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Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California
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St. Martin's Publishing Group 2015
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Checked Out
Description
On October 12, 2005, a massive fire broke out in the Wines Central wine warehouse in Vallejo, California. Within hours, the flames had destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California's finest wine worth more than $250 million, making it the largest destruction of wine in history. The fire had been deliberately set by a passionate oenophile named Mark Anderson, a skilled con man and thief with storage space at the warehouse who needed to cover his tracks. With a propane torch and a bucket of gasoline-soaked rags, Anderson annihilated entire California vineyard libraries as well as bottles of some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Among the priceless bottles destroyed were 175 bottles of Port and Angelica from one of the oldest vineyards in California made by Frances Dinkelspiel's great-great grandfather, Isaias Hellman, in 1875. Sadly, Mark Anderson was not the first to harm the industry. The history of the California wine trade, dating back to the 19th Century, is a story of vineyards with dark and bloody pasts, tales of rich men, strangling monopolies, the brutal enslavement of vineyard workers and murder. Five of the wine trade murders were associated with Isaias Hellman's vineyard in Rancho Cucamonga beginning with the killing of John Rains who owned the land at the time. He was shot several times, dragged from a wagon and left off the main road for the coyotes to feed on. In her new book, Frances Dinkelspiel looks beneath the casually elegant veneer of California's wine regions to find the obsession, greed and violence lying in wait. Few people sipping a fine California Cabernet can even guess at the Tangled Vines where its life began.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/06/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250033215
ASIN:
B00R1AWDJS
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APA Citation (style guide)

Frances Dinkelspiel. (2015). Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Frances Dinkelspiel. 2015. Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Frances Dinkelspiel, Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Frances Dinkelspiel. Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: FRANCES DINKELSPIEL is an award-winning journalist and the author of Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California. Towers of Gold was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and named a Best Book of the Year by the Chronicle and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association. She is the co-founder of the news site Berkeleyside and her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, People, San Francisco Magazine, and other venues. She lives in Berkeley, California.
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title
Tangled Vines
fullDescription
On October 12, 2005, a massive fire broke out in the Wines Central wine warehouse in Vallejo, California. Within hours, the flames had destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California's finest wine worth more than $250 million, making it the largest destruction of wine in history. The fire had been deliberately set by a passionate oenophile named Mark Anderson, a skilled con man and thief with storage space at the warehouse who needed to cover his tracks. With a propane torch and a bucket of gasoline-soaked rags, Anderson annihilated entire California vineyard libraries as well as bottles of some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Among the priceless bottles destroyed were 175 bottles of Port and Angelica from one of the oldest vineyards in California made by Frances Dinkelspiel's great-great grandfather, Isaias Hellman, in 1875. Sadly, Mark Anderson was not the first to harm the industry. The history of the California wine trade, dating back to the 19th Century, is a story of vineyards with dark and bloody pasts, tales of rich men, strangling monopolies, the brutal enslavement of vineyard workers and murder. Five of the wine trade murders were associated with Isaias Hellman's vineyard in Rancho Cucamonga beginning with the killing of John Rains who owned the land at the time. He was shot several times, dragged from a wagon and left off the main road for the coyotes to feed on. In her new book, Frances Dinkelspiel looks beneath the casually elegant veneer of California's wine regions to find the obsession, greed and violence lying in wait. Few people sipping a fine California Cabernet can even guess at the Tangled Vines where its life began.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        September 21, 2015
        Dinkelspiel (Towers of Gold) has a personal stake in California's rich wine legacy—her wealthy great-great-grandfather, financier Isaias W. Hellman, essentially controlled the state's wine business in the late 1800s—but she maintains her objectivity in this dark exposé that uncovers a history of violence, deceit, and obsession. The book pivots on the October 2005 arson fire that destroyed a former Navy bunker near San Francisco, which had been converted into a wine storage facility housing an estimated 4.6 million bottles valued up to $400 million. The man convicted of that crime, Mark Anderson, is now serving a 27-year prison sentence. He communicated numerous times with Dinkelspiel, who often questions Anderson's credibility while telling his sordid story. Via numerous interviews with Anderson's acquaintances and former employees, government agency representatives, winemakers, and other industry experts, she weaves Anderson's misadventures into the cinematic, convoluted history of wine in California's seductive Napa Valley. The author's gripping descriptions of the fire and its aftermath, her unflinching narrative, and her vast knowledge of the subject matter make this a page-turner for both wine aficionados and casual tasters. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 15, 2015
        The events and characters behind a 2005 Napa fire that caused the greatest destruction of wine in history: 4.5 million bottles worth more than $250 million. Berkeleyside co-founder Dinkelspiel (Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, 2008) chronicles the story of oenophile Mark Anderson and his downward spiral into becoming a thief, a grifter, and, ultimately, the arsonist responsible for destroying some of the oldest wine libraries in California. Anderson was a longtime resident of the northern California wine country whose personal history was shrouded in a web of lies. However, the elaborate charade of maintaining a created persona unraveled when his crimes become known to the California wine community. In response, Anderson was forced to take drastic measures in an attempt to burn evidence of his crimes. While part of this readable story is a character study of Anderson, the narrative is interwoven with Dinkelspiel's family history in old California. Some of the wine burned by Anderson was a 19th-century port made by Dinkelspiel's great-great grandfather Isaias Hellman (who was the subject of the author's first book). In the telling of the early history of winemaking in California, she explores Hellman's place in a tangled tale of violence caused by infighting over ownership of large wineries and sprawling ranchos. More than just a crime story, this is a book about the wealth, passion, and murky reality shaped by life inside the twisted vines of California's most revered crop. "It's the pursuit of the experience," writes the author, "the belief that wine opens up worlds and forges friendships that drives people to be so obsessed. Humans have worshipped wines for eons, from Noah to the Greeks." An enjoyable read for wine connoisseurs and neophytes alike.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2015

        Wine has been produced in California for centuries. Now a multibillion dollar economic driver, the production and sale of this "elixir of the gods" is also an enterprise that, from its earliest days, has had more than its fair share of scoundrels and scandal. Use and abuse of indigenous slave labor and later outrageous examples of theft, fraud, murder, and extortion seem to be as much a part of the business as the grapes themselves. Using a 2005 arson as a starting point, Dinkelspiel (Towers of Gold) offers a fascinating and extensively researched account of historical events featuring a cast of larger-than-life characters and intriguing details about the winemaking industry. VERDICT The author's journalistic style and a personal link to the Vallejo wine warehouse blaze make for a page-turning narrative that can be enjoyed even by those who aren't wine connoisseurs. Readers are likely to never look at a bottle (or label) of California red, white, or blush in the same way.--Linda Frederiksen, Washington State Univ. Lib., Vancouver

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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On October 12, 2005, a massive fire broke out in the Wines Central wine warehouse in Vallejo, California. Within hours, the flames had destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California's finest wine worth more than $250 million, making it the largest destruction of wine in history. The fire had been deliberately set by a passionate oenophile named Mark Anderson, a skilled con man and thief with storage space at the warehouse who needed to cover his tracks. With a propane torch and a bucket of gasoline-soaked rags, Anderson annihilated entire California vineyard libraries as well as bottles of some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Among the priceless bottles destroyed were 175 bottles of Port and Angelica from one of the oldest vineyards in California made by Frances Dinkelspiel's great-great grandfather, Isaias Hellman, in 1875. Sadly, Mark Anderson was not the first to harm the industry. The history of the California wine trade, dating back to the 19th Century, is a story...
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