A Fool And Forty Acres: Conjuring A Vineyard Three Thousand Miles From Burgundy

by Geoff Heinricks

McClelland & Stewart | July 26, 2005 | Trade Paperback |

5 out of 5 rating. 250 Reviews
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foreword by Jamie Kennedy

A Fool and Forty Acres is Heinricks' beautifully written account of leaving behind the rat race, slowing life down, and establishing an intimate relationship with one small parcel of land in a magical corner of Canada.

You won't find Prince Edward County on any map of the world's great wine regions. Yet it is to this dollop of rolling limestone in eastern Lake Ontario that Geoff Heinricks brought his young family in pursuit of a dream of creating a truly world class wine. The County, as the locals call it, is a long way from the Niagara Peninsula, and three thousand miles from Burgundy, yet Heinricks and a few hardy souls like him claim that their wines will one day rival those of the legendary French province.

A self-described 21st-century peasant, Heinricks follows the seasons in his vineyards with exquisite attention, from digging the earth, to grafting and planting the vines, to trellising and pruning, to tending the young grapes, to harvesting the fruits of his labours. Along the way, he sketches the human history of the area, the native peoples whose tools and clay shards are heaved up by the soil, and the United Empire Loyalists, whose tidy barns and farmhouses still dot the landscape today.

He also presents a cast of his colourful County neighbours: from old-school farmers to refugees like him from the city, convinced in the wisdom of producing and consuming locally the very best food and wine in harmony with the land.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 Pages, 5.51 × 8.27 × 0.39 in

Published: July 26, 2005

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771040563

ISBN - 13: 9780771040566

Found in: Travel

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A Fool And Forty Acres: Conjuring A Vineyard Three Thousand Miles From Burgundy

A Fool And Forty Acres: Conjuring A Vineyard Three Thousand Miles From Burgundy

by Geoff Heinricks

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 288 Pages, 5.51 × 8.27 × 0.39 in

Published: July 26, 2005

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771040563

ISBN - 13: 9780771040566

Read from the Book

“There’s a fair!” “Yeah, there is a fair!” Or so my two elder daughters squealed when the car pulled into the farm to pick me up. Their younger sister echoed their excitement. And I guess it does look like a fair. Bright yellow balloons hang over the Pinot Noir, and metallic red and silver tape flashes brilliantly in the sunlight. It all lends an undeniably festive air. Though mildly disappointed there wasn’t a fair at their farm, they still seemed pleased with the idea that it looked an awful lot like one. I have been tying together the sections of bird-netting that I have finally hauled out. The outer rows of the Pinot Noir have been picked pretty clean. If I am going to take complete advantage of the glorious ripening weather we’ve finally been enjoying and get the potentially excellent sugars and flavours out of the grapes, I have no other choice. The yellow scare-eye beach balls and the tape deterred the birds from trial maraudings, but now that the sugars were 18 Brix, the siren call of the berries overwhelms natural caution and fear. Crows caterwaul to each other in the hedgerow as I work, telling their comrades to wait but a few minutes until I am gone. Cleverly out of sight, too. Following the string of calls down the trees, I finally spot one crow, sitting atop the highest maple. That is the only one I can see. The next morning, I finish covering the Pinot Noir with the netting I purchased last year, along with more sections
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From the Publisher

foreword by Jamie Kennedy

A Fool and Forty Acres is Heinricks' beautifully written account of leaving behind the rat race, slowing life down, and establishing an intimate relationship with one small parcel of land in a magical corner of Canada.

You won't find Prince Edward County on any map of the world's great wine regions. Yet it is to this dollop of rolling limestone in eastern Lake Ontario that Geoff Heinricks brought his young family in pursuit of a dream of creating a truly world class wine. The County, as the locals call it, is a long way from the Niagara Peninsula, and three thousand miles from Burgundy, yet Heinricks and a few hardy souls like him claim that their wines will one day rival those of the legendary French province.

A self-described 21st-century peasant, Heinricks follows the seasons in his vineyards with exquisite attention, from digging the earth, to grafting and planting the vines, to trellising and pruning, to tending the young grapes, to harvesting the fruits of his labours. Along the way, he sketches the human history of the area, the native peoples whose tools and clay shards are heaved up by the soil, and the United Empire Loyalists, whose tidy barns and farmhouses still dot the landscape today.

He also presents a cast of his colourful County neighbours: from old-school farmers to refugees like him from the city, convinced in the wisdom of producing and consuming locally the very best food and wine in harmony with the land.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Geoff Heinricks is a former contributor to Frank magazine. He has established himself as a respected winegrower in Prince Edward County and has been called "the county's soil guru and viticultural conscience" (Tony Aspler, Toronto Star).

Editorial Reviews

“An outstanding memoir.… Topping this book would be a difficult act.… How an intellectual threw his shoulder behind the plough and created a credible vineyard in the place of scrub brush is a lively and exciting tale.… Pain, loss and humiliation are strong themes in A Fool and Forty Acres , yet it is a terrifically engaging success story.– It’s the author’s knack for storytelling and his unbridled love of the challenge that make this a wonderful contribution to the growing literature of life on the land.” –Marianne Ackerman, The Gazette (Montreal) “This delightful book is not only a viticultural primer, but a personal memoir, local history and geographic study of a fascinating microclimate. Most of all, it’s a celebration of wine in all its myriad splendour.… The book is as informative as it is entertaining. A reader learns a great deal about wine – including its history – seemingly by accident, so accessible is Heinricks’ approach to the topic.” –Robert Reid, The Record (Kitchener) “If this book were a wine, it would be something sparkling but robust, full of local flavour.… Through this impressionistic tale, even a wine or vine neophyte can easily imbibe all kinds of viticultural lore and information.…Heinricks writes with deft pacing, a sense of humour and an eye for telling details.” –Andrew Vowles, Hamilton Spectator “Absorbing reading
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