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.
Hi Jan! Thanks for being here today!
Why did you choose to write a book about wine?
As an artisanal agricultural craft often elevated to art and associated with luxury, winemaking shares many similarities with perfumery, which was the industry backdrop of my last historical novel, Scent of Triumph. And I hardly have to say that the research for The Winemakers was thoroughly enjoyable.
How did you conduct your research for The Winemakers?
I’ve always been fascinated by winemaking and the history of wine in Italy and America. Long before I began writing The Winemakers, I had visited Tuscany and spent time in the wine regions of California: Napa and Sonoma valleys, the Russian River valley, Paso Robles, and Temecula. I called on winemakers and producers in the industry and had the pleasure of meeting with luminaries such as Mike Grgich, the legendary co-founder of Grgich Hills in Napa; MaryAnn and Larry Tsai, co-founders of Moone-Tsai wines; and Elizabeth Vianna, the winemaker for Chimney Rock in Stag’s Leap.
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
I often begin with the period of time and the industry I want to feature. At the center of the saga, I place a smart woman with an enormous, heartbreaking problem to solve. After that, the characters come to life in my mind, and the story begins to spin itself.
Many books feature strong female protagonists. What is different about your writing?
My characters are highly multifaceted, and readers tell me they readily identify with the women I write about. As women, we often juggle love, careers, children, parents, friends, businesses, and so much more. The characters I include are smart, savvy, and stylish, though perhaps untested in life. I like to follow characters who discover themselves and what they’re truly capable of. Resilience is also a common theme in my work—I believe we are all capable of great things, no matter what challenges life throws at us. I write from the heart, and, like a method actor, I’m often crying or laughing as I write scenes.
What advice would you give budding writers?
Never give up on your dream. Everyone has a story, and that story deserves to be heard. Many people might not want a career in writing, but they do want to leave a legacy for their family. With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to do just that.
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About the Author:
JAN MORAN is the author of the novel Scent of Triumph, and Fabulous Fragrances I and II, which earned spots on the Rizzoli Bookstore bestseller list. A fragrance and beauty expert, she has been featured in numerous publications and on television and radio, including CNN, Instyle, and O Magazine, and has spoken before prestigious organizations, including The American Society of Perfumers. She earned her MBA from Harvard Business school and attended the University of California at Los Angeles Extension Writers’ Program.
For more information visit Jan’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.
The Winemakers is on a blog tour!