Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Year in Burgundy [Film Review]

'One year with the people who make wine like no-one else in the world'

A Year in Burgundy

I'm not much of a theater-goer, and, for the most part, most wine-related movies (documentaries) are not being shown in the local multiplex anyway. It's great when I get the opportunity then to see a wine documentary at home. This week, over several evenings, I watched "A Year in Burgundy," a film that follows an importer of Burgundian wines, Martine Saunier, her producers, and the grapevines and wineries they oversee.

One year in the life of a winemaker is full of peril and success - the film follows the 2011 vintage, starting in the winter with an extremely early Spring that stretches into hot and dry weather. New vines are planted, but as Burgundy does not allow irrigation (first time I've heard that!), rain is needed and finally received. But rain can be an enemy itself, if it descends as hail, which can lead to widespread devastation or just destroy a single vineyard's crop. It's interesting to see the people who come out for the harvest and the preparations necessary by the winery.

A Year in Burgundy Trailer [video]

Overall this is a pleasant and beautiful movie - the scenery is amazing and the people featured are appealing. To me, however, there is not a coherent storyline and the segues across the year are somewhat abrupt and uneven. This is an editing problem and nothing to do with the content. I think it may have been a better movie if it had followed a single winemaker (or just several), to really focus on a single year without distractions.

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