Growing up in Colorado, I readily acquired a reverence for the work of a filmmaker named Warren Miller, whose quirky, campy, and inspiring ski films were shown a few weeks before the first snows of the season to packed auditoriums of locals. It's been years since I've seen one of his films, or even thought of the delight I used to take in his work, so imagine my surprise when I came across a film he made about wine.
OK, perhaps calling it a film may be a bit charitable, as it's essentially a 23-minute infomercial for Simi Winery, but as opposed to today's standards for such things, it's got a lot going for it. Not the least of which is significant footage and narratives from California wine industry pioneers André Tchelistcheff and MaryAnn Graf. Tchelistcheff joined Beaulieu Vineyards in 1938 as winemaker, and in the fifty years that followed he was instrumental in shaping almost everything aspect of post-Prohibition winemaking in California. Graf, the first female graduate of the U.C. Davis Viticulture and Enology program, was pretty young at the time of this film, but not only embodied a significant gender milestone in her career, she made some darn good wine before founding Sonoma County's first enology lab, which she ran for nearly 40 years.
Viewing the film requires the following password: time
Of course, the film is highly edited and highly scripted, so there are no great insights or profound moments captured, but its still kind of fun to watch, if only for the fashions and a mustache or two.
Thanks to Mel Knox for tipping me off about this, and to Mo Morris and Marc Romano, to whom we also apparently owe thanks for this blast from the past.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Ridiculous Recommendations about Wine and Pregnancy Vinography Images: Storm Clouds I'll Drink to That: Brad Hickey of Brash Higgins Winery The 25th Annual Zinfandel Experience Tasting: February 27, San Francisco Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 2/1/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of January 24, 2016 I'll Drink to That: Paul Roberts of Colgin Cellars Vinography Images: Forward and Back Martha Stewart's Wine Cellar is a Disaster I'll Drink to That: Vicente Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriga of Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune