Has anyone seen the film "A Year in Burgundy" yet?

I just watched it last night and thought it was really wonderful. Beautifully cinematography, an interesting score, great narration…really an enjoyable experience. I was prepared for something dry and overly academic, but it was really alive and engaging while also being informative.

I was particularly struck by how interesting a character Christophe Perrot-Minot is. When he’s first introduced in the film, my inclination was to think this guy is a heartless businessman, but he turns out to be just as passionate as the rest, probably more enigmatic and contradictory, but certainly very interesting if not as romantic.

It’s a documentary, but likely the best wine film I’ve seen. It’s definitely worth watching, but especially if you’re a Burg lover; the imagery alone is outstanding.

The film features winemakers from the Martine’s Wines portfolio and Martine Saunier herself (to some extent), and while I rep the Martine’s Wines in Michigan and ostensibly stand to gain from the general promotion of Martine’s Wines and the featured producers, I do not have any connection to the film, nor do I benefit in any way from ticket sales, dvd sales, or anything else to do with the film.

I just think it was a really nice movie and wanted to give others a heads-up about it and see what those who’ve watched it thought about it. The addy is http://www.ayearinburgundy.com.

Yeah, I thought it was a great movie. Very entertaining. Saw a screening of it NY. Best part was when Christophe Perrot-Minot realizes too much rot is being included in the baskets during harvest. He leaves the vineyards to check back at the domaine with the sorting table. As he pulls up to the domaine, he starts to walk quickly, then jogs and then just starts sprinting.

What commitment, right? I really think he’s an interesting, intense guy.

He is one of the good ones who really cares. There are many like him in Burgundy.

Did you buy the DVD? Or see a screening.

Yes, watched the movie at IPNC this year. I found it fascinating, compelling and engrossing–but I’m certain my wife would have nodded off. The visual imagery was terrific. The interviews with Madame Leroy were terrific. The passion of all the winemakers is infectious. Agree that Mssr Perrot-Minot comes across as a most interesting personality, perhaps mimicking his wines which are of undisputable high quality but come across as a bit slick. Love the hair.

Naturally I compare and contrast a ‘year in Burgundy’ with a year in Oregon. Many commonalities: numerous small wineries, similar pressures during the growing season (hail, rain, birds, botrytis), the financial extremes of the uber-successful and the humble farmers, and more. The all-encompassing passion to make ethereal pinot noir is so evident in the film, and in both cultures. This is a beautiful documentary and films like this fuel my commitment to grow the best grapes we possibly can.



Yes, I saw it at the New York screening (Tribeca Cinema). I am the New Jersey sales rep for these wines and helped greet people at the screening. I thought it provided great direct insight into the wine-making process. I am not sure how interesting it would be for someone who was not into wine. And I really enjoyed Thibault Morey’s piano playing.

Just pre-ordered a copy of the DVD. Hopefully it will arrive in a reasonable time frame.

Just received the DVD (described as “pre-release” in the packaging) and viewed about 3/4 of it. Terrific cinematography and a well-paced, engaging film. It could potentially have appeal for a general audience and is definitely an enjoyable ride for a burghead.


Thanks for the rec! I am stuck with limited activity for awhile, I will order a copy too: http://www.ayearinburgundy.com/buy-dvd/.

I hope that someday, someone can make a film (or even write a book) on Burgundy that does not feature Madame Bize-Leroy. [smileyvault-ban.gif]

I had a peek of it last week with Todd Mathis from Martines wines and was impressed. We are doing a movie night and tasting here at Graileys with the wines and winemakers featured on Wednesday evening. Will post notes Thursday.

I couldnt find a release date on the website…

I haven’t seen the film, but I did check out the “Promotional Teaser Video” on the website. Judging only from the teaser, I’m left a bit dismayed regarding the apparent focus of the movie.

The teaser starts off with the narrator asking the following: “Where does really great wine come from?” He answers his own question: “From the heart and the mind of those who create it.” From those who “create” it? That’s it?

Then, a bit later: "Why is one bottle of wine so much more special than another?” His conclusion: “It all comes down to the uniqueness of the taste. A taste that has been created by these winemaker/artists.” Again, the focus seems to be on those who “create” the wine. Not once is there a mention of the uniqueness of the vineyards, the soil, the climate, the exposure, etc. Am I the only one who finds this a bit odd?

I’d like to see the whole movie. Maybe the teaser doesn’t accurately reflect its focus. If so, that’s unfortunate. So for those of you who have seen it, did you come away with the sense the movie focuses primarily on the winemakers? Is there much discussion or exploration of the vineyard sites?

Thanks in advance for any further information.


This surprises you? It is a movie made by an importer who has a specific portfolio of producers. I have not seen it yet (I intend to), but what do I expect? A high-budget infomercial focussing on why her producers are so great - that’s what I expect. It does her very little good to trumpet about general vineyard sites…these can be bought from many producers she does not represent. She’s selling you her producers.

And the timing is no fluke either. Vintage 2011 is the focus…a vintage everyone knows will be very tough to sell on the heels of 2009 and 2010. I expect the movie to tell us how great producers (ie. the ones in her portfolio) managed to make great wines in an off vintage like 2011.

Maybe I’m just jaded…


Good points. My understanding is that the film was written and narrated by David Kennard. He obviously worked intimately with Martine on the project. We chatted for a bit at the IPNC and he readily admitted that he is NOT an experienced wine drinker, much less an obsessed Burg geek. Thus, while I too cringed at the statements referenced above I think it is explained by the film maker’s background.

Thanks for the heads up, will have to find a copy…

That Martine Saunier is “senior producer” on this…and her producers featured…does make me wonder what this really is…and who paid to get it done.

I’m with Blair on this having the potential to be one long info-mercial. I’m sure it’s interesting…but…

I wonder if someone “hired” Mr. Kennard to produce this, given the description of his services.

Nothing wrong with a healthy dose of cynicism, but given her age, her portfolio of wines that are highly allocated etc, I don’t think she has much to gain financially from this.

Maybe “financial” is not always the goal with things like this…assuming “financial” isn’t the motivation. Aura is important for any importing business; I know for a fact that not all of her producers are “highly allocated”, though that is often part of the marketing.

And…maybe the financing came from others…I have no idea. This whole thing does seem , at least, suspect, though.
Too many questions to really be a “documentary”, IMO. And, I don’t think that view requires all that much cynicism…maybe just less naivete.

Like I also said, I’d love to see one movie/ read one book that doesn’t feature Madame Bize-Leroy. That her importer is the producer of this…makes me even want it more.