The Language of Wine is a documentary film/DVD that presents a story about the lives of Burgundian winemakers through 13 vignettes that take place in vineyards, cellars, and winemakers' homes. Recorded in the anthropological tradition of participant observation, the documentary transports viewers to a world behind the media gloss and harvest festivities - a world shaped by very particular experiences, goals and challenges.

The winemakers discuss the experience of working a land whose reputation precedes them by centuries, and they reflect on how local history shapes their work and the goals they pursue. Meet winemakers at Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Domaine Dujac, Maison Faiveley, and Maison Latour, among others and visit the famous towns like Vosne-Romanée and Morey-St. Denis, as well as lesser known villages like Bouzeron, in the Côte Chalonaise.

I filmed The Language of Wine in 16mm film over a two year period. I combine color and black and white imagery as well as digital video to suggest the differing aesthetic moods that can conjure a sense of place. During the two years of research, I worked alongside winery teams and lived in the winemaking towns and villages. I emphasize the relationship between work and life-views -- this choice grew directly from the conversations that I was having with the winemakers with whom I was working.

          -- Roderick Coover


Now available on DVD