Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I am very pleased to welcome author Julie Stock here today and thank her for kindly writing the following guest post for me to share with you! Read on to discover her inspiration for her latest great sounding book and more about both her and the book. Not only that but there is also the opportunity to enter the tour giveaway with the chance to win a selection of prizes, including a copy of this book!
The first time I went to Alsace was way back in 1993. I’d just got a new job working in the marketing department of a mail order wine merchant and my husband and I decided to go on a touring holiday of France (and its vineyards!) before I started at my new job.
While planning the holiday, I came across a website called Visit Alsace and on there, I found out about the Alsace wine route. At that point, we’d only ever tasted Alsace Gewurztraminer and maybe the odd Riesling, but I was delighted to find out about the wine route and all the vineyards we could go and visit.
The main place we wanted to visit was the Cave de Turckheim because that was the producer of our favourite gewurztraminer. We couldn’t believe the size of the stainless steel vats in the warehouse and how many of them there were. In fact, we experienced the whole tour of the warehouses and the bottling area with our mouths wide open in awe at how much went into the production of one of our favourite wines.
Then at the end of the tour, we were shown into the tasting area and shop. We’d never seen anything like it. It was so modern and airy, and it was amazing to taste so many delicious wines in one go. Thank goodness we were on a driving holiday and could take numerous bottles home with us!
We visited several winegrowers on that holiday, some more traditional than others, and we’ve visited many more on other subsequent visits to Alsace. What has always remained the same is the pride the vineyard owners have in their wines and their ability to move with the times in order to promote their wines to as many people as possible.
This was what prompted me from the very first book in my Domaine des Montagnes series to include the plan to build a Visitors’ Centre so that guests to the vineyard could go on tours and tastings, and buy wines to take home with them, just like we did and do when we visit vineyards ourselves.
But in A Leap of Faith, the latest book, I have also included elements from my time working in the wine industry, like the wine tasting events in the evening that Ellie and Henri will help to set up, and the café that Lottie starts. So many vineyards have had to diversify from wine production alone to a whole new industry of hosting guests whether through tours, tastings and cafés, or more developed hosting through fine dining restaurants and hotel accommodation. This open-minded thinking is what has helped many vineyard owners to survive when harvests are not so good.
Nowadays, you can visit and stay at vineyards in the UK as well. As the wine industry has developed here, so has the hospitality that goes with it. And if you enjoy wine, you’ll know that you can go on a tour of almost any vineyard anywhere in the world, maybe staying over and enjoying a meal in a beautiful vineyard setting as well. We’ve tasted wine in England, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, the Napa Valley in California, and many other places, and in some cases, we’ve eaten there too. It really is wonderful to see the industry branching out to include other aspects of hospitality, but it’s also critical to expanding a vineyard’s business so they’re not putting all their eggs in one basket. I hope you’ll agree that the Vineyard in Alsace is keeping up with the times by diversifying in this way!
Thank you so much for your post, Julie!
Now, here’s some information about ‘A Leap of Faith at the Vineyard in Alsace‘
It’s winter at The Vineyard in Alsace, and wedding bells are in the air
How do you know when you’re ready for love?
Ellie Robinson has spent her life running from commitment following the breakdown of her parents’ marriage when she was young. She doesn’t believe in happy ever afters and the last thing she wants is to settle down in one place when she could be travelling the world.
Having moved from place to place throughout his childhood, Henri Weiss now calls the vineyard in Alsace home, and he loves the stability the vineyard and the people on it give him. While he enjoys travelling, it’s always good to come home again.
Following an extended travelling trip together, Ellie and Henri find their differences more marked than before, despite their love for each other being even stronger. Then a series of shocks in Ellie’s personal life throws things into turmoil, leaving Ellie unsure as to how to get everything she wants. And Henri facing the loss of the future he has dreamed of.
Can Ellie and Henri reconcile their very different desires and take a leap of faith on their love for each other? Will they get the happy ever after they’ve both been longing for?
Escape to The Vineyard in Alsace once again for this uplifting, romantic read and enjoy Christmas at Domaine des Montagnes.
A Leap of Faith – mybook.to/ALeapofFaith
The 3 book series page – mybook.to/ddmseries
Julie Stock writes contemporary feel-good romance from around the world: novels, novellas and short stories. She published her debut novel, From Here to Nashville, in 2015, after starting to write as an escape from the demands of her day job as a teacher. A Leap of Faith at the Vineyard in Alsace is her eleventh book, and the third in the Domaine des Montagnes series set on a vineyard.
Julie is now a full-time author, and loves every minute of her writing life. When not writing, she can be found reading, her favourite past-time, running, a new hobby, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen, glass of wine in hand.
Julie is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors. She is married and lives with her family in Cambridgeshire in the UK.
Prize contains the following:
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.