When most of us think of wine country, we think of sprawling vineyards and gorgeous sunny days. Beyond the endless tastings and beautiful scenery lie secrets and history that are hard to uncover without digging a little deeper. These titles are all about the stories that unfold after the last cork is popped. So pour a glass and relax—these binge-worthy books will transport you to another world.
The Merlot Murders by Ellen Crosby
When Lucie receives a call from her brother at 2:30 AM, she knows something terrible must have happened, and she was right. He called to inform her that her father was killed in a hunting accident in her family’s vineyard. While making plans to head to Virginia, Lucie gets a sneaking suspicion that things aren’t adding up and starts to wonder if she can trust that her family is telling the truth. After her godfather confides in her that this was not an accident, it’s no coincidence that he suddenly passes away. Lucie knows she must find a way to uncover the truth, or she might be the next one killed.
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
Georgia thought she knew her fiancé inside and out, but she discovered he was keeping a life-altering secret a week before their wedding. Unsure how to handle this information, she decides to head to Sonoma to seek refuge at her family’s winery. There’s nothing like being at home, surrounded by loved ones to ease the emotional pain she’s suffering. But when she arrives, she gets a strange feeling that things are not what they seem. Everything that she once knew and loved suddenly seems unfamiliar, as she starts to realize that her own family is keeping secrets of their own.
Plum Wine by Angela Davis-Gardner
Barbara is a young American woman teaching in Tokyo when her Japanese surrogate mother, Michi, dies. Michi leaves Barbara a collection of homemade plum wines wrapped in rice paper, and Barbara soon discovers that the beautiful calligraphy on the rice paper are messages left by Michi. With the help of her translator Seji, Barbara and Seji being to unravel the mysterious narrative these messages contain, realizing it is Michi’s life story written on the rice paper. Together, they discover the tragedies and traumas of Michi’s life from the early twentieth century through the end of World War II. The novel is a beautiful portrait of cultural differences, friendship, and the devastating effects of war.
The Vineyard by María Dueñas
Mauro Larrea’s luck has just about run out, so he decides to gamble what’s left of his money on a rundown vineyard in Spain. When he wins the plot, he takes the trip from Mexico to Spain, determined to flip the property and return home a rich man. However, Soledad Montalvo, the wife of an English wine seller, has other plans, as she claims that the estate belongs to her family. Forced to pivot, Mauro decides to work with Soledad to restore the winery and make it even better than it was in its glory days. This turn of events sets Mauro up for a whole new life that he could never have imagined.
The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah
There are only a few hundred certified wine experts worldwide, and Kate is hoping to be one of them. Even though she has failed the test twice, she’s hoping that the third time is the charm. She travels to her family’s vineyard in Burgundy for some downtime before the big exam to clear her head. After arriving, she throws herself into cleaning out the basement but is shocked and surprised by some of the things she discovers. Uncovering artifacts dating back to World War II, she starts to question what role her family played in history and if everything she once believed is a heartbreaking lie.
Just Like That by Karin Kallmaker
Syrah has tried living other places, but there’s nowhere like the rolling hills and fragrant vineyards of Napa Valley where she grew up on her family’s winery. Her life is peaceful and orderly until she makes the alarming discovery that her father’s poor management has put their beloved vineyard into receivership. Now, their vineyard is in the hands of Manhattan corporate turnaround specialist Toni Blanchard, a woman who has a reputation for using slash-and-burn techniques to get the job done. Syrah must go head-to-head with Toni to defend the land and home she loves. As Toni and Syrah’s confrontations become more heated, Toni struggles to keep business and personal feelings separate—but there’s an undeniable chemistry brewing between Toni and Syrah.
The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery
When Mackenzie married, she inherited a fantastic job, mother-in-law, and a home at the family winery. With her life so entangled in his, it was almost unfathomable how she’d be able to continue life as she knew it when she and her husband decided to divorce. Facing the most significant crossroads of her life, she must decide if she can find a way to stay and preserve her career and the only family she knows or venture out on her own and leave everything behind. She can’t help but wonder if she takes that leap of faith, that maybe there could be something even better waiting for her on the other side of fear.
The Winemakers by Jan Moran
The year is 1956, and Caterina and her widowed mother, Ava, are trying their best to keep their family winery afloat. Unfortunately, when Ava’s husband passed away, his secrets weren’t buried with him, and now she and her daughter are doing their best to keep all of the hidden truths stowed away. But Caterina is harboring a secret of her own; she didn’t just take off to Montalcino, Italy, for a vacation—she is hiding the fact that she is now a mother to an illegitimate child. As she starts to navigate these choppy waters, she realizes that all of these secrets will destroy her family if they don’t come clean.
The Summer Getaway by Tilly Tennant
Fifteen years ago, Ashley gave birth to a baby girl named Molly and decided she would raise her alone. After a long difficult road, Ashley decided it was time to take a vacation and enjoy the beauty of St. Raphael. The French resort was a dream come true, filled with vineyards and sunny days at the pool. Everything was perfect until a handsome mystery man appears in the villa next door. It turns out this was no stranger at all; it was Molly’s father, Haydon. Ashley was sure she’d never see her summer fling again, and now she’s faced with the dilemma of revealing the truth or keeping her biggest secret buried.
Entangled by Melissa Brayden
Josephine Wilder’s heart belongs to Tangle Valley Vineyard. Since she was young, she dreamed about someday taking it over and has secretly planned throughout the years what she will do to make the place even better. When Tangle Valley is finally passed down to her, she couldn’t be happier. The only problem is that, just down the road, someone is building a commercial hotel that threatens the rustic charm of the vineyard, the very thing Joey loves most. The owner of the hotel is Becca Crawford, a successful businesswoman with a track record of success in hospitality. Becca chose the location of her new hotel based on its proximity to Tangle Valley, and wishes Josephine would stop causing trouble for her. However, Becca also can’t help notice how charming Josephine is, despite their volatile relationship.
These Tangled Vines by Julianne MacLean
Fiona has always been aware that the father who raised her is not her biological dad, and as far as she’s concerned, nobody else needs to know about her mom’s affair thirty years prior. But when a lawyer calls to inform her that she has an inheritance waiting for her, along with two half-siblings, she got the surprise of a lifetime. With her estranged family equally as shocked, she travels to Tuscany in hopes of untangling some of these messy knots. As her mom’s indiscretions are revealed, and resentments grow, Fiona starts to examine what family means to her and the harmfulness of living with lies.
The Truth is in the Wine by Curtis Brunn
Recently unemployed and on the outs with his wife Ginger, Paul feels he’s won a second chance at life when he unexpectedly wins millions of dollars in the Georgia state lottery. Determined to win back the wife he has pushed away, Paul books a romantic trip to Napa Valley where he plans to make his wife fall in love with him again, all the while keeping his lottery-winnings a secret. When a turn of events causes Ginger’s mom and Paul’s mom to join them on their trip, family dynamics begin to threaten Paul’s plan for a perfect romantic getaway. And the wine isn’t helping. Suddenly, inspired by the ever-flowing influx of wine, members of the group start revealing secrets better left unsaid.
Something in the Wine by Jae
Annie is a thirty-year-old accountant who spends her time reading and playing with her cat. She has nothing in common with Drew, the woman her brother set her up with as a practical joke. Drew is outgoing, a dog-person, and works outdoors on her lovely vineyard. When the two women decide to get back at Annie’s brother for his insensitive prank, they pretend that they’ve fallen in love with each other. Soon, the two women develop an unlikely friendship that suddenly makes their pretend relationship much closer to reality. As Annie learns what it finally feels like to be herself, she finds herself falling for Drew.
Wine Country King by Claire Marti
Jack is ecstatic to head up his team as they open a brand of boutique hotels starting in wine country. His best friend’s sister Campbell is part of the crew, and he’s grateful to have a friendly face in the group, as well as someone knowledgeable about wines. Although they’ve been friends for years, there’s an undeniable chemistry brewing. However, Campbell is trying her best to ignore the spark. After all, her position as Master Sommelier is highly coveted and a title that few women hold. But as they spend more time together, she’s finding it challenging to draw the line between business and pleasure.
The Last Sip of Wine by Stacey Reynolds
For over ten years, Dr. Rinalto has lived in Brazil as a successful surgeon and missionary. Although his home is Tuscany, there are reasons that he left, and he’s not so sure he ever wants to return. But when something unexpected happens and he’s called back to Italy, he’s forced to come face to face with old family secrets and deal with them head-on. At the same time, Sophie, an interning viticulturist, finds herself working in Tuscany. She’s counting on the Viti del Flume to be her sweet escape, but when she finds herself in the middle of the Rinalto family drama, she starts to question everything.
The Republic of Wine by Mo Yan
If, while sipping a glass of cabernet, the mood for adventure strikes you, pick up The Republic of Wine by acclaimed Chinese writer Mo Yan. In this epic novel, an investigator travels through the fictional city of Liquorland to get to the bottom of rumors that citizens have been indulging themselves in strange and excessive eating practices. What follows is a surreal and hypnotic tale that increases in extraordinariness as the detective navigates liquor-induced hallucinations and encounters with unexpected characters.