For anyone aspiring to quit the rat-race, buy a vineyard and make your fortune in wine, please read this book first. The Ripening Sun is an excellent account of one English woman's journey from financial consultant to wine maker extrordinaire, with a divorce and many a French swear word thrown in for good measure. Patricia Atkinson, author of The Ripening Sun and the heroine of this wonderful tale makes it extremely clear that running your own vineyard takes a hell of a lot of hard work, not just at harvest time, but throughout the year. It is actually off-putting, but omnia vince perseverando (perseverance conquers all) as my old school motto says, and Patricia does it in spades.
For a lady that knew nothing about wine to digging in and doing what it takes to turn a disaster into a successul business is a lesson in life that touches many. Years later, Patricia's wines from her vineyard, Clos d'Yvigne, are well respected and stocked by some of the finest merchants in London.
This is a great true story and quite difficult to put down. Amazon sells it here.