Wine Diamonds Trailer

We are proud to release the second official movie trailer for Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America’s Heartland. Please watch, enjoy & Share!

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Official Selection to JDIFF!

JDIFF Official Selection_edited-1The Wine Diamonds team is excited and proud to announce our documentary film “Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America’s Heartland” has been chosen as an Official Selection at the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival and we’ll be showing a “special screening” on Saturday, April 23 (1:30-4pm) at the Dubuque Museum of Art (Dubuque, IA).

Wine Diamonds is a feature-length documentary film about the struggles and opportunities of building a new wine region.

The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival is one of the most important independent film festivals in the Midwest and we are thrilled to be a small part of this big event! Not only is this film festival in our home state and smack-dab right in the middle of where we filmed (Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin), but this event brings in film distributors and buyers and if we can dream big – this is where it begins!

Showing Location: Dubuque Museum of Art – http://dbqart.com/
Time: Saturday, April 23 (1:30-4pm)
Activities: Pre/post wine tasting, Live Music with “Live Broadcast” and Panel Discussion
Tickets: Julien Dubuque International Film Festival – http://bit.ly/1q2wdrS

Appearing in this film:

• Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wines, Kansas City, MO
• Michael Jones, Fermentation Expert, Petaluma, CA
• Lucas McIntire, Instructor and Winemaker at Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, IA
• Steve Larson, Winemaker, Train Wreck Winery, Algona, IA
• Tim Hanni, Master of Wine, Napa, CA
• Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari, PhD, Iowa State University, Director of the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute, Ames, IA
• Drew Horton, Iowa State University, Enology Field Specialist, Ames, IA
• John Marshall, Winemaker, Lake Pepin Winery, Lake City, MN
• Ray Winter, Owner, Indian Island Winery, Janesville, MN
• Robin Partch, Winemaker, Northern Vineyards Winery, Stillwater, MN
• Michael White, Iowa State University, Viticulture Field Specialist, Indianola, IA
• Bob Foster, Director, Mid-American Wine Competition, San Diego, CA
• Mike Drash, Winemaker, Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery, Kasota, MN
• Kent Schwickert, Owner, Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery, Kasota, MN
• William Wyant, Co-Owner, Fireside Winery, Marengo, IA
• Rona Wyant, Co-Owner, Fireside Winery, Marengo, IA
• Lynita Delaney, Partner and Winemaker, Elmaro Vineyard, Trempealeau, WI
• Mark Delaney, Partner and Viticulturalist, Elmaro Vineyard, Trempealeau, WI
• Mark Wenzel, Co-Owner and Winemaker, Illinois Sparkling Co., North Utica, IL
• Nan Bailly, Owner and Winemaker, Alexis Bailly Vineyard, Hastings, MN
• Cassie Bott, Marketing and Events Manager, Fireside Winery, Marengo, IA
• Zach Bott, Winemaker, Fireside Winery, Marengo, IA
• John Burns, Owner and Winemaker, Barrel Head Winery, Dubuque, IA
• Mike Vincent, Owner and Winemaker, Wooden Wheel Vineyards, Keota, IA
• Tracy Drash, Kasota, MN
• Anne Zwink, Winemaker, Solider Creek Winery, Fort Dodge, IA
• Bob Wersen, Owner, Tassel Ridge Winery, Leighton, IA
• Laura Delaney Roessler, Partner and Winemaker, Elmaro Vineyard, Trempealeau, WI
• Todd Roessler, Partner and Marketing Manager, Elmaro Vineyard, Trempealeau, WI
• Dr. Paul Tabor, Owner and Winemaker, Tabor Home Vineyards and Winery, Baldwin, IA
• Mary Hofmann, Co-Owner and Winemaker, White Oak Vineyards, Carlock, IL
• Bill Secor Jr., Owner, Soldier Creek Winery, Fort Dodge, IA
• Ellen Landis, Wine Director and Sommelier Landis Shores Oceanfront Inn, Half Moon Bay, CA
• Lauren Chalupski-Cannon, Midwest Wine Expert, The Secret Cellar, Shueyville, IA
• Josie Boyle, Assistant Winemaker, Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery, Kasota, MN
• Christine Lawlor, Winemaker, Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, Galena, WI

On behalf of the entire Wine Diamonds team we wish to thank Susan Gorrell, Executive Director of the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival for her encouragement and support; John Donovan, former board member of the JDIFF whose help making the event happen is greatly appreciated.

We hope to see many Midwestern winery owners and supporters, independent film fans, and our friends and family at our first public showing on Saturday, April 23!

Cheers,
Brad Johnson

Meet The Sweet Lillies

Sweet_LilliesWe’re neck deep in editing our documentary film right now and still have a few more interviews we want to complete and today we’re in the field filming wintertime scenes at Fireside Winery’s Brickyard Hill Vineyard.  We’ve spent about 12 hours in the editing suite already (with many more to come) and we’re thinking about the soundtrack and songs for our documentary.

Developing the sound and feel for our film is an iterative and creative process involving many artistic people and over the coming months we’ll introduce you to them.  Today, we’d like to welcome The Sweet Lillies to our project!

My good friend, Jennifer Farnum, lives in Colorado and turned me on to a new and exciting band that’s touring and I recently reached out to the band and spoke with Julie Gussaroff (band member, upright bass player and singer/songwriter) and pitched our idea of working with The Sweet Lillies.  They were incredibly warm and receptive and within a couple weeks Julie sent me an early rendition of a song for our documentary film (see YouTube video below; Video courtesy of Che Harness).

The music and soundtrack of our Wine Diamonds movie will give soul to our film and the unfolding process of working with talented artists is inspiring and heartwarming.  We encourage you to check out The Sweet Lillies, like their Facebook page, and support local music!

 

About The Sweet Lillies:  Skyrocketing to the top of the jamgrass scene, The Sweet Lillies’ high-energy, melodic tunes have quickly captured the hearts and music souls of fans in Colorado and beyond. The band, formed a mere one year ago, credits its appeal to the original and compelling songwriting of all four of its members along with the siren-like lead vocals of Alexandra Schwan. The magnetic combination of Alexandra on the guitar, Julie Gussaroff on the upright bass, Becca Bisque on the viola, and Danjo Lynn on the banjo–together with powerful three-part female harmony–give this band a rare and alluring sound. As testament to their appeal, The Sweet Lillies have already shared the stage with the likes of Peter Rowan, Vince Herman, Kyle Hollingsworth, Andy Hall, Bill McKay, Jake Wolf, Dave Abear, Leftover Salmon, Yarn, and Drunken Hearts. Based out of Colorado’s Front Range, The Sweet Lillies are continually expanding their audience and reach, building fan and critic support through an unwavering commitment to creativity, a contagious love of music, and a get-up-and-dance attitude that spreads lots of love and smiles.

DONATE NOW!

Donate now copyIf you’re a fan, enthusiast, lover, supporter or booster of local wine and want to help us make this movie – we want you! Your donation is very important to the success of this film. It takes a lot of time and resources to put together a feature-length documentary movie filmed across six states over the course of a year. In exchange for your generous donation we’ll set you up with some awesome perks! Listed below are just a few of our our perks, check out our IndieGoGo site for more and watch our video:  http://igg.me/at/WineDiamondsFilm

Thank You! ($1) – Thank you so much for supporting Wine Diamonds! You’ve made a statement to the wine world about something that is important to you and your voice will be heard.

Cheers! ($10) – As a booster at the $10 level we’ll give you an online “toast” via Facebook and Twitter, be listed on our “Wall of Fame” on Wine Diamonds website, and receive special email movie updates.

UnCorked! ($25) – At the “UnCorked” contribution level you’ll get a limited edition Wine Diamonds Cork Remover, and we’ll give you an online “toast” via Facebook and Twitter, be listed on our “Wall of Fame” on Wine Diamonds website, and receive special email movie updates.

I Drink Midwest Wine ($50) -You’re a proud advocate of locally made wines! At the “I Drink Midwest Wine” level you’ll get a custom designed Wine Diamonds T-Shirt, plus we’ll give you an online “toast” via Facebook and Twitter, be listed on our “Wall of Fame” on Wine Diamonds website, and receive special email movie updates.

Free Run ($89) – In wine making the free run is the juice that flows before pressing occurs and is thought of as the best of the juice. Free Run contributors get one free Digital Download, 1080p HD download of the feature-length documentary when it’s released! Plus, you’ll get a custom designed Wine Diamonds T-shirt, and we’ll give you an online “toast” via Facebook and Twitter, be listed on our “Wall of Fame” on Wine Diamonds website, and receive special email movie updates.

Check out the Complete List of Perks:  http://igg.me/at/WineDiamondsFilm

Thank you!

Iowa Wine Film – New Insights Gained in Interviews

We are already beginning to pour over all of the timestamped video Kirk shot this past Saturday at the Mid-American Wine Competition and it’s incredibly encouraging.  Talking with the judges and organizers it only re-doubles my passion for the Iowa wine industry and what’s happening all across rural Iowa.

Here are a couple take-away messages from two members of the Iowa wine industry. Randall Voss, PhD (Horticulture Chair and MAWC organizer at Des Moines Area Community College) mentioned to us that viticulture (grape growing) is creating a new perennial agricultural crop, something quite rare in a state known for corn and soybean production.  This idea was echoed by Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari, PhD (Director of the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute and ISU Extension Enologist) when he discussed how grape growing is expanding the agricultural diversity and adding to the rural economy of Iowa.  We’re interested in learning more about these important issues and look forward to future conversations with industry leaders.

Below are some additional photographs taken at the Mid-American Wine Competition.  Enjoy!

This cart contains wine samples for a table of three wine judges. Volunteers busily prepare for each round of wines. This is an incredibly important part of the competition.
Bob and tonya
MAWC Director, Bob Foster and Tonya Wheeler (Volunteer and DMACC employee) discuss the order of wines to be delivered to the judges.
Doug Frost2
Chief Judge, Doug Frost (MS/MW) at his judging table taking notes on a wine he just tasted.
film7
Brad (left) and Kirk (right) quickly review some footage pretending that their photo isn’t being taken. 🙂