Vintage. A noun, a single word that has the definition “the year or place in which wine, especially wine of high quality, was produced.” For anyone involved in the agricultural and production aspects of the wine industry, in the grape growing or wine making part (the very foundation that without which, there would simply not be any of the esoteric fervor of wine), “vintage” means stressful watching of weather forecasts, sleepless nights, battlefront-like resourcing and logistics, sometimes inconvenient meal times, refreshing beer, unexpected camaraderie and ultimately the production of wine, hopefully aiming for the qualitative element of the definition: high quality.
Villa Maria, one of the most recognised wine brands in the world and a pioneer of the modern New Zealand industry have opened their doors to American film maker Colin West who took his cameras behind the scenes of Vintage 2019. Following Chief Winemaker Nick Picone, Chief Viticulturist Ollie Plowrie, Marlborough-based Viticulturist Stu Dudley and 1st year Viticulturist Jess Marston as they work their way through the preparation before an almost two month grind of vintage and highlighting rare moments they spend alone regathering the mental energy for another shift.
The beautifully shot film follows our 4 leads throughout the picturesque New Zealand regions of Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. The at times quite personal and truthful footage shows management of vineyards across the country, doing the graveyard hours of 24 hour winery shifts, rapidly repairing broken vineyard equipment, soulful interviews with ‘vintage widows’ and the kids left at home plus just how much caffeine is required for vintage!
It offers an in depth look at what goes on behind the scenes for those who think that wine making is all hand harvesting, picnics and foot trodding of grapes.
The film will be distributed across the world including London, Dublin, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Berlin, Amsterdam, Sofia, Moscow and Stockholm.
It will be available in Australia for free via Google Play, iTunes, SommTV and Vimeo On Demand from Thursday 27 February. And if you’re flying between NZ and Australia you can catch it on Air New Zealand’s In-flight Entertainment System from March.
For more details, see the Vintage by Villa Maria website