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Mondovino

3.2 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

MONDOVINO was shot on three continents, in five languages, over a three-year period. Juxtaposing artisanal wine growers with multi-national conglomerates, and peasants with billionaires, Jonathan Nossiter weaves together multiple family and multi-generational sagas, and uncovers a complex tapestry of rivalries, alliances, and conspiracies-all stemming from the production, distribution, and consumption of one of the oldest, most respected luxuries remaining. MONDOVINO gives voice to those who create, critique, and do commerce in wine, offering up a surprisingly prismatic, varied, and sometimes controversial glimpse into a product so many enjoy but so few truly understand.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Albiera Antinori, Allegra Antinori, Lodovico Antinori, Piero Antinori
  • Directors: Jonathan Nossiter
  • Writers: Jonathan Nossiter
  • Producers: Jonathan Nossiter, Catherine Hannoun, Emmanuel Giraud, Juan Pittaluga, Michel Saint-Jean
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Image/Thinkfilms
  • DVD Release Date: May 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009OL8E4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,512 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mondovino" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 9, 2005
Format: DVD
"Mondovino" is filmmaker and sommelier Jonathan Nossiter's examination of the politics and personalities of the wine industry that have influenced the taste of wines worldwide in the past 25 years. Some regard the rise of wine critics and consultants and the globalization of wineries as a boon to business, allowing more access to wine for more people and more profit for the industry. Others lament the "Rolland-Parker marriage and the Napa-ization of wine", calling wine conglomerates like Mondavi "terroirists", with their high-tech young wines and disregard for place. Nossiter is an opponent of the current trend toward homogenization in wines. But the film may be of interest to wine-lovers of all stripes, since it allows both sides to articulate its viewpoint and to talk about wine, on 3 continents and in 5 languages -all of which Nossiter speaks. "Mondovino" is too long and repetitive at 2 hours and 15 minutes, but it has been edited down from a 10-part, 10-hour television series which may have aired in Europe. "Mondovino" was filmed by Jonathan Nossiter and Stephanie Pommez with a digital video camera that is usually handheld. The camera jiggles way too much for comfort, and the close zooms on people's eyes are due the camera's inability to hold focus. The film's technical limitations do detract from its watchability. In English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish with English subtitles.

On the side of "terroir", wine as an "expression of the personality of the place" or "somewhereness", French vintners Aimé Guibert and Hubert de Montille wax poetic and get philosophical about Man's relationship with wine.
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Format: DVD
For those who have not yet seen the film, I recommend it only to wine buffs and recommend that you FIRST watch the DVD's bonus feature, "Quo Vademus?" (Part 6 of the original made-for-TV 10-part series). I think I'd have understood and enjoyed the main film better had I seen that first.

I found it interesting that, while most reviewers slammed the hideous camera work, it was not until I read the 18th of 18 reviews on Amazon (plus many elsewhere) that I found someone else annoyed by the mostly unreadable subtitles. I could almost learn the several languages more quickiy than I could decode the pale-on-pale subtitles.

While I very much struggled to follow the film in many places (and had to replay many parts, some of them several times), found it too long and disjointed, sometimes boring, I still thought it worthwhile for me. I enjoy drinking and learning about wine, live surrounded by vineyards, and have two family members in the wine business. I did learn a lot from the film, including how much I still have to learn about much of the business, especially in Europe.

On the other hand, I found the obvious conclusion that the artisanal quality of wine growing and making are nearly swallowed up by marketing, technology, and profit to be premature and perhaps somewhat presumptuous. The Mondavi empire has collapsed. California is repleat with artisanal, boutique wineries that take (what we here in upstart California may presume to pass for) Terroir quite seriously. Navarro Vineyards, in Anderson Valley, for example (there are many, many others). Until I saw this film, I thought California's foremost wine consultant was Helen Turley, yet she was not even mentioned. She doesn't just "micro-oxygenate" wines but works right with the soil, the plants, the clusters, and every aspect of what goes into making a wine unique, including, I daresay, Terroir.

Watch the film but don't give up on individuality in wines, just yet.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In this sprawling two-hour-plus documentary in which there is no narration, we see charming, sympathetic, sometimes cranky old French and Italian men who talk about the origins of wine as being religious and spiritual with each region linked to a specific taste, flavor, and character of wine. These old wine makers look on with foreboding doom and disgust at the new global wine makers who, catering to Americans' infantile tastes ("easy to drink wines") and who favor oak to "terroir"(the earthy tastes in many French wines)are changing the way wines are made forever. It seems the small wineries are being bought out by the big corporations, synthetic methods are used, everyone is creating a McDonalds Bic Mac wine that is predictable, doesn't need ageing, and caters to wine critic Robert Parker's personal tastes and biases (he loves the big California wines so the Europeans are emulating that model.)

The profiles of philistines, vulgarians, and other avaricious types are remarkable in that the director just let's them talk and reveal themselves. They are really like caricatures of villians in action films. To hear one wealthy family transplanted to Argentina talk about the indigenous people as being lazy for example is almost too much to bear.

The most touching part of the film is the relationship between an ageing curmudgeon wine maker, fully of witty philosophical quips, and his daughter who shares his sensibility. She tells her father she is quitting the big winery she is working at because it has sold out. Her brother, who has business leanings, seems hell-bent on ruining his father's legacy. This triangle between father and his daughter and son is what rises this film to the level of a truly excellent documentary.

One last bit of praise.
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