“We walk between night and day. Between heaven and earth. A suspended moment, when talking is unnecessary.” — Etienne Davodeau
In the graphic novel The Initiates – A Comic Artist And a Wine Artisan Exchange Jobs, comic artist Etienne Davodeau proposes to Loire Valley wine maker Richard Leroy that they spend a year immersing themselves in learning each others respective lifework. Leroy agrees, and the apprenticeship begins.
Truth be told, comic strips, graphic novels and animation leave me cold. Don’t hate ‘em, they simply hold no fascination for me. That said, I was enchanted by The Initiates. It’s a compelling read no matter where you are in your wine journey. As a beginner, it aptly outlines the vineyard seasons and the winemaking process; for the more experienced, it explores issues raised by the organic and biodynamic movements, the rigid appellation system and the influence of Robert Parker. There are some fantastic lines in The Initiates, “[Is] making good wine is also a question of ethics?” is a question to ponder. Besides exploring the divergent philosophies and drudgery of farm work, it shows how camaraderie is forged from shared experiences. The ending was satisfying, and the appendix has a list of all of the wines they tasted along the way – I suggest you pick up a couple of bottles so drink when you read The Initiates.
The details: Published by NBM Publishing with a suggested retail price of $30 USD, available from Amazon currently for about $18. This was an advance copy provided by the publisher for editorial consideration.
image credit: Etienne Davodeau ©2013