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 “A YEAR IN BURGUNDY  by Bonnie Carroll


The amazing film premiere “A Year in Burgundy” at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival offered attendees an amazing introduction to the world of wine making; a journey through the winemaking traditions and methods of vintners in Burgundy, France today.  Film viewers experienced four season-sections of a year in Burgundy with spring showers, drought, heat waves, hail and storms, harvest moons and damp cold winter changes, demonstrating that each vintage is a time capsule, a bottled piece of history of a very specific year, with its particular weather patterns, crises and triumphs.  Since Roman times Burgundy has been considered a highly valuable agricultural land where tiny vineyards no bigger than most people’s backyards produce the finest of Burgundy wine that may sell for thousands of dollars per bottle.


A superb and versatile collection of multigenerational wine-makers are at the center of this film journey through Burgundy, sharing the joy, fear, anxiety, triumph and laughter of their wine producing experiences. Film introductions include visits with Domaine Leroy, Domaine Perrot-Minot, Domaine Morey-Coffinet, Domaine Bruno Clavlier, Domaine Mortet, Domaine Michel Gay & Fils, and Dominique Cornin.


At Morey-Coffinets, we meet Michael Morey and Fabiene Coffinet.  They have uncles, cousins, parents and grandparents all in the wine business, including three generations of wine-makers, and little two-year-old Celeste, the first of the fourth generation. They are farming 7-hectares of vines given to them as a wedding present. Their cellars date back to the 16th century. 


The icon of Burgundy wine making, now in her 80s, Lalou Bize-Leroy of Domaine Leroy, is known as the uncrowned Queen of Burgundy, whose wine is described as magnificent and profound. “Vines are not well understood. You have to put yourself in their place…You have to be part of the life of the wine, and the life of the soil too. That’s all you’ve got to do,” says Lalou Bize-Leroy.


Christophe Perrot-Minot has guided his family’s Domaine Perrot-Minot into the twentieth century using state-of-the-art technology including his own “filter-by-gravity” system and is considered a rising star in the renowned wine producing region. He uses no chemical fertilizers on his 45 year old vines. He picks and sorts his grapes by hand.


Bruno Clavelier, Domaine Bruno Clavelier, is a trained oenologue and amateur geologist as well as a former professional rugby player. His wines reflect his interest in insuring that each wine displays its own individual characteristics in an honest and grounded way.


Domaine Mortet began in 1956 with a single hectare of vines, and it is a family business. Denis Mortet and his wife Laurence, along with his father Charles fell “The profession of winegrower involves lots of thoroughness but also lots of imaginations! Wine is what dreams are made of. The end result should be allowed to express all of its senses,” said Denis Mortet.  Arnaud, Denis and Laurence’s son took the helm after his father’s death in 2005, and carries with him his forefathers’ approach to farming and respect of the vines.


Domaine Michel Gay & Fils is a fourth and fifth generation operation started in 1992 with 6.5 hectares. It is an organic vineyard, and the family believes great wines are made in the vineyard as opposed to the winery. By respecting the vines Michel Gay and son Sebastian know the next generation is poised to carry the torch for producing wine that is intimate, alluring and passionate—but not aggressive.


Dominique Cornin is still harvesting fruit from the vines planted by his grandfather back in 1938; officially certified as organic in 2009. Dominique is committed to biodynamic practices, which for him means allowing the lands to express their own voice. “Our wines are like you, like me—sometimes reserved or shy, sometimes flirtatious, high-spirited or laughing. Over vintages and time, they unveil their multiple facets. Love them simply for who they are and they will give back tenfold,” says Cornin.


The film includes the revered talent of 30 year veteran producer, writer, director David Kennard, who has produced fifteen major documentary series, and has received awards from National Emmy, International Emmy, Dupont Columbia, American Historical Association, National Education Film Festival, International Science Film Festival, Houston Worldfest, Alexander Hamilton, Cine Golden Eagle, BAFTA & Peabody Awards.


Martine Saunier, Senior Producer, Consultant, and California-based importer (the first woman to establish a wine importing company in the US) is also the co-star of this heart warming film, along with Lalou Bize-Leroy.  Saunier takes the viewers on a magical journey, providing personal introductions to the life of winemakers and their families, insights into their challenging and joyful life in Burgundy, and a playful look at a 500-seat Tastevinage dinner at Clos de Vougeot, hosted by the Confrerie Chevalier du Tastevin (a wine club devoted to Burgundy), as well as fantastic aerial shots of Cotes du Nuit, brilliantly done by Kennard and chief cameraman Jamie LeJeune.  


Saunier has been given high praise for arranging Lalou Bize-Leroy’s participation in “A Year in Burgundy.” According to David Kennard “getting five minutes with Lalou is like being allowed to watch the Pope brush his teeth.” Co-producer Saunier is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, former national board member of AIWF and Chevalier du Tastevin. In addition, she has been decorated twice by the French Government with the title of Officier du Merite Agricole.

Martine Saunier & Todd Rupert


Todd Rupert, Executive Producer of “A Year in Burgundy” is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of RTR International Ltd, a holding company with diversified interests globally in the arts, film, clothing, luxury services, real estate and private equity.  He is also the US President of the Board of the Royal Parks Foundation of London and a founding Board member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the US and various other prestigious organizations.


I feel privileged to have spent some time getting to know the creators and producers of this warm and wonderful film at a private party and tasting hosted by Wine Cask Restaurant owner Mitchell Swervin in Santa Barbara, where guests enjoyed samples of Dominique Cornin 2009 Pouilly-fuisse “Clos Reyssie”, Domaine Morey-Coffinet 2011 Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Houilleries”, Domaine Michel Gay et Fils 2008 Chorey-Les-Beaune Vieilles Vignes and Domaine Perrot-Minot 2007 Chambolle-Musigny “Les Echanges” 1 er Cru. During a conversation with Martine Saunier she explained “We have plans for production of three films, this one on Burgundy, and two more to be completed, one on Champagne and another on Port to be filmed in Spain.”


I congratulate the makers of this insightful film and welcome all to share in the pleasures to be savored in viewing this one-of-a-kind film. “A Year in Burgundy is a wine lover’s masterpiece that skillfully captures the agony and ecstasy of the art of fine winemaking in Burgundy, France.  For additional information please visit www.ayearinburgundy.com.




Celebration Libations Fresh From The 2013 Grammy's

Blunder Bust

Inspired by Jack White’s Blunderbuss (Album of the Year nominee)


2 oz ZING® Red Velvet Vodka

1 oz Almond Milk or Milk/Cream

.5 oz Vanilla Monin Syrup

Method: Shake and strain serve up or on the rocks. Garnish with a crumbled Oreo cookie.

The Black Key

Inspired by The Black Keys’ El Camino (Album of the Year nominee)


1.5 oz ZING® Vodka

.75 oz POM Juice

.25 oz Pear Puree

.25 Lime Juice

.25 Simple syrup

Method: Shake and strain over ice or serve up. Garnish with pomegranate seeds or shaved dark chocolate

Berry Fun

Inspired by Fun’s “We Are Young” (Record of the Year nominee)


1.5 oz. ZING® Vodka

4 Raspberries

.5 oz. Lemon Juice

.5 oz. Simple Syrup

.5 oz. Club Soda

Method: Combine all ingredients except soda and shake. Pour over ice and top with club soda.

Red Velvet Rope(shooter)


1 oz ZING® Red Velvet Vodka

Small scoop (melon ball sized) of Red Velvet Ice Cream

Top with red velvet cookie crumbs

Method: Combine ingredients in a shot glass and enjoy!


CHIC LIBATIONS & CIGARS FROM 2013 OSCAR SUITES                                by Bonnie Carroll


Some of our favorites being poured at a bevy of parties and glittering gifting lounges this year included Viva Diva Wines (wonderful Moscato wines in delicious flavors) at Sofitel Hotel, Lorimar Vineyards and Winery (a bevy of delicious varietals) L'Ermitage, Skinny Girl® Cocktails & Wines (from vodka, cosmos, margaritas to their new wines) who had an exquisite bar set up and some amazing cocktails at Sofitel Hotel. Chambord also offered beautiful pink cocktail recipes at L'Ermitage and Agave Underground's "Charlie Sheen" with other tequila delights at Eco Oscar event in a private residence in Beverly Hills. Also Reme Martin & Piper-Heidsieck Champagne at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire 
pre-Oscar spa party were exquisitely inviting. The coup de gras for Oscar men was Aleroso Cigars being gifted at the L'Ermitage Suite.

March 08 | April 08 | May 08 | June 08 | July 08 | August 08 | September 08 | October 08 | November 08 | December 08 | January 09 | February 09 | March 09 | April 09 | May 09 | June 09 | July 09 | August 09 | September 09 | October 09 | November 09 | December 09 | January 10 | February 10 | March 10 | April 10 | May 10 | June 10 | July 10 | August 10 | September 10 | October 10 | November 10 | December 10 | January 11 | February 11 | March 11 | April 11 | May 11 | June 11 | July 11 | August 11 | September 11 | October 11 | November 11 | December 11 | January 12 | February 12 | March 12 | May 12 | April 12 | June 12 | July 12 | August 12 | September 12 | October 12 | November 12 | December 12 | January 13 | February 13 | March 13 | April 13 | May 13 | June 13 | July 13 | August 13 | September 13 | October 13 | November 13 | December 13 | January 14 | February 14 | March 14 | April 14 | May 14 | June 14 | July 14 | August 14 | September 14 | October 14 | November 14 | December 14 | January 15 | February 15 | March 15 | April 15 | May 15 | June 15 | July 15 | August 15 | September 15 | October 15 | November 15 | December 15 | January 16 | March 16 | February 16 | April 16 | May 16 | June 16 | July 16 | August 16 | October 16 | September 16 | November 16 | December 16 | January 17 | February 17 | March 17 | April 17 | May 17 | June 17 | July 17 | August 17 | September 17 | October 17 | October 17 | November 17 | December 17 | January 18 | February 18 | March 18 | April 18 | May 18 | June 18 | July 18 | August 18 | September 18 | October 18 | November 18 | December 18 | January 19 | February 19 | March 19 | April 19 | April 19 | May 19 | June 19 | July 19 | August 19 | September 19 | October 19 | November 19 | December 19 | January 20 | February 20 | March 20 | February 08 | January 08

December 07
| November 07 | October 07 | September 07 | August 07 | July 07 | June 07 | May 07
April 07
| March 07 | February 07 | January 07

Dember 06
| November 06 | October 06 | September 06 | August 06 | July 06 | June 06 | May 06
April 06 | March 06 | February 06 | January 06

December 05
| November 05 | October 05 | September 05 | August 05 | July 05 | June 05 | May 05
April 05 | March 05 | February 05 | January 05

© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved