World-renowned New Zealand winery, Villa Maria has teamed up with American filmmaker, Colin West, to create a feature length documentary that tells a story of winemaking that has never been told before.
The documentary-style film, named Vintage, follows Chief Winemaker Nick Picone, Marlborough Viticulturist Stu Dudley, Chief Viticulturist Ollie Powrie and Viticulture Cadet Jess Marston through Villa Maria’s 2019 harvest, capturing the process through their own unique lens. Set in the windswept coastal vineyards of Marlborough and the sun-soaked landscape of Hawkes Bay, Vintage shows how they cope with unforeseen challenges, vastly varying climates, frost-filled early mornings and 24-hour days.
“For the first time ever in New Zealand, a winery is capturing the entire vintage process – it’s a peek behind the curtain of the all-consuming harvest period that we, as winemakers, live and breathe,” says Villa Maria’s Chief Winemaker, Nick Picone. “Vintage is fast paced and chaotic – from sleepless nights and time away from our families through to the responsibility of making a lot of big decisions in a very short window of time. But at the end of the day, there’s a lot of passion that goes into every bottle. You couldn’t do what we do if you didn’t love it.”
Colin West, the producer and director founded a wine-focused film production company WINERAM over four years ago. “The film has been a passion project of mine since 2013. After completing a short tourism focused TV series on the wine industry, I wanted to shoot a more intriguing raw documentary. We filmed with winemakers from Italy, California, Australia all the way down to New Zealand trying to communicate what this international phenomenon of Vintage really is,” he said.
Vintage premiered in Australia at Sydney’s Golden Age Cinema on Monday 17 February, followed by Melbourne and Brisbane premieres on 18 and 19 February. The film will be distributed in 12 markets across the world including London, Dublin, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Berlin, Amsterdam, Sofia, Moscow and Stockholm and will be available in Australia for free via Google Play, iTunes, SommTV and Vimeo On Demand from Thursday 27 February as well as on Air New Zealand’s Inflight Entertainment System from March.
For more information, visit vintagebyvillamaria.com.