Last Thursday August 25 was the very first public screening of Wine From Here: Natural Wine in California and it all happened in beautiful San Francisco. Based on the turnout and the feedback we received throughout the night, we can proudly say: mission accomplished!
The crowd at the Victoria Theatre in the Mission District of San Francisco consisted of about 200 thirsty fans eager to taste this documentary about a controversial topic: the natural wine movement in California. An opportunity to watch 10 prominent California natural winemakers sharing their passion on the big screen.
It is quite something – watching the crowd (watching your own work) and monitoring its reaction. Expected laughter for some scenes, but unexpected laughter for other scenes! It was hard not to be nervous. We couldn’t help but ask ourselves: what will the audience think about those 60 minutes which took us a year to put together?
After the screening there was a Q&A with the directors, as well as a Q&A with most of the winemakers featured in the film. Lots of questions, lots of opinions, some criticism, some support. In short, some good action!
After the panel discussion, the crowd was ripe for a practical natural wine experience at Heart. And as a bonus: the wine list was made up of wines produced by winemakers featured in the film they had just watched. Check it out right here:
And those 7 winemakers from the wine list were right there mingling at the after-screening party. Picture this: hang out in the most fascinating wine bar in the Mission, and sip on amazing California wines while meeting and talking to the people who made the wine you are holding in your glass. It would be hard to do any better than that!
The winemakers from the film were not the only famous people in the room that night. The natural wine queen, Alice Feiring, was also part of the fun. You can see her down below talking with Kevin Kelley, founder and winemaker at the Natural Process Alliance. She was probably telling stories of her road trip to promote Naked Wine, her recently-released book. Now, here’s what’s bugging me: why are their glasses empty?
Both my brother and I talked to Courtney and we were pleased to hear she was having a good time too. Here is an excerpt from her wrap-up of the evening:
As I watched party-goers line up four- and sometimes six-deep at the bar to score pours like Coturri’s soulful Mendocino Carignane and Dashe Cellars’ electric dry Riesling from Potter Valley, the quiet natural wine movement’s momentum settled in. Battered by numerous elbows and shoves, any of my ruffled feathers were soothed by the graciousness and eager enthusiasm of the documentary’s featured vintners.
Indeed, there was a lot of hustle-bustle! When it was all over, Jeff Segal (Heart’s owner) happily admitted that pouring wine to so many people at the same time was a real challenge. It makes you wonder why you weren’t there as well, doesn’t it?
All in all, it was quite rewarding to see so many people that night, joining the fun and celebrating an important project milestone: the very first public screening of “Wine From Here“!
Thanks to all of you for your support, your feedback on the film, and also for hanging out with us on that night! Santé!
Psst. Here’s a tip: stay tuned for some follow-up action down in Los Angeles in September!