Pandora’s Bottle is a new Wine Fiction Novel that is written by Joanne Lessner and published by Flint Mine Press. You may ask “Why would I be writing about a wine fiction novel?”  Well, this wine fiction novel has a few scenes that take place in Hudson Valley Wine Country. Joanne is a native of the Hudson Valley, a 1983 graduate of Newburgh Free Academy.  The BIG confession here is Joanne is my cousin and I had a part in this book being developed, published and I am SO proud of her.

When Joanne told me of her idea for this book, I encouraged her to move forward with her thoughts and ideas.  When the plot moved from NYC to a Hudson Valley winery towards the end of the book, I knew exactly what two wineries she needed to visit for her research. I took her to meet Michael Migliore, owner/winemaker of Whitecliff Vineyards and Kristop Brown who at the time was the winemaker at Benmarl. 

What is this Wine Fiction book about.  Maybe I should ask you “What happens when you pin your hopes on a single event … and it all goes terribly wrong?”

When that event is the uncorking of a fabled bottle of 1787 Château Lafite once owned by Thomas Jefferson, the repercussions are emotional, financial, theatrical and, in every way, unexpected. In this tale of hubris and redemption, aspiration and perseverance.  When Sy Hampton purchases this legendary bottle—which, through a quirk of preservation, may yet be drinkable—he shocks the wine community by choosing to uncork it privately with a female companion, rather than at a special public event. Sy intends the evening to be a quiet reassertion of his virility in the throes of middle age, but for ambitious restaurateur Annette Lecocq, the event offers an irresistible opportunity for much-needed publicity. Their competing agendas are not the only things to collide on the fateful night. Caught in the crossfire are Tripp Macgregor, a waiter on the verge of his long-awaited Broadway debut, and Valentina D’Ambrosio, the beautiful but unworldly working girl from Brooklyn Sy hopes to impress.

Carlo DeVito owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery and publisher by day wrote this review of the book ““Joanne Sydney Lessner has carefully crafted a well-wrought, fun, and fast-paced book detailing the highs and lows of the wine world. A great read.” 
               —Carlo De Vito, author of East Coast Wineries and 10 Secrets My Dog Taught Me

To read an excerpt of the book click here.

If you would like to meet Joanne and purchase a copy of the book she will be at Benmarl Winery this Saturday, June 12 1p-3p,  Whitecliff Vineyards and Winery, Sunday June 13 1p-3p and Cornwall Wines and Spirits Saturday, June 26 3p-6p.  Otherwise books can be purchased directly from the Flint Mine Press website.

Here’s some pictures from researching Pandora’s Bottle.