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Burgundy documentary premieres in London

A new documentary on Burgundy with unrivalled access to some of the region’s best producers received its premiere in London last night (12 September).

Lalou Bize Leroy in the film

“A Year in Burgundy”, follows six winemakers over the course of the 2011 vintage, showing the trials and tribulations of a winemaker’s year.

The film also attempts to show how Burgundy’s vineyard parcels and the attitudes of its winemakers to their vines and surroundings makes the region so unique.

As well as producers such as Christophe Perrot-Minot and Michel Morey (whose son Thibault composed and played a lot of the film’s music), the film pulled a particularly impressive coup by managing to gain access to Lalou Bize Leroy.

British director David Kennard told the assembled audience before the film’s screening at the Bafta Institute that seeing Leroy in her winery or vineyard was akin to being given access to film the Pope brushing his teeth.

Kennard continued that this unique access was thanks to his producer, Martine Saunier, a Burgundy native turned wine importer to the US.

In fact, he stressed, a large part of the film’s success was down to “the strength of Martine’s relationship” with all of the producers.

Also before the film began, executive producer and businessman, Todd Ruppert, explained that the film was born out of a chance meeting at the “food and wine Mecca” that is Blackberry Farm in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains.

A committed oenophile, Ruppert said that in 2010 he had met Saunier who was looking for backers for a film that Kennard had proposed to her a short time before.

Ruppert immediately nominated himself.

The film has been cut to an hour for is hoped will be a very limited theatrical release and appearance, at least, on US television.

Another 88 minute version will appear on DVD and includes far more detail on the winemaking as well as appearances from some other producers who did not make the 60 minute cut.

Saunier concluded by announcing that a another film was in the pipeline, this time entitled, “A Year in Champagne”.

For more information and to watch the trailer, click here for the dbTV video

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