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1890 impressionist painting 'Women Tying the Vine' by Henri-Edmond Cross, on cream cover of 'In the Vine Country', by Academie du Vin Library.

In the Vine Country

By (author) Edith Somerville
By (author) Martin Ross
Introduction by Victoria Moore


  • Beautiful new highly collectible paperback series, with strong design, publishing the best of classic wine texts
  • New foreword from Victoria Moore, of the Sunday Telegraph, for whom this is a favorite book
  • Wonderful wine and social history of winemaking in Bordeaux at the end of the 19th Century
Full Description

“Hands down the wine book of the year.” —David McIntyre, Washington Post

“…paints a glorious picture of Bordeaux as seen through the skittish and mischievously observant eyes of Somerville and Ross – cousins and writing partners.” —Victoria Moore, The Telegraph

Journeying through the Medoc in the autumn of 1891, Anglo-Irish cousins and traveling companions, Edith Somerville and Martin Ross (aka Violet Florence Martin) bring their distinctive mélange of wry wit, acute observation and unabashed horror at the barefoot treading of Cabernet Sauvignon to this delightful account of vendangeurs lofty and low-born as they bring in the harvest in time-honored fashion. Illustrated using Somerville’s equally delightful sketches, this is a story of two feisty ladies for whom anything remotely pretentious is fair game.

Better known for their tales of an Irish R. M. (resident magistrate), Somerville and Ross outraged their respective families – who referred to them ‘the Shockers’ – by combining travel writing with the fight for Women’s Suffrage. The contrast between the emancipated pair and the largely unreconstructed characters they encounter on their travels only serves to heighten the charm of an already indelibly charming book.

The Classic Editions breathe new life into some of the finest wine-related titles written in the English language over the last 150 years. Although these books are very much products of their time – a time when the world of fine wine was confined mostly to the frontiers of France and the Iberian Peninsula and a First Growth Bordeaux or Grand Cru Burgundy wouldn’t be beyond the average purse – together they recapture a world of convivial, enthusiastic amateurs and larger-than-life characters whose love of fine vintages mirrored that of life itself. 

About the Author

Edith Anna Oenone Somerville was born in 1858 on the island of Corfu into a wealthy Anglo-Irish family, but grew up in Castletownshend, County Cork. A talented artist and a passionate horsewoman, she later studied art in Dublin, Paris and London. In 1886 she met her second cousin Violet Martin and a year later they formed a close friendship and literary partnership. Their first novel, An Irish Cousin, was published in 1889, with Martin adopting the pseudonym “Martin Ross”. The pair went on to write 14 books together before Martin’s untimely death in 1915. After the First World War, Somerville continued to write under their joint pen names in the belief that she was able to communicate with her late cousin through spirit mediums. She died in her home town of Castletownshend in 1949 at the age of 91. Victoria Moore is the wine editor for the Sunday Telegraph.

Academie du Vin Library
26th Oct 2021
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
6.02 in x 8.5 in
160 Pages
45 b&w
Name of series
Classic Editions
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