Wine, episode 3: The Future
Tonight I caught the third episode of BBC4's series on Wine. It was set in South Africa, and followed the fortunes of two producers trying to make it in the UK wine market. I quote from the publicity blurb:
Oupa Rangaka and Mark Solms are two unlikely wine producers. Six years ago, Oupa, a retired philosophy professor, didn't even drink wine, let alone make it.
Today he and his family, including three-year-old grandson Kwena, are the only
black people to own a vineyard in South Africa. Its survival depends on their ongoing relationship with Marks and Spencer and convincing the judges at London's International Wine Challenge that their pinotage passes muster. Mark is a world-renowned neuroscientist who inherited the family business, and is struggling to reconcile his idealistic plans for the farm with the practical realities of post-apartheid South Africa. He worries that the harvest festival he is organising may degenerate into an orgy of violence and drunkenness. Via the struggles of these two remarkable men, wine becomes a prism through which to view the current state of the Rainbow Nation.
It was a really well-constructed programme, tackling some tricky issues in an intelligent way. I particularly liked the focus on the International Wine Challenge, including a three-second shot of me sniffing and slurping! Pictured above is the film crew in attendance at the challenge, following the course of these South African wines.
You can catch it if you missed it at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00j0g7v