Vintage: The Winemaker's Year is an educational and highly entertaining documentary about several Charlottesville-area wineries, which takes place over one year of winemaking - from bud break to bottling. The winery owners and winemakers share their thoughts about the rise in popularity of Virginia wine, and several are philosophical about what makes Virginia different from other wine growing regions, particularly California.
The Charlottesville region is spotlighted because that is the birthplace of "VA Vino." The documentary includes sweeping aerial shots of the vineyards usually reserved for Hollywood productions. After watching the 90 minute documentary and listening to the winemakers and vineyard owners analyze their chosen professions and the industry in the state, you feel as if you've spent a few hours at all the wineries featured.
Not every winery in the Monticello AVA is featured, but a good representation, including White Hall Vineyards, Pollak Vineyards, Veritas Vineyards, and Cardinal Point Winery. Featured prominently in the documentary is Gabriele Rausse, whose been involved in the Virginia wine scene since its infancy (1976), and whom many call the "Second Founding Father" of wine in the state (after Thomas Jefferson, of course). Gabriele Rausse does not have a winery open to the public, but you can find his wines in wine shops throughout the state, as well as wine festivals. His wine is definitely a must-try; Old World style and incredibly smooth and tasty.
Anyone with even a passing interest in the booming Virginia wine scene should check this documentary out - for the price of a bottle of Virginia wine, it can be yours. Click here for how to get it.