I Heard It Through the Grapevine: The Howard Rice Winery Tour

This week, our little game surrounding Howard Rice is taking us through a vineyard outside the country! That’s right, we’re heading across the pond to France. Apparently, we have a few international readers who thought our little project was interesting. So, pour yourself a glass, settle in, and take a look at what Mr. Howard Rice has been up to since we last posted.

So, first of all, my mom is a huge fan of wine. She wanted to be a sommelier when she was a teen, and I mean, since when is that a thing teenagers want to be? Anyway, my mom loves going on winery tours, walking around vineyards, that kind of thing. . . This year, though, I was old enough to go with her, and I had the free time to go, too. 

I wasn’t exactly excited, but it was pretty, at least. We took the train into France, and the guides were nice, but I wasn’t that into wine. Maybe it makes me nerdier than my mom, but honestly, I was more interested in the history of wine and wineries. I was walking through their little exhibit about the owners and stuff, when I saw the name “Howard Rice.” Obviously, I thought of you guys first. 

The tour guide was happy to answer my questions, of course. “Ah, Mr. Howard Rice! Yes, he’s an interesting one. He was a knight, back when knights were a little more common to see roaming from village to village. He was wounded in battle near this very vineyard, and so as he stayed to heal here, he fell in love with the place. Eventually, he bought it.” 

I nodded, “So this was his, originally?” 

“Originally, yes. Mr. Rice lived here alone for a long time, tending to a much smaller crop than we have now, before taking on an apprentice. He taught him everything, and of course the man expected to go along his merry way once he was trained and a master of the craft.” 

“But?” I leaned against a barrel set out for display. 

He smiled, “But the old man had no heirs, and no family to pass it down to. When he chose to retire, he did it with only one condition—that he got to keep this little cabin right here. Well, this isn’t the original one, of course, but it’s a nice replica.” 

“Wow. So, he gave it to this other guy?” 

“He did, and that other guy is one of my ancestors. My family has owned this land for years.” 

We talked for a little longer about the place before he had other things to do, but I was intrigued. Now, I guess this technically isn’t that close of a connection, considering this Howard Rice is a couple hundred years old, but I thought this was pretty close. 

It certainly is close enough! We’re excited to see any signs of the elusive Mr. Rice, even if he’s a little older. Thanks to our anonymous writer for their story, and we’re excited to see more of these stories on the blog as we receive them. 

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