Australian Wine Documentary Makes Yearly Appearance on ABC


This past week Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) aired the documentary Chateau Chunder: A Wine Revolution, a playful look at the history of winemaking in Australia.
“A fun and lively documentary that tells the recent history of the Australian wine industry and reveals how a group of enterprising Australian winemakers took on the world and won, changing the way wine is made and marketed,” ABC said of the documentary.
Released in 2012, the film has made an appearance on ABC each year since it debuted. The film also makes appearances on the United Kingdom's BBC.
According to the synopsis released by Electric Pictures, the film is based on a scene from Monty Python.
“It's the 1970s and Australian wine is a joke – not for drinking, as Monty Python put it, but for 'laying down and avoiding,'” the synopsis reads. “The idea that a wine made 'Down Under' could ever challenge the august products of Burgundy or Tuscany has wine buffs and snobby sommeliers sniggering into their tasting spoons.”
According to the documentary's synopsis, the film details the rise of the strengths of the Australian wine market – particularly its branding.
“They pioneered the idea of selling wine by grape variety and colourful labels rather than by ancient and baffling classification systems of Europe,” the synopsis reads.
Director Stephen Oliver said the documentary focuses on the “complex three-way relationship between Australia, France and the market of Britain.
“The Brits suddenly delight in choosing the new, fresh flavours of Australian wine over the same old French offerings, which naturally puts the Gallic noses out of joint and provides our film with some enjoyable tension,” Oliver wrote.
Often laughed at and relegated to little-brother status, Australia's wineries – in the minds of British critics – were much like the mythical Chateau Chunder seen in Monty Python, Oliver wrote.
The film covers about 60 years of winemaking in Australia. It includes archival images of the country's wine industry's early years.
Also covered in the documentary is the, according to the filmmakers, Australian creation of the blind brown-bag wine tasting used to compare French and Australian wines.
“I have striven to ensure Chateau Chunder: A Wine Revolution is an engaging and entertaining film that appeals to a wider audience than just wine aficionados,” Oliver wrote.

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