"A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul, and Business of a 21st-Century Winery " (Center Street), by Craig and Kathryn Hall
Kathryn Hall loves wine. Her passion isn't merely for the taste, but also the full process of developing the drink, from soil to glass. In 1991 she met her husband, Craig, and after explaining that a rose isn't a red and white wine mixed together, she introduced him to her family's vineyard in California. Craig was hooked, and he eventually vowed they would purchase their own vineyard and it would be the best one in the country.
"A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul, and Business of a 21st-Century Winery" is the Halls' account of their journey from Dallas to Napa Valley where, after years of work, they created a wine that received a perfect score from The Wine Advocate.
The Halls' story sheds light on the countless steps, risks and decisions involved in producing a bottle of wine, from fighting legal battles over where they can grow grapes to implementing the right technology to track the amount of water that a vineyard block receives. The authors also expound on the social aspect of the industry, describing various parties they host and attend. And for those interested in the aesthetic side of wineries, the Halls deliver, detailing their adventures of procuring and displaying the art that adorns their properties. Finally, several pages are devoted to highlighting the expanding methods for selling wine and how the internet, wine clubs and email marketing have played a role.
With friendly, simple prose, the book clearly demonstrates Craig and Kathryn's dedication to their craft. It also shows how much a winery's success is about relationships, as the Halls lavish praise on all who have helped in their endeavor. Readers will raise their next glass with a deeper appreciation of what's inside.