EDWARDS — In 2011, “Vanity Fair” published a magazine article by Denver journalist Maximillian Potter exposing reports of blackmail at the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti vineyard estate in Burgundy, France, known for some of the rarest and more expensive wine in the world. The account detailed the true story of someone who had been poisoning the institutions vines for a $1.3 million ransom.
The article, titled “The Assassin in the Vineyard,” won the 2012 New York Deadline Club Award, and the story has been recently followed up by Potter’s book “Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World’s Greatest Wine,” which was released in hardcover on July 29.
From 2004 until 2013, Potter was the executive editor and then editor-at-large for “5280: The Denver Magazine.” His journalism degree from Northwestern University and his years of experience in the field created an undeniably strong foundation for powerful reporting, and Potter dove into this story head first.
“At some point the vast majority of us went into journalism because you have the pie-in-the-sky aspirational notion that you can nudge the universe a little bit,” Potter said in a recent interview detailed in a July article in the Denver Post. “I don’t think you can change the world, but if you pick the right stories at the right time and you do them, well, you can nudge things a little bit.”
The same ripples of work that have taken readers on a journey through the French region of Vosne-Romanee, where the scene is set for Potter’s nonfiction accounts will be in full form on Aug. 11 at The Bookworm of Edwards.
Potter will be there with Burgundy expert Zach Locke, owner of Old World Wine Co. out of Eagle, to lead guests on an informative and interactive journey. Potter will speak to the story of “Shadows in the Vineyard,” and Locke will pour a tasting of three featured wines from Domaine Robert Arnoux-Lachaux, an estate in Vosne-Romanee, France.
Locke said the exclusive pours of Bourgongne Rouge 2011, Vosne-Romanee 2011 and Vosnee-Romanee Premier Cru 2008 Aux Reignots will highlight the wines, hailing from a region that produces some of the most rare and expensive wines in the world. The story of the wines, Locke said, helps to explain the depth of the blackmail crime in “Shadows in the Vineyard.”
“He went for the biggest vineyard to try and get a ransom for it,” Locke said of the blackmailer in Potter’s book. “With the tasting, we are trying to show why these wines from Burgundy are so prized.”
The event begins at 6 p.m. Aug. 11 and is $60. Tickets include one copy of the book, appetizers and a tasting of three featured wines from Domaine Robert Arnoux-Lachaux. The event is limited to 30 people, so early reservations are recommended.