Grape Expectations

A Family's Vineyard Adventure in France

  • Imprint: Summersdale
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • Price: £9.99
  • Publication date: 4 June 2012
  • ISBN: 9781849532570

About the book

Filled with vivid descriptions of delicious wines, great food, and stunning views, this is a unique insight into the world of the winemaker, and a story of passion, dedication, and love

When Caro and Sean find the perfect 10-hectare vineyard in Saussignac, it seems like their dreams of becoming winemakers in the south of France are about to come true. But they arrive in France with their young family (a toddler and a newborn) to be faced with a dilapidated 18th-century farmhouse and an enterprise that may never, ever make them a living. Undeterred by mouse infestations, a leaking roof, treacherous hordes of insects, visits from the local farm “police,” and a nasty accident with an agricultural trimmer, Caro and Sean set about transforming their “beyond eccentric” winery into a successful business as they embark on the biggest adventure of their lives—learning to make wine from the roots up.

About the author

Caro Feely worked as a project manager and IT strategy consultant in South Africa and Ireland before trading it all in to pursue her dreams. She now runs a successful organic wine estate with wine school and gîte rental business in the Dordogne Valley in France with her husband, Sean.


'In this beautifully written tale of passion, caution, guts, Caro Feely takes us on her heartfelt journey as she and her husband breathe life into an old Bergerac winery, while she and her husband Sean resuscitate their own.'

Alice Feiring, Author of Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally

'A must read for anyone who's dreamed of owning their own vineyard, at times gritty, at times joyful, Grape Expectations is an inspiring story of how one couple changed their lives.'

Jamie Ivey, Author of Extremely Pale Rose

'The farm was just outside Bergerac, the cathedral visible from the house and the local school just a walk through the vines. It made no money. The troubles in buying the farm were a taster for what was to come - but they survived and now know that the route to good wine is by starting at the roots'

Connexions France

'Captivating reading for anyone with dreams of living in rural France'

Destination France

'… an enjoyable way to learn a bit more about winemaking while staying warm and dry. Reading it between helping with the harvest at different vineyards really helped to bring the whole process to life.'

English Wine Lovers

Really liked Caro's book; it's not the usual fall in love with France story, it's warts and all - including horrific accidents! Definitely the best - and most realistic - tome coming from the "year in Provence " genre.

Joe Duffy, Irish radio personality

I was moved and delighted by this book, which has vast and useful amounts to say about wine and the passion of wine-making, about France and the great adventure of family life, and above all about the trials and challenges that build a marriage… splendid book .

Martin Walker, Bestselling Author of the Bruno, Chief of Police series

Filled with vivid descriptions of delicious wines, great food, and stunning views, this is a unique insight into the world of the winemaker, and a story of passion, dedication, and love.

Bookalicious Travel Addict Blog

I was completely caught up in this memoir, wondering if the Feelys would ever be able to make their dream come true… This book is bright, passionate, inspiring, informative and absolutely delicious. I would highly recommend it to anybody and everybody.

Breadcrumb Reads Blog

If you are among the throngs of wine lovers who have harbored fantasies of owning a vineyard and living the glamorous lifestyle of the chatelaine of a wine domain, then you might want to read "Grape Expectations: A Family's Vineyard Adventure in France."

PG Plate - The Forks Blog

‘this woman has more steel in her than a fermentation vat’

The Gloss Magazine