Napa

  • by James Conaway
  • Narrated by John Morgan
  • 20 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

James Conaway's remarkable bestseller delves into the heart of California's lush and verdant Napa Valley, also known as America's Eden. Long the source of succulent grapes and singular wines, this region is also the setting for the remarkable true saga of the personalities behind the winemaking empires. This is the story of Gallos and Mondavis, of fortunes made and lost, of dynasties and destinies.
In this delightful, full-bodied social history, James Conaway charts the rise of a new aristocracy and, in so doing, chronicles the collective ripening of the American dream. More than a wine audiobook, Napa is a must-listen for anyone interested in our country's obsession with money, land, power, and prestige.

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What the Critics Say

"Narrator John Morgan remains animated and engaged. He doesn't create character voices, but listeners will find scant need for them to identify the sources of quotes. His pace suits the enjoyable stories of locals struggling to survive and migrant laborers seeking a better life. The Spanish, French, and Italian vocabulary of enology taxes him a little but doesn’t spoil his excellent performance." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent But Marred by Non-Stop Mispronunciations

If you could sum up Napa in three words, what would they be?

Reader Needs Help


What did you like best about this story?

The general overview of the changes in the Napa Valley into the Napa Valley we know today.


Did John Morgan do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

It wasn't really necessary in this book since he's narrating, not acting the parts.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No, it was just good backstory and overview to the Napa Valley from sleepy little farming valley to internationally acclaimed wine-producing region, including the players who helped to make it that way.


Any additional comments?

I've been visiting the Napa Valley regularly since 1983 and am familiar with many of the players in this book and the events being shared here. Unfortunately, the narrator doesn't seem to be from the area, nor familiar with wine, and he constantly mangles the pronunciation of literally almost everything, even nearby towns like Vacaville, famous wines like Petrus, the mansion at Spring Mountain Vineyards (Miravalle, which is pronounced Mihir-uh-vye-ay but that he mangles as Mihr-uh-valle), and so on, even among the famous names that most anyone knows. It's both funny and distracting, but overall the story makes up for it.

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- Robert R. "Bohemian Bon Vivant"

Incredible story and good performance

As a newcomer to Napa Valley, for me this book has placed so much of the rich history in context. It has sent me looking on side roads for old wineries, satellite maps to find "Rutherford International Airport" and to the St Helena Public Cemetery to see the graves of John Daniel, Robert and Margrit Mondavi, and Andre Tchelistcheff. My only quibble with the book reading is that many of the names and locations are pronounced differently by the locals than reflected in the recording, leading to some confusion as I went asking after some things I heard (e.g., Chiles is pronounced like "miles" not like the peppers). But otherwise a very good performance and a gripping story.
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- R.E. "raypedia"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-15-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios