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    We all second guess ourselves at times. Good luck with the book.