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Growing Grapes Might be Fun
Growing Grapes Might be Fun

Growing Grapes Might be Fun

How We Made a Vineyard out of a Junkyard at Cockatoo Hill


304 Pages, 6.02 x 9.21

Formats: EPUB, Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $17.99 (CA $23.99) (US $17.99)

Publication Date: March 2024

ISBN 9781761067709

Rights: US & CA

Allen & Unwin (Mar 2024)


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An honest, very funny account of a couple's move to the country for a fresh start. Bursting with optimism and a can-do attitude, they're on a steep learning curve as they establish a vineyard and learn how things are done in the country.

I imagined lounging on a veranda overlooking folds of hills striped with vines. I'd be clothed in linen and surrounded by friends. On the table would be tumblers of wine we'd picked in last year's harvest. Then we arrived at Cockatoo Hill and discovered a dump.

When Deirdre and her husband Roger decide to turn a sheep paddock into a vineyard, they are following the centuries-old tradition of family winemaking. Bit by bit they clean up the land, plant vines, protect them through storms and drought and turn a shack into a cottage. Slowly they start to read the landscape, appreciate the talents of locals and learn what to do when a snake passes by.

This is a humorous memoir with larger-than-life characters, hard slog and sweet triumph. It is also a story of a deepening awareness of our connection with the land and the rhythms of farming life.

'Deirdre Macken's memoir is more than a lively account of turning unpromising, trash-strewn hectares into a productive vineyard. It's a reflection on family, community and the rewards of caring for the land that sustains us.'  — Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize winning author

'I simply adored reading this account of a life-change with a purpose, laden with honesty and Deirdre's characteristic wit. Above all, I won't forget the love on display or city-rural wisdom gained. All that's left is to try the wine!'  — Geraldine Doogue, ABC presenter

Author Biography

Deirdre Macken is a journalist, columnist and author. She has written for The Australian Financial Review, the Sydney Morning Herald and its color magazine, Good Weekend, The Age and The Australian.