It’s not often that I find myself grinning with happiness and satisfaction after watching a documentary. Many of those I view are thought-provoking, but brooding. But not this one. Multiple award winning film, Burgundy: People with a Passion for Wine, produced and directed by Rudi Goldman, was replete with tales of the human spirit, displays of genuine fascination and love for the land and the wines it produces, and vignettes showing the camaraderie and collegiality felt by those who live there. And I loved it.
The film begins with an energy that is nothing short of intoxicating: winelovers singing to lively music, coopers toasting barrels, market goers choosing from a colorful variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, and cheeses. It ends with Mike Madrigale, Sommelier in New York City, stating, “There’s something magnetic about Burgundy that brings you here. It’s almost involuntary that you get to this place to drink wine that you could drink anywhere else in the world. But here, it tastes better.” In between, Burgundy: People with a Passion for Wine is a visual and verbal snapshot of what people working in the region’s wine industry think, feel, and do.
Alex Gambal, winemaker and owner of Maison Alex Gambal, shares that amidst strict rules in the French wine industry, there is a feeling of freedom to be creative. “Within the rules, you can do a lot of interesting things.” Veronique Drouhin-Boss, who played in the family’s cellar as a child and is now the 4th generation winemaker at Maison Joseph Drouhin, remarks that each wine must reflect its origin in small nuances; you don’t have to have a Grand Cru or Premier Cru – there are delicious village wines at a reasonable price. Ah yes, the terroir reigns in a region that Gambal admits “is still a mystery to me”.
“Burgundy is not a spectator sport. It’s a contact sport…you need to get involved”. Alex Gambal, Maison Alex Gambal
With a mission to create wines with “finesse and elegance” is Philippe Duvernay, winemaker and co-owner of Domaine COFFINET-DUVERNAY. Laurent Peugeot, Michelin starred chef and owner of Le Charlemagne, explains that he adapts the food to the wine, a philosophy that is at the core of his menu. Explaining her definition of “gourmand” as opposed to “gourmet” is Cecile Mathiaud, Press Contact at Bureau Interprofessionnel des vins de Bourgogne. Spoiler alert: I’m a gourmand. You?
Sharing the heart and soul of Burgundy are winelovers at harvest time, The Brotherhood Ceremony in Santenay, Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction, and Le Paulee de Meursault. They will tempt you to book your travel arrangements to Burgundy, or at the very least, open a bottle of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir from this time-honored region. Watching the film almost makes you feel that you’re there.
Many other winemakers, owners, and visitors invite us into their cellars and salons during the entirety of Burgundy: People with a Passion for Wine. I could share more anecdotes, but this film is so thoughtfully written and produced, you must see it for yourself. Cherish every moment and appreciate those in Burgundy who are passionate about their life. I guarantee you’ll be smiling, too.
Cheers! ~ Cindy
NOTE: Burgundy: People with a Passion for Wine is now available in the United States and Canada on iTunes US/Canada, Amazon, and InDemand. Please refer to the film’s website here for more information.
Thank you, Rudi Goldman, for allowing me to see the film for review purposes.