Goldwyn Acquires North American Rights to Wine Doc 'A Year In Champagne'


Documentary filmmaker David Kennard's A Year In Champagne has been acquired for distribution in North America by Samuel Goldwyn Films, it was announced Thursday.

It is the follow-up to Kennard's 2013 documentary A Year In Burgundy. This time he takes his camera to the Champagne region of France, bringing to life the area's history and how the world's most prestigious sparkling wine is created despite chalky soil, frost, copious rain, rot and other difficulties.

Wine importer Martine Saunier acts as guide, taking the cameras through six houses, from small producers to world class houses like Gosset and Bollinger.

"Champagne is a beverage that people immediately associate with luxury and celebration, and the film pays tribute to the region and people who make this very special wine," says Goldwyn Films senior vp Peter Goldwyn. "David takes the viewer on an incredible journey and delivers a vibrant, inside look at the complex world of champagne production."

"The winemakers of Champagne hold their secrets close to their chest. Who would guess that the world's most famous wine is produced in a place with such bad weather and such a hair-raising history?" says Kennard. "Only by living amongst them for all four seasons of the year — as we did — are their secrets revealed: their sheer chutzpah, their reliance on luck and their enormous skill to conjure up the most magical, joyful drink from the most unpromising beginnings."

Goldwyn is planning a spring 2015 release for the movie, which has already screen at the Santa Barbara and Palm Beach International Film Festivals.

"A Year in Champagne entertainingly guides viewers through the winemaking process and behind the scenes to hear from the vintners who put the magic in the bottle," THR wrote in a review from Santa Barbara in February. "Quality production values, engaging scripting and fascinating characters make the film a fine fit for broadcast or cable, with obvious potential to benefit from niche theatrical in strategically targeted markets."

The deal was handled by Ian Puente, Goldwyn's vp and general counsel, and the movie's executive producer Todd Ruppert.

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