To Wine or Not to Wine?

How to find the best location for your dream vineyard…from movies!

imagesEver dreamed of owning your own vineyard?  Of packing it all in and getting back to basics… toiling the land (or hiring someone to), stepping out in the morning to your own magnificent view of acres of rolling land and breathing in the fresh countryside air with your dog at your side….and a beret and glass of your very own wine to boot.

We’ve picked the best movies from France and around the world to not only inspire you but also real-life stories to show you what is involved in owning your own vineyard.  Let these movies be your guide:

 

 

TU SERAS UN HOMME, MON FILS

STARRING: Niels Arestrup, Lorànt Deutsch, Patrick Chesnais

DIRECTOR:  Gilles Legrand

YEAR: 2011

This film gives you an idea of the work that goes on behind-the-scenes at a working vineyard and also the drama from all the blood, sweat and tears it can take to run a vineyard.

The original French title Tu Seras Un Homme, Mon Fils translates to You Will By A Man, My Son rather than the offical English translation You Will Be My Son.  This is more apt as the film deals with the disappointment a vineyard owner in Saint Emilion exhibits towards his ‘boy’.

This is a touching, charming and gut-wrenching French film about the strained relationship between a father and his son.  Having no faith in his son and heir-apparent’s abilities to manage his vineyard after his death, Paul Marseul (Neils Arestrup) turns to an outsider and wine connoisseur.

* Check out Niels Arestrup’s phenomenal performance in the movie Diplomacy (featured on our movie tours)

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a good year

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STARRING: RUSSELL CROWE, ABBIE CORNISH, ALBERT FINNEY

DIRECTOR: RIDLEY SCOTT

YEAR: 2006

 

This is THE film about packing it all in and moving to the South of France à la Russell Crowe

A British investment broker inherits his uncle’s chateau and vineyard in Provence, forcing him to confront his idyllic childhood that he had long since tucked into the back of his mind.  He’s intent on renovating the estate for sale – a quick feat and then back to the stockmarket.  But a young American who says she’s Henry’s illegitmate tour, a very sexy French lady and some good memories slowly make their way in to heart.

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A HEAVENLY VINTAGE

A Heavenly vintage

STARRING: JÉRÉMIE RENIER, KEISHA CASTLE-HUGHES, VANIA VILERS

DIRECTOR:  NIKI CARO

YEAR: 2009

 

Previously entitled The Vinter’s Luck, the film takes you back to 19th Century rural France on a quest for that perfect vintage wine. 

Transporting you to 19th century France, a peasant Sobran Jodeau working on an estate sets out to create the all elusive perfect vintage, with the help of none-other than an angel.  

Based on a novel by Elizabeth Knox, A Heavnely Vintage highlights an almost pagan love for the earth and shows that in order to succeed you need to make your own luck.

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french kiss

French Kiss

STARRING: meg ryan, kevin kline, timothy hutton

DIRECTOR:  LAWRENCE KASDAN

YEAR: 1995 

The stunning views of Luc’s hometown of La Ravelle in Paulhaguet will make you want to invest in a vineyard tomorrow

 

An old movie but an absolute quirky, charming classic.   Kate flies to France to confront her cheat of a fiancé but gets stuck next to Luc, a suave French crook who uses her to smuggle a stolen diamond necklace and a vine cutting.   Luc has mangaged to gamble away his own vineyard in a single hand of poker to his brother but his love and knowledge of wine has remained and he imparts this Kate.   Although she never for a second thought of owning and living in a vineyard in the South of France, perhaps the universe had other plans for her…

 

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THE SECRET OF SANTA VITTORIA

Le secret de Santa Vittoria

STARRING: ANTHONY QUINN, ANNA MAGNANI, VIRNA LISI

DIRECTOR:  STANLEY KRAMER

YEAR: 1969

An absolutely fabulous heart-warming story of a small Italian village who use their love and pride of wine as a secret weapon of resistance.   Much like the French who also managed to keep an unquantifiable amount of wines out of the Germans’ hands, the moral of the story…  Don’t mess with a country’s tradition of wine…ever!

In the summer of 1943, the mayor of Santa Vittoria, learns that the German occupying forces want to take all of the town’s wine with them. Determine to wreck their plans, the inhabitants hide a million bottles in a cave before the arrival of a German army.

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under the tuscan sun

under the tuscan sun

STARRING: diane lane, raoul bova, sandra oh

DIRECTOR:  AUDREY WELLS

YEAR: 2003

The author of Under the Tuscan Sun was on to something…she has turned writing books about Tuscany into a well-known brand Tuscan Sun Wines.   If you develop the right contacts, you too could have your own wine label without ever stepping foot in a wineyard.

Writer, cook, designer and diva of all things Tuscan, Frances Mayes opened to the world an invitation to live more fully and to enjoy the moment. “For over two decades,” Frances says, “we have feasted and sipped across the timeless fields of Tuscany and beyond.” As in her seven books on Tuscany, and the film Under the Tuscan Sun, the Frances Mayes brand centers on friendship, discovery, restoration, and ultimately renewal through daily pleasures and an appreciation for the good life well lived. Under the brand, wine, artisan food, items useful and artful, all carry the unmistakable hallmark of Frances Mayes’s vision.
A toast to the Tuscans, who inspire the world to live like kings! – Frances Mayes
Wine is so intrinsic to Italian culture, and Frances has always dreamed of introducing a line of wines to match her Tuscan Sun lifestyle. Frances personally selects the Tuscan Sun Wines, assuring that each one conveys the joys of the table and the true taste of Italy. Frances set out to bring this casual, beautiful, every-day expression of wine to her fans. With Frances personally selecting the house wines from her favorite Tuscan restaurants, the lineup of Tuscan Sun Wines was born. The labels are original paintings inspired by Frances’s favorite places in and around her famous villa, Bramasole.

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blood & wine

blood and wine

STARRING: JACK NICHOLSON, MICHAEL CAINE, STEPHEN DORFF

DIRECTOR:  BOB RAFELSON

YEAR: 1996

A look here into the wheeling and dealing of the wine trade.   If you don’t want to plow the land but you appreciate a good vintage, then maybe a career as a wine dealer/expert/teacher could be your thing.

Nicholson is a Florida wine dealer whose business is going broke, whose wife (Judy Davis) wants to leave him, and whose stepson (Stephen Dorff) hates him. He hooks up with a tubercular British exile (Michael Caine) to steal a million-dollar diamond necklace from the house of some rich people. But it is all so much more complicated than that and includes Nicholson’s sexual liaison with the rich family’s nanny (Jennifer Lopez). That’s just the set-up. The plot gets *really* complicated.   

Blood and Wine was shot in Miami, South Florida and the Florida Keys, including some scenes at the Caribbean Club in Key Largo. Alex’s family home is located in the Coral Gables/Pinecrest area. Gabriela is shown to live in Little Havana.

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the chateau meroux

The Chateau Meroux

STARRING: mARIA SOKOLOFF, BARRY WATSON, AMANDA RIGHETTI

DIRECTOR:  BOB FUGGER

YEAR: 2011

Getting into the wine industry is no walk in the park…this rom-com highlights the challenge and competition that  play a part in any business.

Upon her father’s death, Wendy inherits a on-the-down winery. While coping to manage it, she goes up against a fierce competitor and has a run in with his son! And her best friend is none other that the gorgeous Amanda Righetti from The Mentalist. For a girlie night in with a glass of wine (or bottle), you couldn’t do better.

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uncorked

Uncorked

STARRING: JULIE BENZ, JOBETH WILLIAMS, ELLIOTT GOULD

DIRECTOR:  DAVID CASS SR.

YEAR: 2009

 

A cute rom-com, this movie asks the question you will want to consider if you are dreaming of moving to a vineyard…. Are you ready to pack it all in and give up the high rolling career for a life on a vineyard?

“The film shoot was so much fun. Part of the time was in Solvang (California) at a winery in this little tiny town. The whole cast and crew took over this one little motel. It was like being back in college…but with a little more responsibility. And our director, David Cass Sr., was just wonderful, a guy with an amazing work ethic who got us done every day at a decent hour.”

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the ways of the wine

STARRING: CHARLIE ARTURAOLA, MICHEL ROLLAND, PANDORA ANWYL

DIRECTOR:  NICOLÁS CARRERAS

YEAR: 2010

 

The utlimate worst-nightmare for a master sommelier – to lose your ability to taste the wine you love.  Every industry has its own kings and here we look at the Argentianian wine industy.

A feast of who’s who in the Argentinian winemaking scene.  A mock-umentary featuring  real life Master Sommelier Charlie Arturaola to Mendoza, Argentina.  He attends Mendoza’s glamorous Masters of Food and Wine event but overdoes it and eventually loses his sense of taste (devastating for any sommelier).

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a year in champagne

STARRING: mARTINE SAUNIER

DIRECTOR:  DAVID KENNARD

YEAR: 2014

 
 

An intimate look behind-the-scenes into the world’s most famous wine.

As so eloquently put in this documentary following  a year in the making of champagne: ‘There’s a paradox between our tragedy and our celebration.’

Follow the trials and triumphs…from rain threatening to reck havoc on the harvest, the multitude of personalities to the utlimate victory of creating a perfect bottle.

I only drink champagne on two occasions.. When I am in love and when I am not!     

 – Coco Chanel

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sideways

Sideways

STARRING: PAUL GIAMATTI, THOMAS HADEN CHURCH, VIRGINIA MADSEN

DIRECTOR:  ALEXANDER PAYNE

YEAR: 2004

A movie that put Santa Barbara on the map and inspired countless wine tasting road trips.   And there’s a moral to this story…wine is fashionable and has its own trends, so choose carefully which type of wine you want to grow and of course, where!

This movie put Santa Barbara on the winemaking map.   If you want to get into wine, you need to know about the so-called Sideways Effect.    The main character (played by Paul Giamatti) can’t stand merlot, at the time by far the most popular red wine in the States, and loves pinot noir.     The unexpected success of the film caused a crash in sales of Merlot  as people didn’t want to be seen drinking a sub-par wine.  It is only recently that Merlot sales have started to recover.  All it took to hit the industry was this one line in the film:

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first growth

Premiers crus

STARRING: GÉRARD LANVIN, JALIL LESPERT, ALICE TAGLIONI

DIRECTOR:  JÉRÔME LE GRIS

YEAR: 2015

 

Get an exclusive peak into the world of wine-making and the families and personalities it depends on.   At the same time, learn the pros and cons of traditional versus modern methods of making wine.

Charlie Maréchal who owns a successful guide to French wines takes over his 200-year old family wine business after his father brings it close to bankruptcy. Knowing a lot about wines but very little about what goes into the wine-making process, he takes the risky decision to revert back to traditional wine making methods.

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blood into wine: the arizona stronghold

Blood into wine

STARRING: GÉRARD LANVIN, JALIL LESPERT, ALICE TAGLIONI

DIRECTOR:  JÉRÔME LE GRIS

YEAR: 2015

 

With winemaking in his blood, recording artist Maynard James Keenan sets out to place Arizona on the wine-making map. He comes against prejudice from traditional wine-makers not to mention the arid desert he has to work with. This documentary covers his transition from rock star to wine aficionado.

Charlie Maréchal who owns a successful guide to French wines takes over his 200-year old family wine business after his father brings it close to bankruptcy. Knowing a lot about wines but very little about what goes into the wine-making process, he takes the risky decision to revert back to traditional wine making methods.

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a year in port

a year in burgundy

0:02 / 23:15 TWO PADDOCKS THE MOVIE

bottleshock

somm

red obsession

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a walk in the clouds

Decanted: A Winemaker’s Journey

Bitter Grapes- Slavery in the Vineyards

Blood into wine

STARRING: GÉRARD LANVIN, JALIL LESPERT, ALICE TAGLIONI

DIRECTOR:  JÉRÔME LE GRIS

YEAR: 2015

 

With winemaking in his blood, recording artist Maynard James Keenan sets out to place Arizona on the wine-making map. He comes against prejudice from traditional wine-makers not to mention the arid desert he has to work with. This documentary covers his transition from rock star to wine aficionado.

Charlie Maréchal who owns a successful guide to French wines takes over his 200-year old family wine business after his father brings it close to bankruptcy. Knowing a lot about wines but very little about what goes into the wine-making process, he takes the risky decision to revert back to traditional wine making methods.

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The secrets of The Phantom of the Opera

Charles Garnier’s dazzling Opera house is famous for its enchanting operatic tragedies, elegant ballets and for inspiring the legend of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ Behind every tale there is a truth. From the falling chandelier to the underground lake, explore the fact behind the fiction of the Phantom of the Opera.

In 1909 the story of Gaston Leroux’s ’Phantom’ was first published as a series in French paper ‘Le Gaulois’. it was a tantalising fiction littered with real life locations, public figures of the time and potential evidence for the supernatural making the notion of a real phantom who haunted the Opera a myth all to easy to swallow. Yet with adaptations like the 1925 silent horror to Andre Lloyd Webber’s hit musical, the story and its spectre have been altered and masked.

Could this be the REAL home of the Phantom of hte Opera?

Our first inspection is the mysterious underground lake the phantom inhabits, surely nothing more than a wonderful figment of author Leroux’s imagination, yet records of the Opera houses construction shed light on the myth.

In 1861 while clearing space to lay the foundations of the building, workmen where halted and baffled by a continual bubbling source of water a branch of the seine river had spouted right on the site of the building.

Numerous failed attempts at draining the source left them with no choice but to man and canal the water creating a lake underneath the very foundations of the building.

Could this be the real home of the Phantom? It is not hard to imagine the ghostly tales told by those working in these dark dingy gas lit corridors While closed to the public the subterranean reservoir is used by the Paris Fire Department to practice diving in the pitch black. Not for the faint hearted!

What inspired Leroux to make his infamous anti hero a ghost, did he really believe the structure to be haunted? If he did he was not alone, perhaps he simply capitalised on popular stories circulating at the time as the base of his story. With Paris’ bloody and tumultuous past you don’t have to dig very far to find a horror story.

The prologue of Leroux’s story opens with the narrator explaining that a body was uncovered while the basement was used to store phonographic records. According to the story the body was inaccurately identified as being a victim of the Paris commune, a bloody failed 2 month coup d’etat where around 25,000 Parisians were killed in mass executions.  The Commune saw fighting and executions in many of the streets of the 9th aroundisment around the Opera house, and the building was even used as by the Communards. While Leroux would have us believe the body uncovered was really that of the Phantom’s there is an even more haunting tale behind the true history of the building.

Then of course there is the incident of the falling chandelier, a memorable moment from the book, film and musical. In 1896 another tragic event will take place in the Opera House. A faulty counterweight on the magnificent chandelier fell crushing to death the Concierge who was visiting the Opera House for the first time.

Sound familiar? Leroux weaves this death into his story for the climatic final scene where the fantom kills an audience member before capturing Christy.

delve more into the accident of the chandelier

Funny titles for American films in France

marquis picture

French translations of Hollywood films vary from the sublime to the ridiculous.  Here’s our favorite!

There is a strong tendency in the French film industry to translate original Hollywood movie titles into other English titles. The original English titles are changed into another English titles, much easier to understand, to make them more accessible to French people. Actually, the French are considered to have poor English vocabulary and not speaking English very well. So, films distributors avoid titles considered as so difficult to pronounce for French people. For example, the article “the” is often deleted. French people can’t reach to pronounce it correctly, it’s so difficult for them!!! So, The Monuments Men became Monuments Men, The Shinning (Shinning)…  Moreover, for French audience, and for the French usually, the use of English is synonymous with modernity and cool.

We’ve selected some of them, so, enjoy funny English movie titles for French audiences!

American Hustle

American Hustle

American Bluff

Is Bluff an easier word than hustle?

monuments men

THE Monuments Men

monuments men french poster

No-prefix Monuments Men

Silver Linings

Silver Linings Playbook

Happiness therapy

No silver linings here

The Hangover

The Hangover

Very bad trip

a Very Bad Trip (surely they didn’t mean the drug connotation?)

Knight and Day

Knight & Day

Night and Day

No chivalry here (French wouldn’t necessary get the play on words)

up in the air movie poster

Up in the air…

up in the air french movie poster

All settled now

Get him to the Greek

Get Him to the Greek

American Trip

Huh? I’m thinking this one was lost in translation

I give it a year

I Give It A Year

Mariage à l'anglaise

English-style Marriage…do they only last a year?!

Miss Congeniality

Miss Congeniality

miss detective poster

No such congeniality here

Cool Runnings

Rasta Rocket (What a translation!!)

The Other Guys

very bad cops poster

Very Bad Cops

 

Let’s talk about sex baby!

French distributors have rather peculiar tastes, they love to use the words “american” and “sex” (almost everywhere) when they turn original Hollywood movie titles into English titles for French audiences.

This way, Cruel Intentions was changed into Sexe Intentions, Not Another Teen Movie (Sex Academy), No Strings Attached (Sex Friends), and so on… It’s such a strange obsession! Such titles probably make the movie more attractive for French people!

That’s the reason why Hollywood movie titles in France are changed into easier English terms instead of simply being translated into French.

Killers

Killers

Kiss & Kill french poster

This time there’s kissing!

no strings attached poster

No Strings Attached

Sex friends

Same idea, slightly less elegantly put

The love punch

The Love Punch

Duo d'escrocs

‘Pair of Crocks’…where’s the love?

Cruel intentions

Cruel Intentions

Sexe intentions

Very clear intentions!

Not another teen movie

Not Just Another Teen Movie

Sex academy

Just another teen movie!

made in dagenham poster

Made in Dagenham

we want sex equality poster

Gets the point across

 

Wildthings

Wild Things

Sexcrimes

How to put the story line into one word that sells