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The Second Bud: Deserting the City for a Farm Winery,”
When a late frost kills that first, large grapevine bud in the spring, the second bud may in part redeem that season’s growth. Writer Martha Ezzard didn’t suffer a killing frost, but the vineyard that she and her husband John started late in life provided a new start, one very different from the life she had enjoyed in Denver and Atlanta.
“The Second Bud” is Ezzard’s memoir of the move from big-city lawyer and journalist to a vineyard wife, doing “deliciously dirty work,” coping with blisters, achy shoulders and weather woes. As the story of a woman facing a significant life change later in life, the book provides a gentle insight into relationships, challenges, and adjustments.
The book is also the tale of a vineyard and winery – Tiger Mountain Vineyards in north Georgia – yielding a perspective that can escape the casual wine drinker. After all, tours usually involve the more glamorous aspect of the business.
Here, the reader sees the process from the very beginning, granting a fuller understanding to the wine business saying, “Good wine is made in the winery, but great wine starts in the vineyard.” Grapevine choice, pruning, sludge pots, partnerships, solicitations and sales, clubs, events, hard work and sleepless nights – the book peeks behind the scenes to add depth to any winery visit.
If I would offer one warning before beginning the book, it is this: be sure to have some bottles of fine wine at hand before you start, preferably a Tiger Mountain Norton, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, or other that pleases your palate. After all, reading about life in a winery will have you thirsting for the fruits of the vine.
Ezzard’s book is sprinkled with metaphors, progressing through the seasons of life and the vineyards. As she shows how the grapevine’s second bud can resurrect a frostbitten vine, she demonstrates that her family’s new life on the farm has a second bud, too.
“The Second Bud: Deserting the City for a Farm Winery,”
by Martha Ezzard. Mercer University Press. $25 Hardback.