A feature-length documentary narrated by Hollywood actor Russell Crowe about China’s obsession with Bordeaux will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival this week.
Produced by Australian duo Warwick Ross and David Roach, Red Obsession features a cameo from film director-turned-winemaker Francis Ford Coppola.
In addition, the 75-minute documentary features interviews with winemakers, critics, consultants, journalists, and château owners, including Lafite’s Charles Chevallier, Margaux’s Corinne Menzelopoulos, and Latour’s Frédéric Engerer, with La Fleur-Pétrus owner Christian Moueix representing the Right Bank.
Interestingly, there are noticeable no shows from Château Mouton-Rothschild and Haut-Brion, along with limited input from Lafite despite considerable airtime.
Red Obsession also talks to wine collectors Peter Tseng and George Tong, along with Cambridge graduate Fongyee Walker, Mainland China’s only MW student who co-runs Beijing-based Dragon Phoenix Fine Wine Consulting.
During her interview, Walker offers valuable insight into the complex East-West dynamic that is changing the wine world.
Viewers are taken through China and France exploring the swiftly evolving relationship between Chinese wine lovers and red Bordeaux from the top châteaux, which has become a symbol of affluence and status across Asia.
China’s thirst for Bordeaux has pushed prices up to stratospheric levels and brought immense wealth to Bordeaux, shaking up the French region’s age-old traditions.
From fake bottles of Lafite to ever-increasing vine plantings in China, Red Obsession investigates the emergence of the Chinese not only as the world’s biggest wine consumers, but also potentially its biggest producers.
As reported by db last week, China is set to become the world’s sixth largest wine producer and second largest consumer in terms of value sales by 2016.
Meanwhile, US wine documentary, Somm, has been acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films and will be released across America this summer.
The film chronicles the lives of four men in the weeks leading up to their Master Sommelier exam.
Notoriously grueling, in 40 years only 170 people, including Gerard Basset MW of Hotel TerraVina and Xavier Rousset of Texture and 28-50, have been crowned a Master Sommelier.