Wine Diamonds Posters

We’re excited to be attending the Iowa Wine Grower Association’s annual conference to show off our new promotional piece, chat about our film, shoot footage, and talk/drink wine.  Here are two of the movie posters we’ll be raffling off!  What do you think?

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Poster_Wine_Diamonds_Grapes

 

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Flight of the Corks!

Flight of the Corks copyOur team will be attending the Iowa Wine Growers Association’s annual conference to interview industry officials and winery owners.  On Friday night we’ll shoot the “Flight of the Corks.”

A first of its kind Iowa “cork flight” record attempt is slated for Friday, February 27th (7pm) on the campus of Kirkwood Community College. Sparkling winemakers of Iowa have accepted the challenge for the first “Flight of the Corks” record attempt during the annual Iowa Wine Growers Conference in Cedar Rapids.

There is effervescence among some Iowa winemakers, a bubbly personality motivating them to craft exceptional wines, and a growing trend to create traditional method champagne style wines of incredible quality. The traditional method of creating sparkling wines (known as Champagne in the Champagne region of France) is a slow, time consuming process requiring patience and yielding some of the finest bubbly wines in the world.

“Some Iowa winemakers have recognized the grapes grown in the region are particularly well suited for sparkling wine production,” said Lucas McIntire, Kirkwood Community College enology and viticulture instructor and winemaker at the Winery at Kirkwood, “and the sparkling wines we’re making are gaining international attention.”

John Burns, owner and winemaker of Barrel Head Winery (Dubuque, IA) makes traditional method sparkling wines from grapes grown in his own estate vineyard. John’s 2012 bubbly, called Tomcat (named after his pet cat, Tom) won international recognition at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, going head-to-head with sparklers from around the world, earning top honors – a double gold medal, one of only two awarded.

“This is an occasion for Iowa sparkling winemakers to have a little competitive fun to see whose corks can fly the farthest,” said John, “and the only prize is the satisfaction of having won.”

In the two-round Cork Flight event, sparkling winemakers of Iowa will shoot their corks from a fixed table inside Washington Hall (Kirkwood Community College). Judges will measure each flight and the winner will be announced after the final cork has launched. The Friday, February 27th event will begin at 7pm and the public is invited to attend and are encouraged to arrive by 6:45pm.

Wine Diamonds Documentary Update: Feb. 17, 2015

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Shooting a final segment for our pitch.

Another cold-snap is upon us in the upper Midwest and with temperatures below zero tonight and wind chills between -20 to -35 we’re thankful for cold-hardy grapes.  During the past couple of months we’ve been juggling our filming for our pitch piece (our fundraising video), organizing and applying for our LLC, and setting up “Perks” (and asking some of our winery friends to donate) and in less than 2 weeks we’ll be at the Iowa Wine Grower Association‘s annual conference in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Our team will film an Iowa record attempt for the “Flight ofFlight of the Corks copy the Corks” to see which of Iowa’s sparkling wine makers can shoot their cork the farthest.  Prize?  Braggin’ rights!  That’ll be fun.  On Saturday, February 28th our entire team will be at the Hotel at Kirkwood to meet and interview conference attendees (winery and vineyard owners, presenters, and vendors) all day.  Make sure to stop by to say hi (or if we haven’t met, introduce yourself).

Thanks to the IWGA leadership Wine Diamonds will also have a vendor table and we’ll be there to run our 6 minute promotional video – so you can see, first hand, how awesome it’s going to be and even help out by making a donation.   This is the perfect time to ask us any question you may have.

We’re putting a lot of time, energy and resources into this film and our goal is to enter this film into film festivals, seek out a distribution deal, and be able to sell this feature length film to lovers of locally crafted Midwest wines.  Like the wine makers of the Midwest we’ve set ourselves major goals and look forward to showcasing our industry around the country!

Cheers!

Barrel Head Winery

Every winery I visit and each wine I taste I’m transported back to wine school and the time in my sensory analysis class when my instructor Paul Gospodarczyk (formerly of Des Moines Community College’s Enology program, now executive director of Today’s Wine Professional) quietly, and individually, whisked away students.  Thinking it odd at the time but not giving too much thought to it until Paul tapped my shoulder and led me away to a separate classroom where I was seated in front of three wine industry professionals (sommeliers and other similarly knowledgeable folks).  Seated facing my judges and placed in front of me were two glasses of wine.  My task: identify the wine varietal, geographic region where it was grown, year, and winery.

Frequently when visiting wineries I’m asked to play the game of “guess what’s in the glass?”  Maybe a little stressful, but always fun to taste great wines and talk winemaking.

On this past Friday, both Kirk (producer and director of photography) and I drove to the outskirts of Dubuque, IA to the winery of John Burns (Barrel Head Winery – Facebook Page).  This winery has been on my radar for several years.  Some of the grapes, particularly the red wine grapes of the previous generation, have the tendency for vegetal (or green or earthy) characteristics.  In fact, our winemaking friends even came up with a term to describe the special characteristic of Marechal Foch (cold hardy red wine grape) as the “Foch Funk.”  Very few winemakers have the skill necessary to tame the “Funk,” however, John Burns has unlocked the secret code to Foch.

Barrel Head Winery is always a treat to visit.  John is an fascinating character, passionate winemaker, and one of the most generous people in the business.  Kirk and I planned our stop to coincide with the disgorging of John’s newest sparkling wine: Tomcat (2014).  We followed along (and actually got to disgorge a bottle for ourselves) talking wine and eventually sat down for a more formal interview after a few hours of filming.

We filmed, enjoyed some brats, and sampled some very exceptional wines and before leaving John poured a sample of one of his latest creations.  Of course, “guess what’s in the glass?” asked John.  My answer: St. Croix, Marechal Foch..(dramatic pause)…and Frontenac.  I should have just answered: Awesomeness!

Frankly, I’m a fan of all his wines but if I had to pick one that really makes my heart leap: Tomcat, the sparkling wine (made via the traditional method).  Highly Recommended.

Here are some photos from our trip:

Barrel Head Winery
Don’t let the modest exterior fool ya. There is some fantastic wines inside!
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Kirk disgorging the new sparkling Tomcat as John looks on.
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Brad takes time to mug the camera..showing off a bottle of Tomcat
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At the end of the day we sit down with owner/winemaker John Burns for a wonderful interview.