What if eco-terrorists targeted the vineyards of the world and we were left without grapes? A world without wine - We shudder at the thought!
Steven Laine’s “Root Cause” weaves a believable tale of mystery, murder, and suspense, into this fast-paced whodunit. The main character, Corvina Guerra, is a flying winemaker who travels to all corners of the globe in pursuit of the eco-terrorists spreading the Phylloxera grape louse (which actually destroyed most vineyards in Europe and California during the mid- to late-1800s)
In the book, this aphid pest is genetically engineered and spreading rapidly, munching on roots and eventually killing entire plants, wiping out whole vineyards in little time. Corvina is determined to find out who is spreading the bug and stop them in time to avoid an epidemic infestation far more significant than the planet has ever seen and save the international wine industry and wine-dependent economies from collapse.
Along the journey, the author educates the reader with a wealth of information on topics like grape growing and winemaking issues, how ice wine is made, how to identify counterfeit bottles at auction, and more. We found it interesting to learn how bar staff can skim money and cheat patrons, how to make your way through the champagne houses’ underground labyrinths, and what goes into earning the esteemed Master of Wine designation.
Laine debuts with a novel based on a tragedy that feels very real because of his thoroughly researched and very accurate look into the world of wine. For wine geeks like us at He and She on Wine, we welcomed the detail, although others might find it slows the story’s development. It is evident that the author has years of experience in the wine business and has traveled extensively, both of which add authenticity to his writing.
An enjoyable read - what “DaVinci Code” is for art history aficionados, “Root Cause” is for wine lovers.
Root Cause by Steven Laine
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