First, let me state that I love wine books. The history of wine, the stories about wineries, the making of wine, the marketing of wine, the tasting of wine, etc, etc. So my low rating of this book should not be seen as one by someone who just doesn't love wine.
No, my rating is based on two overall observations I had while reading this book.
1) The writing style is very hard to follow. Sometimes the writing is in the voice of Ms. Hall, sometimes in the voice of her husband, sometimes in the voice of both of them at the same time, and sometimes in the voice of a third person entirely. And, these different voices may even occur all in the same paragraph!
2) Interwoven with the story of how the Hall's developed their wine, the reader is subjected to an endless list of famous people that the Hall's want you to know that they know. Why it is important to know that they are friends with former Texas governor Ann Richards, that the person selected to actually make the wine is the nephew of Irma Rombauer (she wrote the Joy of Cooking), that they had dinner parties for the likes of Toni Morrison, Walter Cronkite, Elie Wiesel, and Wynton Marsalis. Or that they are personal, very close friends of Robert Mondavi's. Or that they were asked to be ambassadors to Austria because of the recommendation of "our close friend, Senate leader Tom Daschle". And on and on. Are you getting the picture?
Or that they took their own, extensive art collection with them to the Austrian ambassadorship, to help those poor Austrian people learn to appreciate good art? The tooting of their own horns became somewhat nauseating.
In between all of this rambling, there is some good information. You can learn about the Napa Valley wine culture, and the marketing of wine. This part was interesting.
The version of the book that I received is an advance reading copy, courtesy of NetGalley. It's my hope that the authors, or their publishers, pull the book back in for a solid rewrite. It has potential, just not in the current form.