‘It Starts With Wine’: A New Documentary Series For Wine Lovers

Food & Drink

It Starts With Wine debuts on Amazon Prime Video on January 4, 2019.It Starts With Wine

For foodies, wine lovers and travel nuts craving a new binge, Wine Enthusiast Media rolls out a new documentary series. It Starts With Wine premieres on Amazon Prime Video January 4, 2019.

Three episodes are available now, each centered on a place, each revealing the heart of wine and winemaking: people. “Great wines are about special places and special people,” says Alberto Antonino, the enologist at Bodega Garzón in Uruguay, the featured location of the first segment.

The series turns to winemakers as storytellers, wrapping up the sense of experience by including artists, chefs and other figureheads of culture, what the makers of documentary associate with “the wine lifestyle.”

Bodega Garzón is featured in the first episode of It Starts With Wine, set in Uruguay.Jill Barth

The first two segments are centered in South America, with episode one landing viewers in Uruguay, where famed chef Francis Mallmann and enologist Alberto Antonini combine perspectives on Uruguayan food and wine in the region around Bodega Garzón, situated near the beach enclaves of José Ignacio and Punta de Este.

Having recently returned from Uruguay, it is true that Bodega Garzón and Francis Mallmann are some of the most influential names in wine and food these days, and it’s my hope that their voices continue to open the door for visitors willing to discover the many multi-generational families that comprise the bulk of Uruguayan winemaking establishments.

Vineyards in the Andes mountain range, in the Argentine province of Mendoza. Photo Credit: GettyGetty

Episode two swings into Argentina, capturing the perspective of another influential wine professional, Laura Catena, managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata and founder of the Catena Institute of Wine where research into Argentine terroir, particularly the element of altitude and the Malbec variety, has been integral in the modern profile of wines of Mendoza. Catena lives what she calls in the documentary, “a double life,” working as a physician as well as a winemaker and vineyard researcher. “Plants are live things that need to be cared for,” says Catena.

Musician, chef and television presenter Deborah De Corral massages the story with her experience of food and music. Both women speak with a soothing attraction towards the Mendoza wine region, capped off with a mutually prepared wine pairing dinner served to the vineyard crew.

Wine writers take a tour of Bonterra Vineyards in Mendocino County, California. Photo Credit: Getty ImagesGetty

Episode three introduces Bonterra Vineyards in Mendocino County, California, where all wines are produced biodynamically or organically. Joseph Brinkley, vineyard director, unravels the methods behind this agricultural-plus-philosophical atmosphere: “These practices enhance the subtle layers of the health of the soil, in turn, the health of the vine, in turn, the quality of the fruit.”

Mendocino is a naturally bountiful environment on the north coast of California—people there call themselves free-thinkers—and this mindset is reflected in It Starts With Wine, which counts the experience of Brinkley as well as entrepreneur and chef Garrett Sathre, using the ocean as a metaphor for being present with one’s work and ideas. A fresh meal, prepared over a beach campfire, is the meeting place for a conversation about conservation and preservation, ideals supported by biodynamic farming.

The series It Starts With Wine is available now on Amazon Prime Video.

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