Isabel Allende

Article excerpt

MARIN COUNTY, CA

The novelist talks about wine, food, and the journey from Chile to California.

On the heroine of her new novel, Inés of My Soul She was the only Spanish woman to accompany the conquistadores who conquered Chile in 1540. She didn't go for glory or for gold. She went for passion. That is the way women act most of the time.

On living in Marin County I had left Chile and moved to Venezuela, which was rich and disorganized. Then I came to Marin. Everything was so safe-and so beautiful. In Marin, I like going to coffee shops. I go to Book Passage bookstore.

On building a new house My husband, Willie, found a spot on top of a hill with a view of the bay and built the house. I added a few touches to make it look old.

On wine In the evening, I drink red wine. I have a Chilean friend who's a winemaker, Agustin Huneeus. He owns Quintessa, in Napa Valley.

On chocolate When I travel, I miss Bay Area chocolate. …