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The Winemakers: A Novel of Wine and Secrets (Heartwarming Family Sagas - Stand-Alone Fiction)

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1956: When Caterina Rosetta inherits a cottage in the countryside of Italy from a grandmother she's never known, she discovers a long-buried family secret -- a secret so devastating, it threatens the future of everything her mother has worked for. Many years before, her mother's hard-won dreams of staking her family's claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition; 1956: When Caterina Rosetta inherits a cottage in the countryside of Italy from a grandmother she's never known, she discovers a long-buried family secret -- a secret so devastating, it threatens the future of everything her mother has worked for. Many years before, her mother's hard-won dreams of staking her family's claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition; but as an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragic secret that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother's buried past. From author Jan Moran comes The Winemakers, a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.


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1956: When Caterina Rosetta inherits a cottage in the countryside of Italy from a grandmother she's never known, she discovers a long-buried family secret -- a secret so devastating, it threatens the future of everything her mother has worked for. Many years before, her mother's hard-won dreams of staking her family's claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition; 1956: When Caterina Rosetta inherits a cottage in the countryside of Italy from a grandmother she's never known, she discovers a long-buried family secret -- a secret so devastating, it threatens the future of everything her mother has worked for. Many years before, her mother's hard-won dreams of staking her family's claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition; but as an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragic secret that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother's buried past. From author Jan Moran comes The Winemakers, a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.

30 review for The Winemakers: A Novel of Wine and Secrets (Heartwarming Family Sagas - Stand-Alone Fiction)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life)

    This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I enjoyed this book. I have had this book on my review list for years. I did start reading it several times over the years only to quickly realize that I was in the mood for a different kind of book. Eventually, the book was lost in my virtual stacks but I am happy that I finally was able to immerse myself in this story. This book revolves around Caterina and her mother, Ava. Caterina's life is filled with secrets. Some she keeps fro This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books. I enjoyed this book. I have had this book on my review list for years. I did start reading it several times over the years only to quickly realize that I was in the mood for a different kind of book. Eventually, the book was lost in my virtual stacks but I am happy that I finally was able to immerse myself in this story. This book revolves around Caterina and her mother, Ava. Caterina's life is filled with secrets. Some she keeps from others and some have been kept from her but they are all making their way to the surface in this story. The book is set in the 50s and the fact that Caterina has had a child out of wedlock is a big deal. It is such a big deal that she has hidden this fact from everyone, including her own mother. When she learns that she has inherited a home in Italy from a grandmother she didn't know existed, she thinks that this might be the perfect escape for her and her daughter. Caterina soon learns that everything she thought she knows about her history may not be true. It seems like just as soon as one secret is revealed we learn about something else someone has been hiding. I was hooked by the story pretty early on. I was eager to learn about Ava's life in Italy and loved the chapters told from her point of view. I liked the way that one lie seemed to grow into several more over time. I did like the way that wine played a role in the story which surprised me since I am not a wine drinker. I thought that the passion for the wine that the characters felt really showed. This wasn't a perfect story though. I didn't need all of the descriptions of clothing that seemed to pop up throughout the story. I also thought that Caterina's daughter, Marisa, must be the most well-behaved baby in the history of the world. It seems like someone besides Caterina was always watching the baby or she was sleeping which is not quite how I remember those early days of parenthood. I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was an entertaining family drama spanning two generations and filled with great characters. I wouldn't hesitate to read more from this author in the future. I received a digital review copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. Initial Thoughts I have had this book on my review list for years. I did have a couple of false starts with it in the past but was able to stick with it this time. Once things got going this was a compelling story. I liked both Caterina and Ava and was eager for all of the secrets between them to finally be revealed. I was able to guess some of the twists and there were times that I felt like the book was filled with more angst than I would have liked. I would probably give this book 3.5 stars but I am rounding up to 4 for now.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I can't believe the ratings for this book. It is the worst written book I have read in years. Completely implausible plot, simpering characters, a child that spends the whole book napping so the protagonist doesn't have to deal with her. Ridiculously overblown descriptions of clothing and scenery. Dreck. I can't believe the ratings for this book. It is the worst written book I have read in years. Completely implausible plot, simpering characters, a child that spends the whole book napping so the protagonist doesn't have to deal with her. Ridiculously overblown descriptions of clothing and scenery. Dreck.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I received this book for free through The Reading Room’s giveaways. So first off, I simply adore historical fiction novels about women in their early 20’s trying to forge their own path in life. This book was precisely that so I liked that aspect of the book. For the most part, I enjoyed the plot, however, the ending was a bit overdramatic. I also really liked all the romantic locations (Napa, Italy, and Paris) that the book took the reader through. My favorite thing about this book was how it w I received this book for free through The Reading Room’s giveaways. So first off, I simply adore historical fiction novels about women in their early 20’s trying to forge their own path in life. This book was precisely that so I liked that aspect of the book. For the most part, I enjoyed the plot, however, the ending was a bit overdramatic. I also really liked all the romantic locations (Napa, Italy, and Paris) that the book took the reader through. My favorite thing about this book was how it was subtly sex positive. Like at one point someone says, “What? Sex is healthy between two people in love.” There was also some very nice french lingerie mentioned. Overall, it was a great historical fiction novel.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jenni

    Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars This definitely lived up to the high bar Jan set with Scent of Triumph. She has such a way with strong female characters which is so refreshing. Caterina, a single mother in the 50's from a strict family, and her mother Ava, who was orphaned in the 20's and then married off to a husband in a foreign country when she was only 19 are both are incredibly strong and resilient characters. The odds are definitely stacked against them, but they come up with such creative solution Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars This definitely lived up to the high bar Jan set with Scent of Triumph. She has such a way with strong female characters which is so refreshing. Caterina, a single mother in the 50's from a strict family, and her mother Ava, who was orphaned in the 20's and then married off to a husband in a foreign country when she was only 19 are both are incredibly strong and resilient characters. The odds are definitely stacked against them, but they come up with such creative solutions and forge onward in their own ways. Then there is the wine. Like scent of triumph, Jan really knows her stuff. She obviously do a ton of research before writing this book, because she speaks about wine in terms that I can't imagine the average person just knows. It was a fascinating little window into the world of wine-making. And the plot itself keeps you on the edge of your seat. I didn't want to put this book down because I just had to know how it ended and how all threads of scents wove together. The romance in this book is really quite lovely too, but it does not overpower these two strong female leads. It moves the story forward and it is the story, but it's does not weaken our leading ladies. I love that. Jan Moran just became and auto-buy author for me. I received this book free from the publisher for an honest review. Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iH5-...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    Absolutely delightful book about family secrets. The mother and daughter are both keeping them. We are treated to Italy and sumptuous descriptions. I love the style of this authors writing and I wasn't disappointed. I was given a complimentary copy. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own. Absolutely delightful book about family secrets. The mother and daughter are both keeping them. We are treated to Italy and sumptuous descriptions. I love the style of this authors writing and I wasn't disappointed. I was given a complimentary copy. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    4.5 stars. WONDERFUL READ!!! I’ve read Jan Moran’s other novel and was completely blown away by her depth of characters, detailed plots, and elegant romance. So when this book came up, I interestingly enough has mixed feelings about reviewing it. On one hand I know the caliber of her writing and how well she does romance……however this sounded more like a family saga so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Ultimately I decided to review it because I know how well she writes. I was NOT disappointed! I read 4.5 stars. WONDERFUL READ!!! I’ve read Jan Moran’s other novel and was completely blown away by her depth of characters, detailed plots, and elegant romance. So when this book came up, I interestingly enough has mixed feelings about reviewing it. On one hand I know the caliber of her writing and how well she does romance……however this sounded more like a family saga so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Ultimately I decided to review it because I know how well she writes. I was NOT disappointed! I read this book in like 2 days. Even though it was 350+ pages, it read so quick and didn’t feel slow in any part. What I found most interesting about this novel was the whole wine part. I do not drink wine and I have zero knowledge about the wine industry…..nor did I really have any interest in it but this novel made wine sound so beautiful and romantic. I instantly wanted to learn more about wine and how it was made etc. I’ve even started researching wine tastings in my area and in Napa Valley thanks to this book! It sounds so wonderful and interesting so I’ve become inspired to try out the whole wine tasting thing and see if I can expand my knowledge on a topic! Besides the wine part, this novel was filled with intriguing family secrets, some romance, and a balanced two time period novel. The novel alternates between Caterina’s 1950’s story and her mother’s 1920’s story but one didn’t eclipse the other which I loved. Caterina was still the focus of the novel and I enjoyed her as a character immensely. She was strong but not annoyingly so, and there was room for her character to grow throughout the story. I loved watching her romance and her story unfold. The only criticism I had was about the ending. I felt like there was all this build up to the ending and then it simply came together without the drama and resolution that the situation demanded. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone so that’s all I say about the ending. I basically felt like it wrapped up a little too neatly and too fast and then the novel was over so I just felt like the conclusion could have been a little more structured. Overall this was a wonderful novel about family secrets, lies, romance, and wine! You don’t have to love wine to appreciate this novel but it certainly does help! See my full review here

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This is a novel about two strong women in a wine making family - Ava, the mother and the owner of the California winery and her only daughter Caterina who has hopes of working at her mother's side. What could have been a wonderful mother and daughter business is ruined by the secrets that both women keep from each other. After telling her mother about the baby that she had when she was at college and that she plans to keep, Caterina goes to Italy to the house that she has inherited from the gran This is a novel about two strong women in a wine making family - Ava, the mother and the owner of the California winery and her only daughter Caterina who has hopes of working at her mother's side. What could have been a wonderful mother and daughter business is ruined by the secrets that both women keep from each other. After telling her mother about the baby that she had when she was at college and that she plans to keep, Caterina goes to Italy to the house that she has inherited from the grandmother she never knew. There she finds out secrets about her mother and her family that may change her life and the existence of the family winery in Napa Valley. She and her mother must face the past together or be destroyed by it. The time period of the novel is the 1950s and the author highlights that very well. The reader sees it in the treatment of both women as second class citizens, especially in the way they are treated by bankers. We also see it in the clothes that the women wear when they dress up with hats and gloves. The author definitely did considerable research into the process of wine making. I learned a lot about it as I read the novel. Not in a boring way but as part of the story of what went on at the winery. This novel has it all - great plot, strong characters, mystery, suspense and romance. Trust me, you won't be able to put it down once you've started it! (The book was given to me by the author for a fair and honest review.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hanna

    I had approximately 8 glasses of wine while reading this book. All red. This story looks at relationship between a mother and daughter to uncover similarities neither one saw coming. Taking place in California and in Italy, the book jumps between timeframes and builds on the family secrets to keep a reader engaged. **Received as a Goodreads Winner**

  9. 5 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    visit the tasty locations here: The winemakers There is so much to love about this novel and more than lives up to the high standard she set with Sent of Triumph. I just really identify with her characters and understand them. Ava and Caterina’s lives are so far removed from my own but it’s the little details and the secrets women share that made me feel close to them. It’s a story about women and the choices they had in the 1950s that really held my fascination. The family secrets that come spill visit the tasty locations here: The winemakers There is so much to love about this novel and more than lives up to the high standard she set with Sent of Triumph. I just really identify with her characters and understand them. Ava and Caterina’s lives are so far removed from my own but it’s the little details and the secrets women share that made me feel close to them. It’s a story about women and the choices they had in the 1950s that really held my fascination. The family secrets that come spilling out and the treatment of women as second class citizens is nicely drawn and creates a trail of deceit, secrets and ultimately hope. On top of this, the story of winemaking and the skill and detail that this involves was just amazing. I knew nothing about this yet I felt I was on the vineyard myself, talking the language of wine and even though I rarely drink the stuff myself, I really wanted to spend time in both locations finding out more. It’s quite an insight into how wine is made and how a vineyard is so much work but can stay in a family for decades. These are all great ingredients for a novel and together it’s like a tapestry of colour, aromas and sensations. A picture of the 1950s, of viniculture and women with choices and family ties. You have to read this with a glass of the best vino you can find. Relax, take a sip and indulge in a lovely, full flavoured journey. Jan Moran popped over to the booktrail to tell us a few wine related secrets - The Winemakers author spills the beans but gladly not the wine The photo shows her tasting wine and researching the novel!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Even with the abundance of secrets and lies, this could have been a 4-star read at least. But the major “secret” is so predictable, as is most of the plot, and the way Caterina and Santo carry on even after hearing that they may share a parent, is disgusting to me. Santo comes across as a weak willed character that’s stubborn at all the wrong times. And how the heck do you hide from your mother a pregnancy and a baby??? It’s all very improbable, overly angsty, and I didn’t find much to like in S Even with the abundance of secrets and lies, this could have been a 4-star read at least. But the major “secret” is so predictable, as is most of the plot, and the way Caterina and Santo carry on even after hearing that they may share a parent, is disgusting to me. Santo comes across as a weak willed character that’s stubborn at all the wrong times. And how the heck do you hide from your mother a pregnancy and a baby??? It’s all very improbable, overly angsty, and I didn’t find much to like in Santo and therefore couldn’t sympathize much with Caterina. Ava’s story was more interesting, albeit heartbreakingly sad. But Ava too, kept secrets that should not have been kept. It’s all a mess, even if it is a pretty enjoyable one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Therese Thompson

    This falls into the category of emotional pornography, per my freshman year AP English teacher, Mr. Duffy. Of course that appellation got the whole class’s attention. But, I’ve found this to be, unfortunately, a category of literature I prefer to avoid. Way too much drama, purple prose, and titalating plot twists. I’m not saying others can’t enjoy it, but it’s just not me. I’ll take just straight porn😂.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    Stock up on wine and Italian food before you start to read this! You will be thirsty and hungry for the good stuff! This story was so captivating I could not put the book down! Highly recommend! It helps I am a Californian so I really loved the bridge between Italy and CA. Loved this book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janet Robel

    A lovely novel that takes us to Italy. I fell in love with the beautiful cover. Get ready to be transported to vineyards right from the comfort of your favorite chair.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Martha D.

    There were many good aspects to this book such as beautiful settings in Napa Valley & Tuscany & the art of winemaking. However, the family story was too predictable for my taste.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary Eve

    I don't always read historical romance but when I do...it's The Winemakers: A Novel of Wine and Secrets. Last week, I was on a bit of a vacay and devoted the majority of my time to reading. It's been a while since I've been able to do this and fortunately I had great books on hand. I was also lucky enough to be a part of Moran's Launch Party Team for The Winemakers and received a gorgeous ARC from Jan with matching bookmarks. The book is wonderful inside and out and I hate to sound cliché but I I don't always read historical romance but when I do...it's The Winemakers: A Novel of Wine and Secrets. Last week, I was on a bit of a vacay and devoted the majority of my time to reading. It's been a while since I've been able to do this and fortunately I had great books on hand. I was also lucky enough to be a part of Moran's Launch Party Team for The Winemakers and received a gorgeous ARC from Jan with matching bookmarks. The book is wonderful inside and out and I hate to sound cliché but I really could not put the book down. From beginning to end, loved this book! The two settings, Napa Valley and Tuscany, were sumptuous and so real that I could smell and taste the succulent, ripe grapes of both regions. And, it was so much fun learning about wine, the process of aging wine, and the many descriptive terms used by wine connoisseurs. Moran did an excellent job creating believable, likeable characters and placing them in locations that spilled into the imagination with ease. If you love historical romance The Winemakers: A Novel of Wine and Secrets is the perfect choice. Pair this book with a glass of fine white or red wine. Doesn't matter. Goes down smoothly with either one. I'd even be willing to read a sequel or two. Yummy!! Thank you, Jan! I enjoyed being a part of the book launch and I know this book will delight reader's everywhere.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie Harder-schauer

    I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The cover and title of this book made me think of Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave and I've always enjoyed historical fiction so I was excited to dive in. It absolutely did not disappoint. As a modern feminist, I spend large portions of the book irritated at the beliefs and actions of society in general. I realize that the attitudes were commonplace in the 1950s, when this book is set, and it makes me so thankful I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The cover and title of this book made me think of Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave and I've always enjoyed historical fiction so I was excited to dive in. It absolutely did not disappoint. As a modern feminist, I spend large portions of the book irritated at the beliefs and actions of society in general. I realize that the attitudes were commonplace in the 1950s, when this book is set, and it makes me so thankful that I was born after the big push of the women's rights movement. I definitely had no problem relating to Caterina and Ava and their issues with society's attitudes toward strong, independent women. The story got off to kind of a slow start for me, building the mystery and anticipation. There was a lot of "I can't ever let her know this very important secret" kind of stuff going on, and it was kind of obvious that these secrets should really be divulged (although maybe I just wanted that because I didn't get to know what most of them were either in the beginning.) Once the story picked up, it had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. There may have been some squealing involved (and pleading, ranting, and a bit of hoping as well if I'm being totally honest). I probably sounded like a certified lunatic for the last 30% of the book. Overall I give The Winemakers 5 out of 5 stars because it was just that good. I would highly recommend it. Reviewed on Just Another Girl and Her Books blog http://www.justanothergirlandherbooks...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Francoise

    I enjoyed this story about a winemaking family from Napa Valley, Tuscany, and France set in the years 1920s and 1950s. It is centered on a mother, Ava, and her daughter, Caterina. Both share a love for their famous vineyard, Mille Etoiles and, of course, their wine. This story has a vintage feel, that I found quite refreshing ! Caterina refuses to marry the man chosen by her mother, she is in love with another man, the father of her hidden daughter. She decides to leave with her child and start I enjoyed this story about a winemaking family from Napa Valley, Tuscany, and France set in the years 1920s and 1950s. It is centered on a mother, Ava, and her daughter, Caterina. Both share a love for their famous vineyard, Mille Etoiles and, of course, their wine. This story has a vintage feel, that I found quite refreshing ! Caterina refuses to marry the man chosen by her mother, she is in love with another man, the father of her hidden daughter. She decides to leave with her child and start a new life in Italy where she has inherited a house from her grandmother. But in Italy, she also discovers that her family has long buried secrets, that have been a heavy burden to carry for her mother. And soon they will be in danger of losing their beloved vineyard of Mille Etoiles. I loved both women in this story. They are strong characters, willing to fight for what they believe is right. This was my first book by Jan Moran, but I was impressed by her ability to create multi-layered and complex characters, some good and some evil. I also enjoyed the vivid and richly evocative descriptions of landscapes and of the charming aspects of life in Tuscany, including the great food ! It reminded me of holidays under the Italian sun ! Obviously this won't be my last book by this author ! ARC kindly received from publisher St. Martin's Press, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest feedback.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kerliza Foon

    (I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review) This books has all the earmarks for a great book. The characters are all likable and at the same time they make decisions that may make you question their judgement. Their temporary insanity make them more believable as characters and allows the reader to feel a connection to them. At the same time it make them human and we can all understand making decisions under stressful circumstances. The plot (I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review) This books has all the earmarks for a great book. The characters are all likable and at the same time they make decisions that may make you question their judgement. Their temporary insanity make them more believable as characters and allows the reader to feel a connection to them. At the same time it make them human and we can all understand making decisions under stressful circumstances. The plot is well written with suspenseful moments that keep you on the edge of the seat. It is well drawn and concluded out so that you do not get anti climatic resolutions to a problem from long build-up. The author skillfully blends past and present to create a book that give the readers insights to the characters as well as creating the setting so artfully that you can just imagine being in the book. Jan Moran weaves a tale that speaks of forgiveness, love, happiness and strength so wonderfully that you enjoy every minute of reading this book. Even better, the book goes down smoothly with a glass of wine. I recommend this book to those who love to curl on rainy days with a glass of wine and good book. You will not be disappointed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Thanks to NETGALLEY for the chance to read and give an honest review. I attended the Romantic Times Convention in Las Vegas and got to meet the author, Jan Moran, she was very friendly and charming, I told her how much I was enjoying her novel. This is a novel about family, mother-daughter relationships, secrets, forgiveness, love, understanding, fear, strength and new beginnings. I loved these women, they were strong independent women. The characters were multi-layered, complex, some good and Thanks to NETGALLEY for the chance to read and give an honest review. I attended the Romantic Times Convention in Las Vegas and got to meet the author, Jan Moran, she was very friendly and charming, I told her how much I was enjoying her novel. This is a novel about family, mother-daughter relationships, secrets, forgiveness, love, understanding, fear, strength and new beginnings. I loved these women, they were strong independent women. The characters were multi-layered, complex, some good and some evil. The author did a wonderful job of drawing you into these characters lives, you cared about them. When they hurt, you hurt, when they felt anger, you also felt anger, when they forgave, you forgave. There is history, winemaking, and such a wonderful story. If you enjoy family drama's, friendship, winemaking, mother and daughter, love , forgiveness and most of all, happy endings, you are going to love this novel. Thank you Jan Moran for great story telling and NETGALLEY for allowing me to read this fantastic novel.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary Clark

    I was interested in reading this book because I thought learning about wine while reading a romance would be almost as good as drinking wine while reading a romance. And it was. I especially enjoyed the scenes in the small town and the villa in Tuscany. Later in the story, Napa Valley and the mountains with views toward the sea were perfect for romantic interludes. Both the mother, Ava, and her daughter, Caterina, are winemakers, but they also have secrets which keep them from having a healthy r I was interested in reading this book because I thought learning about wine while reading a romance would be almost as good as drinking wine while reading a romance. And it was. I especially enjoyed the scenes in the small town and the villa in Tuscany. Later in the story, Napa Valley and the mountains with views toward the sea were perfect for romantic interludes. Both the mother, Ava, and her daughter, Caterina, are winemakers, but they also have secrets which keep them from having a healthy relationship with each other, and ultimately, with the men they love. This will keep you reading until all the layers have been revealed. The Winemakers is a taste of wine country mixed with romantic intrigue. Read and savor. I received this book from St. Martin's Press and as a member of Jan Moran's Street Team in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    I won this book through goodreads giveaways. This was a wonderful love story. The author did a great job with character development and exploring the characters history so that you can understand why the make the choices they do. All of the characters are very human, faulted in some way but love able. The descriptions of the settings also painted a beautiful picture and put you there into the story. I gave it 4 stars because it was predictable, I guessed (correctly) early one what was going to ha I won this book through goodreads giveaways. This was a wonderful love story. The author did a great job with character development and exploring the characters history so that you can understand why the make the choices they do. All of the characters are very human, faulted in some way but love able. The descriptions of the settings also painted a beautiful picture and put you there into the story. I gave it 4 stars because it was predictable, I guessed (correctly) early one what was going to happen, but it was still an entertaining book. Would definitely recommend it to a friend.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I loved this book. I received this book as an Advanced Readers Copy from Goodreads. I am hoping that there will be a sequel to The Winemakers. I will be looking for more books by Jan Moran. Beautiful love story as well as a mystery. Wonderful descriptions of the wines, wine making and the scenery of both Napa and Italy. Certainly made me want to visit both places.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Debra Schoenberger

    A sweet love story with plenty of plot twists.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cath

    This is a story of a mother and daughter in Napa Valley in 1956. Caterina Rosetta is the daughter of a winemaker and one herself. Her mother started their family winery. Mille Etoilies Vineyards, after coming over from Italy with her violent and abusive husband Luca. He left the family when Caterina was too young to remember him and her mother Ava said he died in an accident whilst away on business, but she has many hidden secrets she has never revealed. Caterina has been hiding a secret of her This is a story of a mother and daughter in Napa Valley in 1956. Caterina Rosetta is the daughter of a winemaker and one herself. Her mother started their family winery. Mille Etoilies Vineyards, after coming over from Italy with her violent and abusive husband Luca. He left the family when Caterina was too young to remember him and her mother Ava said he died in an accident whilst away on business, but she has many hidden secrets she has never revealed. Caterina has been hiding a secret of her own for the last two years, that she has had an illegitimate child, a daughter she has called Marisa and was due to give up for adoption. The father is Santo, a cousin of Raphael who helps her mother run the vineyard, but has been at college to learn the business side of things. Santo disappeared without a word to Caterina, after their night together, and returned to college. Due to her mother’s very strict religious beliefs, Caterina has never been able to tell her mother and was warned never to make the very mistake she did! The boarding house she stays in, in the city, needs her room soon for another unwed mother to be, so she goes to break the news to Ava over a weekend off her work as a sommelier at a hotel. Ava does not react well to the news and tells her she cannot stay with her at Mille Etoiles. But an unexpected visit from a lawyer, brings news of an inheritance from a grandmother she had never known. She has inherited a vineyard and old cottage back in Montalcino, Italy, where her mother moved to from France, when she married Luca. This is where all his family are from. Caterina takes the chance for a new start in Italy with her daughter and travels to meet her unknown extended family. It seems that there are even more secrets being kept by the family there, as well as her own and her mother’s! But those secrets could destroy any chance she may have with the only man she has ever loved and the father of her young daughter. A great read, which I couldn’t put down, so read right through in one! The time frame the story is told in, was one where single women had lots of prejudice against them in favour of males. A woman who had a child out of wedlock was not acceptable by most of society and women were not thought to be able to run a business or get a loan from a bank, and so much more. Both Ava and Caterina had to be strong minded characters to survive what happened to them. The mention of physical abuse and how it was treated by cops and priests in those times, was quite shocking and gladly not quite as badly treated by officials in modern times, but still happening unfortunately. I loved the descriptions and details of the winemaking and the land they were grown on. A fantastic read about two generations of young women and the problems they faced, but also the secrets they thought they had to keep. A fascinating read of strong women in the time both before and after WWII and what they faced. I recommend this book to all. I received an ARC copy of this book from BookSprout and I have freely given my own opinion above.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    The story begins in 1956 when we meet Catarina an unwed mother who would like nothing more than to go home to her family’s vineyard with her baby daughter. She is very afraid that her mother Ava will disown her if she does not give up the baby for adoption. Catarina is also terrified to reveal who the father is. She decides to travel alone to speak with her mother, and when she arrives finds out she has inherited a home and vineyard in France. Maybe she could travel to Italy and start a new life The story begins in 1956 when we meet Catarina an unwed mother who would like nothing more than to go home to her family’s vineyard with her baby daughter. She is very afraid that her mother Ava will disown her if she does not give up the baby for adoption. Catarina is also terrified to reveal who the father is. She decides to travel alone to speak with her mother, and when she arrives finds out she has inherited a home and vineyard in France. Maybe she could travel to Italy and start a new life for her and her daughter. We then go back to 1928 to start the story of Ava, who has quite the story to tell of how she met and married Catarina’s father and ended up living in California. The story continues from present day to the past as we learn each woman’s story and how much alike their circumstances were. The plot thickens with the arrival of baby Marisa’s father, Catarina’s adventures to learn the truth about her family, and Ava’s struggles to keep the vineyard thriving. This was a beautiful story of the struggling relationship between a mother and daughter and the hardships they had to endure in the 1920’s and 1950’s. The plot was fabulous, the depth of the characters was brilliant, and the supporting characters added more intrigue and suspense to the story. I could not put this book down as I felt so drawn into the story and the lives of both women. I also loved learning about the cultures, and the wine making process. Thank you so much to the author Jan Moran for the amazing journey and for the advanced copy of the book to review. It was fabulous! All opinions expressed for this review are unbiased and entirely my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    SS

    This is indeed a novel of secrets. Nearly every character has something important they’ve either omitted sharing or something they’ve completely altered to improve the image of someone or something. That part is intriguing. The characters are a delight, except for Luca. I thought he was dealt with in an overly dramatic manner. This is, primarily, the story of strong women and how they faced adversity and moved on to create good lives. It’s the women of this book that drive the story; the men serv This is indeed a novel of secrets. Nearly every character has something important they’ve either omitted sharing or something they’ve completely altered to improve the image of someone or something. That part is intriguing. The characters are a delight, except for Luca. I thought he was dealt with in an overly dramatic manner. This is, primarily, the story of strong women and how they faced adversity and moved on to create good lives. It’s the women of this book that drive the story; the men serve merely as secondary-characters, lending their support to the women. I thought the author used the history of the times in this book very well. She had the details down, both on how women were treated as inferior beings, the fashion, and business practices. I did think that often there were too many convenient coincidences, but I was reading an ARC version of the book. Those were likely dealt with in final editing. The key take away from this book is one quoted in the book: Out of mistakes grows wisdom. The main characters in this book have all made one kind of mistake or another, sometimes many mistakes of various sorts. They fret over them, chastise themselves for them, but in the end, they overcome them and set them to rights. This was an enjoyable read. I learned some things about wine-making that I hadn’t known. I hope this is the start of a series following these interesting winemakers. I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the author via Booksprout. I thank her for her generosity, but it had no effect on this review. All opinions in this review reflect my true and honest reactions to reading this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    I really loved the premise of this book; a winemaker's family in California, with hidden secrets that could destroy many lives in the process. This book introduced Catarina as the main character, a headstrong woman who knows what she wants in life, and won't let anyone stop her in getting it. We also met her mother, Ava, who owns a vineyard in California, along with her assistant Raphael, and Santo, the love of Catarina's life. As the story goes on, we are given flashbacks to Ava's life as a new I really loved the premise of this book; a winemaker's family in California, with hidden secrets that could destroy many lives in the process. This book introduced Catarina as the main character, a headstrong woman who knows what she wants in life, and won't let anyone stop her in getting it. We also met her mother, Ava, who owns a vineyard in California, along with her assistant Raphael, and Santo, the love of Catarina's life. As the story goes on, we are given flashbacks to Ava's life as a newlywed, in which she flees Italy with her then husband Luca, who turns out to be a terrible man. As the story unwinds, we learn of those hidden secrets that are bound to destroy the love that Catarina has for Santo, and how their daughter, Marisa, plays a strong part in their lives. I loved how the author outlined the difficulties in owning a vineyard, especially when it came to relying on the weather for production, and the various intricacies that went into making a business successful. When I had read about Ava and Raphael together, as well as Catarina and Santo, I felt a sense of calm and peace, with both of their love stories proving triumphant, despite all odds against them. The author outlined each of the characters in a bright light, making the book enjoyable throughout most of the plot lines. There were a few spots which seemed to drag on at times however, the author did a splendid job of keeping my attention throughout most of the book. I would love to see a sequel, as there definitely is the opportunity for one!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I was fortunate to connect with this award winning author on Twitter and what a discovery. Ms. Moran has written many fiction, nonfiction and historical fiction books. The Winemakers is a great find. Her works are published internationally, and her resume is packed with publications as a writer and editor. The Winemakers is the story of the Rosetta family set in the 1950’s in the Napa Wine Country. This novel is beautifully weaved together with a present day event connecting seamlessly with a b I was fortunate to connect with this award winning author on Twitter and what a discovery. Ms. Moran has written many fiction, nonfiction and historical fiction books. The Winemakers is a great find. Her works are published internationally, and her resume is packed with publications as a writer and editor. The Winemakers is the story of the Rosetta family set in the 1950’s in the Napa Wine Country. This novel is beautifully weaved together with a present day event connecting seamlessly with a back-story that takes place several decades earlier in Italy. As a reader, I enjoyed the layout of this book; there was just enough back and forth to follow the story without confusion. This was important, because the mountain of lies underpinning the Rosetta family’s tale could have been a writing disaster. Ms. Moran is a seasoned storyteller; she moves the tale along at a perfect speed (no extra words). Moreover, I enjoyed learning about wine. Jan Moran is a ‘must read’ author.

  29. 4 out of 5

    linda murray

    Tres Bien As always, I was kept on edge until the end of the book! Caterina and her mother, Ava, have a tense relationship. Both women have secrets they are afraid to share with each other! Ava has spent over 20 years in Napa, after emigrating from Italy, with her husband. Ava has a baby, Caterina, who has grown up in the vineyard Ava has nurtured all Caterinas life. Caterina yearned for her father who had died in an accident when she was a baby. But some things aren't adding up, and after Cateri Tres Bien As always, I was kept on edge until the end of the book! Caterina and her mother, Ava, have a tense relationship. Both women have secrets they are afraid to share with each other! Ava has spent over 20 years in Napa, after emigrating from Italy, with her husband. Ava has a baby, Caterina, who has grown up in the vineyard Ava has nurtured all Caterinas life. Caterina yearned for her father who had died in an accident when she was a baby. But some things aren't adding up, and after Caterina has a baby out of wedlock, and is afraid to tell her mother about her daughter, Caterina goes to Italy to claim property that her paternal grandmother had left her, taking her baby with her! In Italy she finds out about some of her mother's lies, and some secrets that Ava has kept from her that have a present day consequence. Can the truth come out, and will it destroy a love and happiness that Catarina wants with all her heart.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Claudete Takahashi

    Lives that were based on lies regarding their origins and families, that´s the basis of Caterina´s and Santo´s lives which will lead them through a lot of suffering and leave them heartbroken. These same lies kept Ava and Rafael apart and also led to a great turmoil at the winery. The story is set in the Napa Valley in California and in the Tuscany region in Italy, with beautiful descriptions of the scenery and tourism areas in the late 50´s. It´s a pleasure to read about the several wine types Lives that were based on lies regarding their origins and families, that´s the basis of Caterina´s and Santo´s lives which will lead them through a lot of suffering and leave them heartbroken. These same lies kept Ava and Rafael apart and also led to a great turmoil at the winery. The story is set in the Napa Valley in California and in the Tuscany region in Italy, with beautiful descriptions of the scenery and tourism areas in the late 50´s. It´s a pleasure to read about the several wine types that are made in both countries as well as the food in Italy. The Winemaker is a touching and very good portrait of an era where women did not have much of a voice and very much struggled to make themselves heard and believed capable. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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