A Year in Port
Arte Institute suggests documentary film, “A Year in Port”, about Porto and the Douro Valley and directed by David Kennard.
United Nations International School
Rhode Island International Film Festival in Providence
August 13 – 4.45 PM
Abou the Film
Time. In modern life, it has become the greatest luxury. Yet no Port exists without it. It is woven into the wine as fundamentally as sun and rain.
A Year in Port is the climax of a trilogy of films beginning with A Year in Burgundy (2013) and A Year in Champagne (2015). With renowned wine importer Martine Saunier as our guide once more, we journey into the magical world of Port with four award-winning winemakers: Symington Family Estates, Taylor Fladgate, Ramos Pinto and Niepoort. And we discover a new family of table wines bursting out from the home of Port, Portugal’s spectacular Douro Valley.
The Douro is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stone engravings bear testament to Paleolithic men and women making their home in these hills 50,000 years ago. The Romans planted vines here and called it the Golden Valley. It’s the oldest official wine appellation in the world. The Port trade is a “modern” development, which got started nearly 400 years ago, and, strangely enough, the British have had a hand in shaping it ever since.
While many think of Port as a drink for old men in the halls of power, it’s not all cricket and a rousing chorus of Rule Britannia — although there’s certainly plenty of that. In Oporto and up in the Douro, we discover Port’s earthier roots in the grim granite, and its more sensual side, from traditional folk dancing to Saint’s Day festivals that keep people carousing in the streets all night long – for three days.
We explore the mysteries of vineyards planted on near-vertical hills through which the Douro River winds its way. There are more than 400 native grape varieties, sometimes 30 or more varietals mixed together in the same vineyard. These grapes may hold the key to the region’s future, as a host of young wine-makers are starting to produce new Douro table wines, that are winning international acclaim.
But the most precious nectar created here is still Port. You may need to find village farmers who own less than an acre of very special grapes. You need local vineyard workers who know the old ways, who pick the grapes and stomp them with their bare feet in great stone tanks to the same rhythm that their ancestors knew. You need ancient barrels and apothecary’s jars filled with wines made throughout the last century to enrich your stock. And then you need a Master Blender, who reaches back through the years, selecting from more than 100 years of wine, to find just the right palette of flavors to create a world-beating blend. Finally, you wait until that blend matures, and is ready for the market. Time – and patience– is what makes Port.
A Year in Port is written and directed by David Kennard, created by InCA Productions and Executive Produced by Ruppert International, Inc. It will be distributed worldwide by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
A YEAR IN PORT is launched for sale or download on iTunes on Tuesday September 6.