Author(s): Simon Loftus
"What Simon Loftus does in this captivating story of a Burgundy village is to explore the mystery of how seven and a half acres of impoverished soil became the most precious agricultural land on earth, producing the grandest of all white wines: Puligny-Montrachet.
" "He immerses us first in the village's colorful history - its ancient rivalries and political intrigues. Then he takes us behind the shuttered windows of Puligny-Montrachet today, a sleepy village of only five hundred inhabitants, mostly immigrants with only a few of the old families remaining. We meet the butcher, the baker, the bookbinder, the mayor, the chambermaid, and, of course, the vignerons - from the small growers cultivating a few rows of vines to the owners of all the best Domaines."
"Even as we come to understand how the sense of community in Puligny is eroding, Loftus, with his intense passion for the place and the people who are its lifeblood, makes us revel in the rhythms of the agricultural year: the bonfires of the winter prunings, the harvest when pickers invade the land and tractors roar through the narrow streets to transport the grapes to the cellars, and the heady celebrations when the new wine is tasted."
"Through it all Loftus with his wine merchant's expertise makes us see how all the elements - soil, sub-soil, drainage, exposure to sun - converge to create the perfect environment for the vineyards, and how the grapes are transformed through human hands into the final "treasured product."
Bach vintage becomes what he calls "an intense but elusive testimony to the place." And so is this enchanting journal. It is a book you will savor like a splendid glass of Puligny-Montrachet, relishing every nuance of flavor and cherishing the memory it leaves imprinted on the senses."