San Bernardino County Museum ‘Dome Talks’ series continues with tale of murder and wine

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courtesy photo John Rains House - Author Frances Dinkelspiel will discuss her recently-published bestseller, Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, March 16 at the San Bernardino County Museum.
courtesy photo
About the author:
Frances Dinkelspiel, a fifth-generation Californian, is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Daily Beast, People magazine and elsewhere. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and chosen as a best book of the Year by the Chronicle and the Northern California Independent Booksellers’ Association.Tangled Vines is her second book and has been named a New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and was named a best wine book of the year by the Wall Street Journal and Food and Wine Magazine.

A tale of murder and wine will be told at the San Bernardino County Museum’s next Dome Talk series March 16.

Author Frances Dinkelspiel will discuss her recently-published bestseller, Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, tells the story of a massive inferno that broke out Oct. 12, 2005 in the Wines Central wine warehouse in Vallejo, CA.

It is “one of the most notorious mysteries in California history, linking the Rancho Cucamonga John Rains murder in a tale that spans nearly one and a half centuries and culminates with the torching of 4.5 million bottles of the world’s most historic vintages of wine,” according to the San Bernardino County Museum.

“Within hours, the flames had destroyed 4.5 million bottles of California’s finest wine worth more than $250 million, making it the largest destruction of wine in history, Dinkelspiel explains in the book. Among the priceless bottles destroyed were 175 bottles of Port and Angelica made by Frances Dinkelspiel’s great-great grandfather, Isaias Hellman, in 1875. The grapes used for the wine came from a vineyard in Rancho Cucamonga that had first been planted in 1839, making it one of the oldest vineyards in California. The headquarters of this vineyard was the John Rains House, now a San Bernardino County Museum historic site.”

In the story, Dinkelspiel goes on to share her journey and reconstruct the history of the vineyard where Hellman’s wine was made. The story is also a search to understand the passion that drives men and women to make wine, and what turns people to wine’s dark side, according to the author.

Copies of Tangled Vines will be available for purchase before and after the talk. The author will also be available for book signings.

Admission to a Dome Talks session is $15; museum members are charged $10. Light refreshments will be provided by the San Bernardino County Museum Association. Reservations are recommended as seats are limited; visit www.sbcountymuseum.gov/museum to purchase tickets; remaining available tickets can be purchased at the door.

Upcoming Dome Talks (almost sold out):

April 19 – Andy Masich, President & CEO of the Heinz History Center, author, Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands 1861-1867 (to be published February 2017)

May 18 – Bergis Jules, University and Political Papers Archivist, University of California Riverside “Documenting Current Events in an Age of Social Media”

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