Saving Our Skins

Building a Vineyard Dream in France

  • Imprint: Summersdale
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Price: £9.99
  • Publication date: 7 July 2014
  • ISBN: 9781849536097

About the book

Frost can be fatal to a fledgling wine business… gorgeous glitter with a high price tag. On a winter’s day it is beautiful, but on a spring day after bud burst it spells devastation. For Sean and Caro Feely, a couple whose love affair with wine and France has taken them through financial and physical struggle to create their organic vineyard, it could spell the end. Until they receive an unexpected call that could save their skins…

This book is about life, love and taking risks, while transforming a piece of land into a flourishing vineyard and making a new life in France.

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.


'Should be required reading for anyone who loves wine! Even a teetotaller will drink up every page of Saving Our Skins, for the fascinating behind-the-scenes of organic farming. Making good wine is truly a labour of love and respect for the earth - often, we learn, at the expense of the wine farmer. Caro takes us along in her grape-stained pocket to experience the picking, the pressing, and the profit questioning: can her family afford to continue making natural wine? We quickly turn the pages, eager to find out - and we can't help but root for Caro et compagnie as they creatively keep on top of things, namely a precious heap of grapes!'

Kristin Espinasse, author of French Essais, Blossoming in Provence and Words in a French Life

'In Saving Our Skins, Caro's courage and determination leaps off every page, redefining what it means to be brave when you're at the mercy of the weather, uncertain cashflow and endless, often puzzling, French bureaucracy. Caro has produced a beautifully written sequel which in turn seduced and terrified me about the prospect of owning an organic vineyard in rural France. I thoroughly enjoyed the urgency of her writing - I needed a rather large glass of wine when I'd finished. Bravo Caro.'

Samantha Brick

'Caro Feely understands that winemaking is an art, a science and a business. Saving Our Skins entertains and informs as it tells the story of her family's struggle to make a living making organic and biodynamic wine in the south of France. Required reading for wine lovers everywhere and anyone dreaming a vineyard dream.'

Mike Veseth, author of Wine Wars and Extreme Wine and editor of The Wine Economist

'Caro Feely has written a careening memoir in Saving Our Skins. So impassioned that it could inspire you to drop all security, move to the backwaters of France, and bet your life, all for the love of making wine.'

Alice Feiring, author of Naked Wine

Featured in round-up of the best gifts for wine lovers.

‘Earnest and winning… This is life, and viniculture, on a human scale, as sincere and passionate as we wish the world of winemaking always were.’

Eric Asimov The New York Times Book Review

‘an unexpected bestseller which, with vineyard tours and gites, helped to keep the winery going’

The Gloss Magazine

'A must-read for anyone interested in wines and France'

Living France Magazine

'inspiring tale.'

France Magazine,September 2014 issue

'well worth a read'

Connexion Newspaper