The Sedona International Film Festival presents the Northern Arizona premiere of the award-winning documentary “Living Wine” showing July 16-21 at the Alice Gill-Sheldon Theatre.
“Living Wine” follows the journeys of natural winemakers in Northern California, during the largest wildfire season on record. Equal parts farmer, winemaker, and artist, they stay true to their ideals of creating exceptional wines made through innovative sustainable and regenerative farming and without chemical additives. Eschewing the industrial agricultural practices of the corporate wine industry, our winemakers are healing the very environment they are surviving — a changing climate marked by rising temperatures, shorter growing seasons, and more frequent and virulent wildfires.
We meet our three main subjects and learn about their inspirations, techniques, philosophies and spirituality. In Sonoma, Darek has developed a unique form of compost which eliminates the need for irrigation and commercial fertilizers, while capturing carbon and increasing crop output. In Santa Cruz, Megan farms and makes wine from lesser-known materials not pushed by the corporate industrial wine complex. And in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, we see Gideon teach and make wine with a group of interns, as he is devoted to passing his knowledge and craft onto the next generation.
All three find spiritual meaning through their work — through farming the land and making a product with a greater purpose.
As summer and harvest arrives, conditions take a dangerous turn. Following a damaging heatwave, fire erupts throughout Northern California, the result of record high temperatures and unending drought. All of our winemakers are forced to harvest early under difficult conditions. As they pick grapes from sunrise to sunset, and throughout the night to avoid smoke taint and remove grapes before they “raisin” too early, we feel their exhaustion and determination.
After harvesting, they stomp, taste, press, and taste again, and we witness both the joy and heartbreak of making wine the all-natural way.
Showtimes will be 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 16; 3:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, July 18 and 19; 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20; and 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 21.
Tickets are $12, or $9 for Film Festival members. For tickets and more information, please call 928-282-1177. Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona. For more information, visit: SedonaFilmFestival.org.