Why You’ll Toast Napa Valley Film Festival’s Opening Night Choice

DLynn Proctor
DLynn Proctor

Photo Credit: Courtesy Napa Valley Film Festival

It’s only fitting that a flick about sommeliers will have its world premiere at the Napa Valley Film Festival, taking place Nov. 11-15 throughout the Valley. Samuel Goldwyn Films and the NVFF today announced that writer/director Jason Wise’s SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE will open the festival’s 5th edition. SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE is Wise’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 2013 acclaimed film SOMM, which provided viewers with an illuminating look into the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers and the massively intimidating Master Sommelier Exam. SOMM also world premiered as the Opening Night Film at the Napa Valley Film Festival, at the festival’s second edition in 2012.

SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE raises the curtain on the seldom-seen world that surrounds the wine we drink by allowing viewers intimate access to the most accomplished sommeliers in the world, as well as to some of the most prestigious winemakers working today.

How many people understand how wine is produced? How it is grown? What goes on in the cellar? From those questions to how many hands touch a bottle, to why wine costs what it costs, this is a never-before-seen look into the world of wine.

By opening some of the world’s most rare bottles of wine, the viewer will understand how a wine ages, what happens in a cellar and exactly what oak in wine means. The film takes a look at how history has impacted wine, from the Romans, to Prohibition, to the World Wars and even current events such as the Napa Earthquake. Through the eyes of the world’s greatest somms and winemakers, we discover that far more than just grapes go into the bottle.

Of course you oenophiles want to know exactly which rare bottles of wine are opened in the movie. We’ll tell you:

2013 Matthiasson, Napa Valley Chardonnay
1969 Dom Ruinart, Champagne
1969 Jean Louis Chave, Hermitage
1962 Clos Ste Hune, Alsace Riesling
1966 Mondavi, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2004 Domaine Romanee Conti Echezeaux, Burgundy
1962 Penfolds Bin 60a, Australian Shiraz
1985 Elio Altare, Barolo
2013 Jean Louis Dutraive, Beaujolais
1870 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Bordeaux

Impressive, isn’t it? We thought so too! Opening night will feature a pair of screenings of SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE. The premiere itself will screen at 5:00pm at the Uptown Theater (1350 3rd St.) in downtown Napa, a historic art deco movie palace serving as the headquarter theater for the festival. Wise, the filmmaker, will be in attendance, as will renowned sommeliers: Brian McClintic, Ian Cauble, Fred Dame, DLynn Proctor and Geoff Kruth, who are featured in the film and were also featured in SOMM. Admission will be granted to members of NVFF’s Patron Circle (memberships available) and other invited VIP guests. A limited number of individual tickets may also be available in advance. An encore screening at 8:30pm at the Uptown Theater will be open to all festival passholders.

NVFF’s Opening Night Party will be held following the premiere screening at Napa’s Riverfront Promenade at the Napa River Inn.

“We were honored in 2012 to host the world premiere of SOMM, so it makes it doubly sweet to be hosting the world premiere of the sequel, SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE,” said NVFF Executive & Artistic Director Marc Lhormer. “If you know and love wine, you know that when you plant a new vineyard, it takes five years until the grapes are good enough to go ‘into the bottle,’ so we’re thrilled to open our fifth annual Napa Valley Film Festival with such a prestigious film. We expect to be drinking some very fine vintages with the visiting sommeliers, our special guests and audiences over five days of the very best film, food and wine.”

Wise, a 2015 Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 Tastemaker, added: “The Napa Valley Film Festival provided an excellent launching pad for SOMM, and I’m very excited to be returning to where it all started with SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE. I could not imagine premiering the film anywhere else, and I am proud to share it with the Napa community.”

Goldwyn plans an early 2016 release for the film. For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/sommdocfilm. For NVFF passes and more information on the festival, please visit: www.nvff.org or call 707-226-7500.