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

Extended Audio Sample Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the Worlds Greatest Wine Audiobook, by Maximillian Potter Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maximillian Potter Narrator: Donald Corren Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2014 ISBN: 9781611132038
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Journalist Maximillian Potter uncovers a fascinating plot to destroy the vines of La Romanée-Conti, Burgundy’s finest and most expensive wine.

In January 2010, Aubert de Villaine, the famed proprietor of the Domaine de la Romanée-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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An arch-criminal clicks on his headlamp in his underground lair and instantly, you’re hooked. Shadows in the Vineyard is nonfiction at its nail-biting best, a literary true-crime thriller…Shadows in the Vineyard is so full of bizarre twists and one-of-a-kind characters that if you think you know what’s coming next, just wait till you turn the page.”

    Christopher McDougall, New York Times bestselling author of Born to Run

  • “Mr. Potter…tells the story quite vividly—and the book delivers a happy ending as well.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • "[Potter] places the crime in a broad, rich, historical and cultural context that is engaging.”

    USA Today

  • “Books I devoured in the last few weeks impressed me mightily:…Shadows in the Vineyard, a nonfiction blending of several genres—culinary, travel, history, true crime by Maximillian Potter, who’s an enviably nimble writer.”

    New York Times 

  • “A gripping crime drama more creative than most procedurals, and Potter does excellent working in fleshing out both the involved players and the historical context of the Burgundy region and its oenophiles.”

    Daily Beast

  • “Details the tale of a threat so bizarre it seems unreal: one deluded man’s attempt at a big score by threatening a true culinary treasure…The prose is evocative…and captures the gravitas of a crime with deep cultural resonance without becoming wonky.”

    San Francisco Gate

  • “A whodunit with a culprit worthy of a Woody Allen film, Potter’s first book is a rich study of a cinematic crime and bona fide page-turner…Even the most devout teetotaler will have a hard time putting this one down.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Inspired by a daring crime that a lesser writer might reduce to police procedural, Maximillian Potter has opened a portal into a fabled world unknown to outsiders. The story he so compellingly recounts in Shadows  in the Vineyard breathes, like the hallowed wine at its heart, with life and history and wonder.”

    Benjamin Wallace, author of The Billionaire’s Vinegar

  • “Maximillian Potter has taken a sinister plot and woven an intriguing story around the most revered wine estate in the world with the most respected winemaker at its helm. Through this event he has painted a colorful tableau filled with fascinating historical evidence on why the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the terroir of Burgundy, and the culture of Burgundy, are among the most treasured and special sites on the planet. Bravo.”

    Daniel Boulud, James Beard Award–winning chef, and Daniel Johnnes, James Beard Award–winning sommelier

  • “Potter’s blend of detail and storytelling becomes a treat with Donald Corren’s gentle but dramatic narration. Reality takes on the feel of fiction as Cohen builds atmosphere and tension with deliberation. Whether it’s the gentle stillness of the vineyard itself or the historic plot, Cohen sets the stage word by word. Even when he’s reading the nuts and bolts, there’s an echo of the story. This is a crime story that will fascinate, but it’s also the story of a family and the place they loved for more than two centuries.”


  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, July 2014
  • An August 2014 Amazon Best Book of the Month in Nonfiction
  • A Wall Street Journal Great Reads Pick
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About the Author

Maximillian Potter, an award-winning journalist, is the senior media adviser for the governor of Colorado. He was the executive editor of 5280: Denver’s Magazine and previously a staff writer at Premiere, Philadelphia, and GQ. He has been a contributing editor to Men’s Health and Details and contributor to Vanity Fair. A native of Philadelphia, he earned a BA degree from Allegheny College and an MSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School.

About the Narrator

Donald Corren is a stage, television, and voice actor whose work has been featured on and off Broadway, in regional theaters, behind animated characters, and on television for the past three decades. Trained in the theater division at Juilliard, he is also a writer whose credits include the original Martha Stewart Living television series and the medals ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.