A Year in Burgundy

Synopsis: The film follows seven wine-making families in the Burgundy region of France through the course of a full year, and delves into the cultural and creative process of making wine, as well as its deep ties to the land. What lies within the rhythm of a year, from vines to grapes to wine? The film is in four season-sections, and plays out against that backdrop: spring showers, drought, heat wave, hail and storms, harvest moons and the damp cold of winter. Each vintage is a time capsule, a bottled piece of history of a very specific year, with its particular weather pattern, its crises and its triumphs. It all goes in, whether you want it to or not, and 2011 was full of drama.
Director(s): David Kennard
Production: FilmBuff
91 min

Where does really great wine come from?

From the heart and the mind of those

who create it.

The finest winemakers are artists

and what they do is unique.

This is a gala wine-tasting in San Francisco.

Some of the best winemakers in the world are here.

Martine Saunier organizes this annual event.

She has spent most of her life

in the world of wine

in France, in the United States,

and around the world.

Martine only imports wine from

people she knows personally.

In some cases,

she's known these family winemakers

for five generations.

Star of the show are the Burgundies.

Tasting them are sommeliers, chefs,

owners of the best restaurants and wine stores

from across the western United States.

They're deciding what to buy this year,

and it's tough.

Some Burgundies are so rare,

they sell for over a thousand dollars,

and that's the wholesale price.

But why is one bottle of wine

so much more special than another?

It depends on the uniqueness of the taste

a perfect balance of nature-the terroir-

and human artistry.

To understand why Burgundy

may be the most special wine region on Earth,

you must visit and meet the people.

Travel with us, and with Martine Saunier,

to spend a year in Burgundy.

Burgundy lies at the heart of France.

Human beings have lived here

for more than 20,000 years.

To the west there are hills,

and to the east,

the rich alluvial plain of the river Sane.

And it was up this river

that the Roman came 2000 years ago,

looking for new lands to conquer,

and new things to discover.

What they found here was a great surprise.

Vines of an unparalleled quality,

and so far north!

To be sure, they weren't organized

into tidy rows in vineyards,

as they are today.

But the original varietals of

two of the world's most famous grapes

are native to this are.

The white Chardonnay and the red Pinot Noir.

To this day, virtually all Burgundy wine

is made from Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.

These two grapes are the real heroes of our story.

The Saunier family have lived in

Southern Burgundy for generations.

They've owned this house since the 19th century-

though the house itself dates back to the 1650s

Martine first came here as a young girl.

Every summer, she would travel out from Paris

to visit her aunt

and spend three glorious months in wine country.

This house holds many memories.

In the cellar is an ancient wine press,

still complete in every detail.

It was here, as a girl,

that Martine discovered her passion.

I was a cellar-rat.

They called me a cellar-rat because...

I used to follow the winemaker everywhere.

His name was Camille and he had a horse,

La Margaux,

and we went to the vineyard

and I loved every aspect of it.

Today, whenever she returns to Burgundy,

Martine shares this house with her brother Jacques,

an old black dog, and the family Deux Chevaux.

Driving these things is quite an art.

An art that's easily forgotten

after a few months in California.

Martine's wine distribution business

is based near San Francisco,

but at least three times a year,

she returns to France to spend time with her winemakers.

That means personal visits at all stages of the winemaking year.

She often starts near her own home,

in the Mcon region.

This is the southernmost frontier of Burgundy

-classic Chardonnay country.

Her first appointment is with Dominique Cornin.

Dominique was born just 2 miles (3 km) from here,

in a house in Chaintr.

His father was the first to clear these fields.

[speaking French]

I never went to university or studied wine at all.

My mother didnt want me to be a winemaker.

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    "A Year in Burgundy" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 3 Dec. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/a_year_in_burgundy_2082>.

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