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Short Synopsis
An intoxicating memoir of an American who discovers a passion for French wine and gambles everything to chase a dream of owning a vineyard in Burgundy.

Full Synopsis
Ray Walker had a secure career in finance until a wine-tasting vacation ignited a passion that he couldn't stifle. Ray neglected his work, spending hours poring over ancient French wine-making texts, learning the techniques and the language, and daydreaming about vineyards. After Ray experienced his first taste of wine from Burgundy, he could wait no longer. He quit his job and went to France to start a winery—with little money, a limited command of French, and virtually no wine-making experience.

Fueled by determination and joie de vivre, he immersed himself in the extraordinary history of Burgundy's vineyards and began honing his skills. Ray became a pioneer in his use of ancient techniques in modern times and founded Maison Ilan. In 2009, Ray became the first non-French winemaker to purchase grapes and produce a wine from Le Chambertin, long considered to be one of the most revered and singular vineyards in the world.

Along with his struggle to capture his wine's distinct terroir, Ray shares enthralling stories of late-night tastings, flying down the Route National on a vintage Peugeot bicycle with no brakes, and his journey to secure both the trust of his insular Burgundian neighbors and the region's most coveted grapes. Capturing the sunlight, the smell of the damp soil, and the taste of superlative wine, The Road to Burgundy is a glorious celebration of finding one's true path in life, and taking a chance—whatever the odds.

"A great story, outstanding reading and a fun listen all around." ---SoundCommentary

"Sean Crisden's narration evokes Walker’s charm, his drive, indeed his very French passion as well as his crude, meager French. Crisden also captures Walker's eloquent love for the history of terroir, and family growers, in France." ---SoundCommentary

"Crisden's relaxed narration captures Walker's free spirit and provides the listener with insights into the processes and challenges faced by the new vintner. . . . Overall, this story is both educational and inspiring for its depiction of a man who decides to follow his heart, working hard along the way and achieving exceptional results." ---AudioFile

"Walker's tale evokes the exquisite thrill of finding and following your passion, no matter how crazy it might seem." ---Publishers Weekly

The Road to Burgundy

The Unlikely Story of an American Making Wine and a New Life in France

Author Ray Walker

Narrated by Sean Crisden

Publication date Jul 11, 2013

Running time 8 hrs

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