jamie goode's wine blog: Harvest films

Monday, February 12, 2007

Harvest films

Just been taking a peep at some of the harvest films at www.winefilms.co.za. Seems like lots of wineries are now taking the opportunity to use films on their blogs or websites to try to explain what goes on during this crucial period. It's a good idea, but most attempts so far have either been a bit boring or badly shot.

The two at winefilms that have caught my eye are the interviews with Bruce Jack of Flagstone, and a rather philosophical piece by Adi Badenhorst at Rustenberg (pictured). 'Wine is just a drink, and it's more hyped up than any other beverage in the world', begins Adi. But then he begins his own hype. 'You can put something creative into it; something of your own life experience. We have all been shaped by different life experiences: hardships, happiness, whatever.'



At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Doug said...

Have you noticed how the subject of wine leads people into a kind of philosophical meandering? I call this trend "mission statement creep". One moment they're talking about drinking a glass of wine; the next their entire weltanschauung unfolds before us. When you listen to Adi you know what he means to say, but the quasi-religio-mystico guff (no disrepect) is a lot harder to swallow than the wine one imagines! Winemakers will talk like this because wine is so personal to them. I heard a French vigneron describe the various vintages of his wine as his "children". I can live with this, but it's only one more step to sitting in a dark corner, stroking a bottle and referring to it as "my precious".

Regarding hype Adi is right about one thing: the wine industry - and it is an industry - is being advertised, pr'ed, "focus-grouped" as never before, as the big brands try to assess and channel our drinking habits. It's incredibly tedious reading all the statistics and pseudo scientific surveys which purport to tell us how we fit into the great drinking scheme. Even the more positive pr practised by the agencies representing countries like Chile, South Africa and New Zealand is a form of propaganda. Sometimes you just don't know want to know every single mention that has taken place in the press of a particular new release Chilean Merlot or how many gazillion medals have been won in international competitions by a New Zealand Sauvignon. Hype is short for hyperbole, in other words, exaggerating the reputation of something (which, by definition, does not merit it). Good and great wine deserves more exposure than it receives; the average branded wines are hyped because they are in an extremely competitive market. Alas, it's a long way from Adi's point that appreciation of wine is based upon one's personal experience.

At 5:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug, much agreed re: "mission statement creep". I went to a biodynamic event today - and the seminars were really hippy touchy feely. I am in total agreement that organic and biodynamic growing is better for grapes, the earth, etc. But the talks were littered with a lot of phrases like, "If you believe it, it will happen" and "your spirit will guide the land". Didn;t they make a movie about that? Field of Dreams?

Again, not saying this is bad, just couldn't get any concrete ideas about what the hell was going on. I guess that's why they gave us a lot of literature. Homework. I now have lots of new paper to recycle. Maybe I can make compost out of it.

I really like the idea of the film website - winemaking is a mystery to many and should be explained. We have the internet - this great medium with with to share our experiences - but I am always so shockingly aware of how badly wine translates on camera. It's just... well... I hate to say it, boring.

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

Adi makes great wine though.The Rustenberg and Brampton wines are amongst the best wines and best value wines respectively,made in the Cape.
I have not met a winemaker yet,who is not passionate about his job,and who does not absolutely LOVE what he/she does.
Oh how I wish I could come back as one--------provided it was in the Cape of course!!!

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Trang Tran said...

Hi Jamie,

Sorry I'm little late in responding to your post. About WA, your family would enjoy Fremantle, a short drive south of Perth...last time I was there I enjoyed lunch and fresh beer from the hopper at Little Creatures. When you head to Margaret River, do try the MR Chocolate company, it is divine! The people in WA are very friendly.


At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Natalee Wright said...

I am looking for the wine "Sexy." As a link to your blog there is a picture of a wine label with that name on it. Where can I get this particular wine? Or can you tell me what vineyard/region/varietal it is so that I can find it? Please email me at riverchase@winestyles.net if you have any of that information. Subject: Sexy wine

At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

Natalee---there is a wine made by Cloof in South Africa called"The Very Sexy Shiraz" Is this the wine you are referring too?

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

It's an Alentejo wine. The producer's email is dbooth@sapo.pt

Keith, quite agree- Adi's wines rock

Doug and anon - full agreement here, too.

Trang, thanks for your tips!

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Gary Jordan said...

Hi Jamie, Gary Jordan here with a report back on the 2007 vintage in South Africa. Looks like our lab analyses are back to normal after last weekend’s rain. The ph has dropped, acids are up and the juices seem to have concentration again.

I will be continuing with the Jordan Harvest Diary this year – it will be more interactive than before and readers will be able to comment and ask questions directly on the site. I will try to explain the reasons behind some of our daily winemaking decisions, as well as give readers insight into how the 2007 vintage is unfolding in Stellenbosch. The diary may be read at:

This year we’ll be taking our harvest diary to the next level, allowing online readers to participate in the 2007 vintage with us from the comfort of their own homes. We will regularly update the videos we are filming in the vineyards and winery as the vintage progresses. These will take the form of a number of themed short clips of a maximum of 2 minutes each that will be very easy to download and will take viewers into the vineyards to experience the harvest and observe the grapes being crushed and pressed in the winery. Viewers can go to the following link for video footage of the 2007 harvest:

This may also be accessed from our new website: www.jordanwines.com

At the risk of some ‘philosophical meandering’ as Doug puts it, in a similar way in which a bottle of wine captures the soul of the people making it; so too will our 2007 Jordan harvest videos and harvest diary immortalize the vintage forever!

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Gary Jordan said...


I see that the video link didn't publish correctly - here is the correct link: http://www.winefilms.co.za/winefarms/Jordan/Jordanharvest.html

At 4:28 PM, Blogger The Vilafonte Team said...

Hi Jamie, thanks for the exposure. The Jordan video blog is brilliant and informative. have you seen the Vilafonte video blog at www.vilafonte.com? The video is actually being filmed by the Vilafonte team rather than a professional crew - hence the grungy look and feel. Budget cuts you know...
Mike Ratcliffe


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