Watt, D. P. - Terroir
Cecilia, early 20’s, wondering what to do with her life, hires on to work the grape harvest at Château Fontaine.
She catches the eye of Marcel, oldest son and heir apparent.
Mutual attraction and hormone driven activity belie a fleeting undercurrent.
Cecilia’s intuition senses a mystery behind the smile, charm, and grace of Marcel, and indeed, of his whole family.
Questions are evaded or glossed over, as are worries.
And slowly, you, like Cecilia, are eased into story that pulls you down like quicksand.
There was a point in this when I sensed a trope, and really worried Mr. Watt might go that route.
For me, at least, he did not, and I enjoyed this immensely.
There is a long passage on the vendange, or grape harvest, and it was bang on.
Several years ago, I participated in a preliminary harvest in Sonoma County.
Ostensibly, this was to check how close the Chardonnay was to maturity.
The bulk of the “pickers” were the affluent and well heeled of Marin and San Francisco.
We picked for a couple hours, finished, enjoyed a sumptuous outdoor lunch. (also in Terroir, and also accurate)
Around us were preexisting case buying regulars, or invitees from a select list.
And no, my wife and I were guests of a “regular,” and there was no repeat invite.
(Note: As soon after I finished reading Terroir, I rewatched Vagabond, along with Éric Rohmer’s Conte d’automne. Diverse views of the wine region.)