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There is a big difference between liking wine and appreciating it. I wanted to appreciate it

By Kathleen Burk   August 2002

I grew up on a farm in California, and the largest crop we grew was grapes. This was the San Joaquin Valley, in the centre of the state, fertile and hot. The grapes were primarily table grapes but if the crop was not up to the quality required, we took them to the winery.

Growing grapes was a livelihood, not a hobby, and I had to help. I drove a tractor. I tied vines. And I picked grapes-extremely unpleasant work in 90-100 degree heat, fighting off flies and bees. I remember my incredulity when, newly arrived at Oxford, I was…

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