Wine Judge Daryl Groom on Wine Evaluation

This past July we were fortunate enough to be welcomed at the Mid-American Wine Competition (on the campus of Des Moines Area Community College) to film and interview the competition organizers, judges and volunteers. Throughout the day we were given full access to film the judges in action and at one point we asked wine judge Daryl Groom, owner/winemaker of Groom Wines) to describe how he typically judges a flight of wines in competition. His comments are interesting, informative and it is clear he is passionate about the wines of the Midwest. Please take the 7 minutes to watch this short film and share it with your friends.

The Wine Diamonds Team


“On-the-Road” at Tassel Ridge Winery (video)

Please read my disclaimer first: Okay…this isn’t my (Brad’s) best work so a little background about our shoot at Tassel Ridge Winery. For this shoot we’d woke up at 2am, drove about 2 hours, shot footage for 8 hours and decided to try this (our first “on the road” segment on the fly). So please try to overlook my bad take. 🙂 Cheers!

Baby it’s cold!!

One day it was 60 degrees and I was outside scrapping and painting the west side of my house and the next day it was 20 and, now after nearly two weeks, the ground is covered with snow and the temperature struggles to reach a balmy 15 degrees.  That’s life in the heartland.

Amy Promise LandWhile our vineyards rest we work.  Our winery friends are busy with holiday events and sales and managing the quiet cellar.  The Wine Diamonds team is busy processing footage we’ve shot since summer.  In fact, Kirk sent me (Brad) several new files, each one about an hour long, to view and notate.  My job is to review the footage, identify and code pertinent information throughout the roll I’m viewing, and then identify and transcribe the best of the best quotes (or images) we might want to use later.  It’s a slow process.  For about each hour of film it takes somewhere between 3-4 hours to “scrub” the footage.

One another note, our friends at Midwest Wine Press, an online wine industry news site, recently posted a story about our film and as a result we’ve received several notes of interest from wineries across the region.  Also, our good friend Mike White (Iowa State University Extension) gave us a mention in his weekly newsletter providing us additional exposure.  Thanks to Mark (MWP) and Mike White!

A couple weeks ago my good friend and wine expert, Penny Fitzgerald, connected us with Rob Barnett, owner of VinVillage and Vin Village Radio.  I snagged the following from their website: “VinVillage is an exclusive lifestyle organization for wine and food lovers. VinVillage lets its members create locally based social wine groups to connect them with other “like-minded” wine lovers in their home towns and around the country, bringing the membership together with a fun and exciting local and online “wine life-style” experience offering unique and exclusive wines, events, products and services. And best yet, membership is free!”

Rob and I chatted recently about having us on his national radio program.  We discussed our film and I learned about his operation and his involvement with the wine-related film industry.  We’re excited to get on his program but we’ve decided to wait until we’re ready to launch our fundraising program so our national audience can help us! 🙂  Sounds great!

Thanks for following our progress and please remember to share us with your wine friends!


Iowa Wine Trail

We visited three Iowa Wine Trail wineries during the day yesterday (November 1st) for their 10th annual Fall event.  Our day began early (and cool, about 20 degrees) and we visited Park Farm Winery, PromiseLand Winery, and Eagles Landing Winery.

Our goal was to meet with the families, get interview footage if possible, shoot some b-roll, and work on our “Pitch” piece.  We had a very good day!  After spending 12 hours away from home we were able to get some amazing interview footage, taste some exceptional wines and food (bonus!), get some beautiful b-roll images and we even made progress on our pitch.

Here are a few photos from yesterday:

Park Farm Winery
Dave Cushman, winemaker, takes the little ones to his nearby home.
Everybody pitching in!
Kirk shooting the exterior
PromiseLand Winery (near Guttenberg, IA)
Busy tasting room.
Pouring a sample.
Seasonal wine (Oktoberfest) coming soon!
The delicious Oktoberfest at Eagles Landing Winery (Marquette, IA)