Synopses & Reviews
The inspiring and beautifully written memoir of a fascinating woman who, with her family, worked to make their dream of a vineyard into a reality.
Buy land, girl, buy land. You will never go hungry if you have land, advised Mimi LaFollette Summerskill's grandfather. So she and her husband John purchased a 30Ðacre farm just north of Princeton, New Jersey. After an initial try at cattle farming, the novice farmers decided to try their hands at wine making. Literally. In the spring of 1979, the family planted 2,000 Seyval Blanc seedlings. After months of research, soil testing, charting weather patterns, pruning, fertilizing, picking, pressing, filtering, bottling, and labeling, the LaFollette Vineyard and Winery was born.Learning the ins and outs of actual wine making turned out to be one of the smaller difficulties the family faced. Until the passage of the Farm Winery Act of 1981, only seven New Jersey farms were licensed to operate a winery. Once that hurdle was passed and the vineyard duly licensed by the state, the federal government stepped in. The Summerskills had to pass inspection by the Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms for a federal license. Then the family had to save their farm from the New Jersey Department of Transportation, who planned to run a major highway right through the vineyard.
Learning each and every step along the way, the Summerskills produced success. Today, people around the state enjoy the fruits of the Summerskill's labor.