Indie Wine Documentary Follows Rise of Vino in Unlikely Place

 


America's Dust Bowl apparently has more to offer than wheat, corn and wholesome values.
 
A team of filmmakers from Iowa have launched a crowdsourcing campaign to complete a documentary called “Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America's Heartland,” a film which explores the rise of the wine industry in the Midwest. 
 
“They call the kind of wine grapes grown in this part of the American heartland 'cold-hearted' grapes, grapes grown to withstand extreme temperatures that would kill traditional grapes grown in California or France,” a narrator said in the opening scenes of a trailer for the documentary. “This story is about the birth of a new wine region, the grapes and the pioneering families dedicated to growing and making wines in America's heartland.”
 
Brad Johnson, an oenophile and one of the film's producers, said the film takes the audience inside the vineyards of regions you don't usually hear in cocktail conversations about America's wine regions. 
“The scope of the film quickly grew to encompass the upper Midwest region because of how interrelated the wine industry is, with grapes being developed in Minnesota and Wisconsin,” Johnson said in a press release about the film. “Knowledge of wine growing and production (is) being openly shared, (there's) a continued trend in quality wines and increased customer interest in these new wines.”
 
According to the press release, filming for the documentary began in July 2014 and is still taking place. The shooting is schedule to wrap up this fall and the release of the film is planned for the summer of 2016.
 
Director of photography and producers Kirk Monson said the film emphasizes both the story of wine in the Midwest, as well as the visual aspects of the region which might make it appeal to audiences across the country and not just in the Midwest.
 
“We're passionate about what's happening in the new frontier of wine and creating a compelling story, beautifully filmed, with interesting and informative characters allows us to make a movie that not only is appealing to a regional audience, but a national one,” he said. 
 
The documentary trailer includes an interview with Bob Foster, director of the Mid America Wine Competition.
 
“The quality just continues to amaze. When I left for the very first competition, I turned to my wife and said, 'This is going to be grim and I've just got to keep smiling,'” Foster said. “I was wrong. They were really good wines. As time goes on, they're getting better and better.”
 

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