Vinifera-Mundi Review

Swiss online wine magazine Vinifera-Mundi wrote about A Year in Burgudy for their February issue.

 

 

“For wine lovers it proves to be profound, touching and really radiant.”

Ever since the premiere of the film Sideways (2004), the American film industry has been creating intelligent, information-rich, and sensitive films and documentaries about the wine world over again, including A Good Year with Russell Crowe (2006).

The new film A Year in Burgundy was first screened mid September 2012 in London. For wine lovers it proves to be profound, touching and really radiant. It reflects the story of the encounter between two fascinating
characters: one is David Kennard, who for years has been making excellent documentaries for the BBC and others, and has developed an enviable reputation in this field; and secondly Martine Saunier, a famous wine importer, born in Burgundy, but living in America. Together, they describe and portray the lives of seven
internationally recognized winemakers and their families, sometimes even four generations (if the two-year Céleste Morey-Coffinet is counted). Saunier, who has sold wine for 40 years, knows the seven wine families personally.

The result is a sophisticated, even poetic film about these wineries: Domaine Leroy, Morey-Coffinet, Denis Mortet, Perrot-Minot, Bruno Clavelier, Michel Gay et Fils and Dominique Cornin. The film is not about
showing how wine is produced industrially. Instead, the duo wanted to show how winemakers’ lives unfold, working every day in the vineyard, in the cellar, and in private life. David Kennard likes to say “I wanted to make a film for the Americans, I mean for sensitive, erudite Americans. I wanted to explain French culture as well as the wine itself. Actually, there are two points of view in this film: one looks at the wine and the other looks at family traditions and craftsmanship. This is a film about a whole culture.”

Swiss wine lovers will be seduced by this film. First of all, because it humanizes Burgundy. The vintner Lalou Bize-Leroy impresses every wine lover. A winemaker as important as Christophe Perrot-Minot explains the quality of his grapes. But within the few minutes, during which they appear in the film, it reveals their
extraordinary humanity. A Year in Burgundy demystifies the region and shows that a Burgundy wine is a testament to the culture, a testimony of its thousand-year history, and not least a fabulous human story.

Download the original (German language) version.

Vinifera-Mundi web site

FilmFestivals.com Review of A Year in Burgundy

Elisabeth Bartlett's review of A Year in Burgundy ran in FilmFestivals.com and Hollypost

Excerpt

Alas, it turns out wine making is really interesting… not just for the wealthy.  Because I mean, what IS it that makes good wine? The same question could be asked of any art… according to A Year in Burgundy it seems, the answer lies in science, and in love.

I will leave you some facts, but for more, I suggest you catch the flick.

Don’t pick your grapes during a full moon.  

 

When you prune branches before next season you can burn the wood right in the field to make natural fertilizer from the ashes.

“A vine can live 100 years if you treat it right.”

Read the full review here.

WineOK (Korea) Recommends A Year in Burgundy

Voices on the Square on A Year in Burgundy

US news and culture blog Voices on the Square wrote up some of their favorite films at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Excerpt

This is a perfect example of a film that is so much more than its subject matter, but in a way that is indescribable.  It's about vineyards and winemaking, stewardship of the land and discipline.  It's about how tradition looks when the same family tends the same land for generations, a sort of contrast to at least three films that have shown people deprived of their traditional ways through some change or other.  It is a quiet film, a film that reminds us what it is like to watch the weather closely.  One of the wine-makers composes three solo piano pieces for this film, pieces which he plays when the rain prevents working the soil and vines. This is a beautiful movie.

Voices on the Square

"Meet the Makers" Series in Santa Barbara Independent

By Matt Kettmann

As part of their coverage of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Matt Kettmann of the Santa Barbara Independent interview a selection of the filmmakers whose work would be featured as part of the festival. Here he talks with A Year in Burgundy Director / Producer David Kennard.

 

Excerpt

Unfolding with the steady, seasonal pacing and down-to-earth descriptions of a wildlife documentary, this year-in-the-life of France’s renowned wine region — to which pinot noir and chardonnay are believed to be native grapes — follows legendary importer Martine Saunier during her visits to vintners, revealing the faces and places behind some of the world’s most expensive wines. It’s a treat for wine experts and neophytes alike.

Filmmaker David Kennard recently answered some questions via email.

The pacing and narrative telling of the film is very much like a wildlife documentary, where you follow a lion family through the seasons. Was that intentional?

You’re the first person to see that. Actually, it’s a classic structure for artists: think of Verdi’s “Four Seasons.” It allows the audience to experience people over time, making it possible to reveal more of their characters, till they become like friends, and you don’t want to say goodbye at the end of the film.

Read the full article here

Or download a pdf of the full Meet the Makers series

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