Red Mountain by Boo Walker is a novel that will draw you in, hold your attention, and have you up in the middle of the night because it’s nearly impossible to put down, wanting to know what happens next.

I received a copy in the US mail from Boo.

For Jo,



Well, I did enjoy. I really, really did.

Also, my being related to the wine industry, I too have tons of stories; but, couldn’t possibly be as eloquent nor as empathetic as Boo Walker is in Red Mountain. This one is a must read for people who enjoy stories about life in wine country, which aren’t sugar coated. Life in this business is not nearly as romantic, from an insider’s perspective. We have to stay focused on the details, not the billboards. While it’s bucolic in essence, it’s still blood, guts, and some glory. Boo brings it all together.

If I were coming to wine country to visit, this is the book I’d be reading on the airplane.

Red Mountain

Red in soil equals iron oxide; viticulturist Hector Bedolla taught that to me in the early 1990s. Red Mountain in Washington State, according to Boo Walker’s story, reminds me of narratives I’ve heard about Sonoma County in the early 1960s, brought to me by Lou Foppiano. Everyone mostly cared about everyone else then… the good, the bad, the ugly…. The joy, the sorrow, and the discovery.

What I enjoyed most about Red Mountain was the eloquence of style, the construction of characters, and the possibility of recovery by everyone.

The Paragraph I Most Related To

Otis had taught Brooks that making good wine meant taking care of the land and crating more of a permaculture. Otis told him that you can’t just plant vines and plan to make good wine. You need to have a living farm, a place that encourages the circle of life. You need biodiversity, like gardens and trees and pest control, sheep for weed control and manure and milk, bees to pollinate and to give honey, dogs to protect and entertain and, of course, to clean up your accidents in the kitchen.

The challenge of a really great book, and this one is one of those, is that, for its readers it’s a reminder of our life cycle… It can begin with great joy. As it evolves, it has its intermediate moments of joy turning into learning curves for growth. And, like a dearly beloved family pet, its life is shorter than ours, so we have to take deep sighs at its “The End.”  We eventually have to put it to rest in our libraries, for perhaps a revisit from time to time. I know that’s why I’ve schlepped my library from Maine to California, from Windsor to Geyserville, and the good gods only know where to next. But, schlep I will. Red Mountain is a keeper, and I’ll revisit it from time to time…

I’d honestly like Boo Walker to write a sequel. I’m already ready for it. Meanwhile, I’ll be reading Lowcounty Punch, Off You Go, and Turn or Burn. It’s his style that I know crave, and how he weaves his stories… I started with his last story, but I feel the need to begin at the beginning… It would be like the three summers in succession that I read The Hobbit, and then the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I think I found my modern day Tolkien.