Tuesday, April 5, 2016

*Review* The Winemakers by Jan Moran

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: April 5, 2015
Pages: 368


Many years ago, the Rosetta family’s hard-won dreams of staking their claim in the vineyards of California came to fruition. Now high-spirited, passionate Caterina Rosetta, who has inherited both her mother’s talent for crafting the finest wines and also her indomitable will, wants nothing more than to win her mother’s approval and work at her side. But that can never happen, because Caterina is keeping a secret that could ruin her: a daughter of her own, fathered by the love of her life, who left her without explanation. Just as she feels she has nowhere to turn, Caterina discovers that she has inherited a vineyard in the Tuscan countryside in Italy, from a grandmother she’s never heard of, and she seizes the chance to start a new life for herself and her child.
But the past is not so easily outrun. In the country of her ancestors, Caterina meets the family of the father she never knew, and discovers that her mother is also hiding her own secret―a secret so devastating it threatens the future of everything her family has worked for. As an old murder comes to light, and Caterina uncovers a tragedy that may destroy the man she loves, she realizes her happiness will depend on revealing the truth of her mother’s buried past―if she has the strength to face it.
From author Jan Moran comes The Winemakers, a sweeping, romantic novel that will hold you in its grasp until the last delicious sip.


I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The cover and title of this book made me think of Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave and I've always enjoyed historical fiction so I was excited to dive in. It absolutely did not disappoint.

As a modern feminist, I spend large portions of the book irritated at the beliefs and actions of society in general. I realize that the attitudes were commonplace in the 1950s, when this book is set, and it makes me so thankful that I was born after the big push of the women's rights movement. I definitely had no problem relating to Caterina and Ava and their issues with society's attitudes toward strong, independent women.

The story got off to kind of a slow start for me, building the mystery and anticipation. There was a lot of "I can't ever let her know this very important secret" kind of stuff going on, and it was kind of obvious that these secrets should really be divulged (although maybe I just wanted that because I didn't get to know what most of them were either in the beginning.) Once the story picked up, it had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. There may have been some squealing involved (and pleading, ranting, and a bit of hoping as well if I'm being totally honest). I probably sounded like a certified lunatic for the last 30% of the book. 

Overall I give The Winemakers 5 out of 5 stars because it was just that good. I would highly recommend it. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Jan Moran is a Rizzoli bestselling and award winning author. She writes historical women's fiction for St. Martin's Press, a contemporary women's fiction series, and nonfiction books. Her stories are smart and stylish, and written with emotional depth. Jan often draws on her international travel and business experiences, infusing her books with realistic details. The Midwest Book Review and Kirkus have recommended her books, calling her heroines strong, complex, and resourceful. She blogs for ProjectEve and at www.janmoran.com.

Jan has been featured in numerous publications and on television and radio, including CNN, Women's Wear Daily, Allure, InStyle, and O Magazine. As an editor and writer, she has covered fragrance, beauty, and spa travel for a variety of publications such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Costco Connection, and Porthole Cruise. Clients have included Sephora, DFS, JCPenney, and Nordstrom.

Jan speaks before many groups, including Fashion Group International, The Fragrance Foundation, and The American Society of Perfumers. She has represented brands and retailers in media on behalf of several public relations companies, including Edelman and DeVries. Jan is available for speaking engagements.

Jan enjoys receiving letters and emails from readers, and is available to speak to book clubs about her writing and entrepreneurship. Visit her personal website or blog to contact her.


  1. Thank you for your review, Katie! It's funny you mention your irritation over societal views and rules about women in the last century, because I found it frustrating, too. My grandmother and her sister were strong-willed, independent women who worked for suffrage and other rights. I was aghast at their stories when I was growing up. They had to create 'work-arounds' for so much they wanted to do. (Yes, they still inspire my characters.) Thank goodness we can now say,"That was so last century," but we still have more ground to cover. Thanks again :)

  2. Great Review! And this book has a beautiful cover..immediately eye catching!

    1. I know. I'm absolutely in love with the cover of this book. I would totally marry it if I could. - Katie

  3. my feminist streak is why I can't read historicals - I find them too annoying

  4. Great review! It sounds like something I would enjoy!

  5. I could get on board with this book. Sounds interesting.