Vinicultural Envoy: David Pearson

By calming French fears, David Pearson has prepared the ground for an unprecedented winemaking alliance in the Languedoc

Last May, David Pearson was in big trouble. An unlikely coalition of hunters and communists was parading through the narrow streets of Aniane, a village in the Languedoc region of southwest France, baying for his blood. Shadowy forces were spreading misinformation to trash the project Pearson had spent the previous two years putting together. Some seven months later, he recalled, "I told headquarters that in the worst-case scenario, this could end up like Elian Gonzalez."

Pearson's project--and the cause of an almighty ruckus in Aniane--was his search for, and acquisition of, some 120 acres of high-quality French grape-growing soil where California...

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