American Wine Story
Wine Spectator says, "American Wine Story is a fascinating, gritty and ultimately bittersweet movie about the people who give up their day jobs to make wine".
After an upstart winemaker's untimely death, his sister steps in to try and save his fledgling winery for his eight-year-old son: American Wine Story blends the story of Brooks with other tales of risk and reinvention in the American Wine Industry.
Featuring winemakers ranging from luminaries to newcomers, American Wine Story is an inspiriing feature documentary about those who chase their American Dreams with a bottle in one hand and a corkscrew in the other.
Filmed in CA, OR, AZ, WA, VA, MO, KS and featuring dramatic vineyard and aerial cinematography, the film is a visual feast for wine aficiaonados or anyone who's been tempted to travel the road less taken.
Click here for the official website.
Run Time: 78 minutes
Film Festivals and Other Showings As of April 1st....more to come!
2015 Screenings to date
Loft Cinema, Tucson, AZ, February 10
Film Bar, Phoenix, AZ, February 11
World of Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CA, March 6-7
Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA, May 2
April 6 River Bend Film Festival, South Bend Indiana
April 26, 28, 30 Newport Beach Film Festival, Newport Beach CA
May 29-June 1 Mendocino Film Festival, Mendocino CA
June 14 Standard Market, Chicago IL Check back for more information
July 24 Pre IPNC Event, Evergreen Aviation Museum and IMAX, McMinnville, Oregon Check back for more information
September 17 La Costa Film Festival, Carlsbad CA
September 18 Newport Film, Newport RI
September 27 Raven Theater, Healdsburg CA
October 10 Bend Film, Old Stone Chuch, Bend OR
October 11 Bend Film, Tower Theater, Bend OR
October 11 Capitol City Cinema, Jefferson City MO
October 16 Alabama Theater, Birmingham AL
October 18 Carmel Film Festival, Carmel CA
November 11 American Heart Association Benefit, Washington D.C. Check back for more information
If you are interested in hosting a viewing, please email email@example.com
How It Happened
A little less than two years ago, I was approached by a film company called Three Crows Media. They were filming a movie called “American Wine Story” about why people leave their day jobs to risk following their dreams by entering the wine industry and over the course of interviewing many winemakers and growers, they kept hearing about the story of Jimi Brooks. After meeting with them and hearing their plans, I said that we would be willing to participate.
Since then, Pascal, Chris, my husband, David, and I have been interviewed many times. The crew even came down to Pebble Beach to see "the other side" of my life. They’ve been up to Oregon to get footage of harvest, bottling and the vineyard, and when they asked if there were others to interview about our story, we sent them to our extended Oregon wine “family”. They collected photos and videos along with the memories, and were immersed in the influence Jimi’s life has had in the Oregon wine world
Knowing there were many other stories around the country they wanted to capture, I wasn't quite sure how the Brooks story would be told and to what extent. About three months ago, I was sent the following trailer: Click here to watch. If the trailer was any indication, it looked as if our story would be featured prominently in the movie.
Early last November while I was in Oregon, the film producers asked if I was available for a screening at a theater in Salem. “Sure” I said, so off Heather, Chris and I went to watch a rough cut of “American Wine Story” on a Friday morning.
From the opening scene I was speechless.....the first person that you hear and see is Pascal. He and I are the opening moments of the movie before it moves to other winemakers. As I continued to watch, I slowly overcame my initial shock and loved hearing the stories of so many others and what led them to follow their dreams. The stories were heartfelt and inspiring for sure.
A new scene started and it was an introduction to my brother, Jimi, and how he found his way to the wine industry. For the next half hour, the movie was completely focused on Jimi and the story of Brooks. I was quickly reminded that in true "Janie fashion", I had laid my heart out before the camera. It was all so honest and so very personal and so very in-the-moment; I felt very exposed watching this on a screen. And it wasn't just me who spoke from the heart with love, honesty, and sadness for my brother and our journey, but so did Pascal, along with Jimi's closest friends and colleagues. It made me cry.
I’ve now had a little time to process my thoughts and emotions about the film, and it’s clear that American Wine Story is the most amazing tribute to my brother and his legacy that we will probably ever know. It is honest, it is direct, and it is beautifully done!
Three Crows Media has begun pursuing ways bring their film to a broader audience. Rough cuts have been submitted to Film Festivals across the United States and the film’s producers are actively seeking distribution. The film is now in its final editing stages and a kickstarter campaign was started today to complete the film (a link can be found here). We hope you will consider supporting this film as I would love my brother's story to be told far and wide, so perhaps his legacy will continue to inspire others who want to make a change in their lives. And please know, Brooks has no financial interest in the film itself.
Brooks is already working on hosting screenings of this film throughout the country later once it’s finished, and we hope you will join us. And if you’re not nearby one of our viewing party locations, at some point down the road, it will be available on DVD to watch in the comfort of your own home, ideally with friends and with a glass of Brooks wine in your hand.
Regardless of its ultimate destiny, “American Wine Story” will always be a part of our family and our winery. Close to TEN years after Jimi’s passing, his story is still being told and is influencing others. It’s a remarkable story and this movie gives a good look at just what a remarkable person Jimi Brooks was.
Wineries/Media in the Film:
Oregon: Brooks, Chehalem, Ransom Spirits, Boedecker, Bull Run Distillery, Airlie, Scott Paul, Erath, Panache Cellars, A to Z/Rex Hill
California: Carlisle, Cartograph
Virginia: Barboursville Vineyards, Monticello Vineyards, Keswick Vineyards
Arizona: Dos Cabezas
Katherine Cole, Author Voodoo Vintners and Complete Wine Selector
Jay Selman, Grape Radio
The Washington Post's wine columnist, Dave McIntyre, touches on American Wine Story. Click here to read
Wine Spectator, Harvey Steiman, loves American Wine Story! Click here to read
Great L.A. Times Article about the movie! Click here to read