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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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the unabashedly delicious story of how the Wine Spectator and the California wineries usurped France's dominance. Read morePublished on February 26, 2014 by C. Michael Bennis
Great documentary! Read my review on the series!! This could be seen as an introduction before watching the whole series!!!Published on January 29, 2014 by acgas
This could have been a fascinating movie, an insiders examination of the various styles of wine and wine making. Read morePublished on January 12, 2014 by Amy Thurber
This was a poorly filmed, poorly subtitled piece of Marxist screed. Silly me, I thought I would learn a bit about wine. Read morePublished on January 2, 2014 by todd l williams
CD Cover Great Design.
Movie is hard to follow. Not in English. Poorly put together. Too much moving around in the scenes.
Interesting how this filmmaker arranged such excellent interview subjects, but filmed those subjects so horribly. It's unwatchable. Read morePublished on April 21, 2013 by Altitude Arts
A good way to approach and understand wines if we consider that wine is a product coming from a fruit and not from a label.Published on October 16, 2012 by Y. Roche
I thought it was very insightful and creatively made! Must see if you're in the industry or just want a behind the scenes look at wine and its politicsPublished on August 5, 2012 by A. Embry