Author and journalist Frances Dinkelspiel has tackled a number of notables topics, but her book that hits closest to home is her most recent, “Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California.”
The book was a New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and was named a best wine book of 2015 by the Wall Street Journal, Food and Wine magazine and the San Jose Mercury News.
Starting with the arsonist who set a massive Vallejo warehouse fire that destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California’s finest wine worth more than $250 million, Dinkelspiel’s book explores the dark history of greed and violence in Wine Country.
Dinkelspiel will speak at the Sonoma Community Center at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11. The talk is free for Sonoma Historical Society members and $5 for the public.
Her first book, “Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California” was named book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association.
It was also a finalist for the Northern California Book Awards.
A graduate of Stanford University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Dinkelspiel started her reporting career at the Syracuse Newspapers in upstate New York and later moved to the San Jose Mercury News. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, People Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Dinkelspiel has delivered more than 200 lectures on the history of California, Isaias Hellman, the role Jews made to the development of the state, and the history of wine in California. She has also appeared in a number of television shows and documentaries.
She is a fifth-generation California who was born in San Francisco and now lives in Berkeley.