Villa Maria wine launches ambitious documentary project

Stu Dudley of Villa Maria, and Kate Barry, Barry & Fitzwilliam, at a special preview screening of Vintage at Dublin's Stella Cinema

World-renowned New Zealand winery Villa Maria has opened its doors for an ambitious feature-length documentary capturing the entire vintage process, from harvest to bottling and shipping, and all the passion, hard work and complications that go into it.

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20 February 2020 | 0

Villa Maria, the world-famous New Zealand winery, has opened its doors for an ambitious feature-length documentary. Entitled Vintage, the film tells the story of winemaking in a close-up of the entire process, peeking behind the curtain of the harvest period. Vintage will have its Irish TV premiere on March 1 on Virgin Media 3, and will subsequently be avialable to view on the Virgin Media Player through to the end of April.

Villa Maria’s 2019 vintage harvest has been captured in a new documentary

“For the first time ever in New Zealand, a winery is capturing the vintage process,” says Villa Maria Chief Winemaker, Nick Picone. “Viewers will see the passion and hard work that goes into every bottle”.

Vintage​ follows Picone’s experienced team of Stuart Dudley (Marlborough viticulturist), Ollie Powrie (chief viticulturist) and Jessica Marston, a “viticulture cadet” undertaking her first vintage. Told through these own unique viewpoints,​ Vintage ​ reveals how the team cope with unforeseen challenges, vastly varying climates, frost-filled early mornings and 24-hour-day.

Leading a film crew following the team for 40 days at the busiest time of year, director Colin West did not know what to expect. “We hoped that everything would go well,” he said, “but becuase the vintage is so different from one year to the next, we didn’t really know how it was going to unfold.”

As it turned out, 2019 was a stellar year, resulting in outstanding wines that will go on to be enjoyed around the world. Described as “a tremendous watch” by British wine writer Oz Clarke, ​Vintage airs on Virgin Media 3 on March 1.

To view a preview trailer of this fascinating documentary, visit Villa Maria’s official site.

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