VINTAGE is a feature documentary film which focuses on how wine is produced during the annual vintage period through the eyes of a naïve cellarhand who travels from the USA to Australia as a flying winemaker to complete a vintage. The film gathers the perspectives of other winery and vineyard crew members from one winery in South Australia’s internationally acclaimed Barossa Valley. The scene is set at Seppeltsfield, an iconic wine estate and hallowed name in Australian wine, which features the oldest and largest working gravity flow winery in the country.
Not only does VINTAGE document life as a cellarhand during vintage, it also offers candid glimpses into an industry that many people perceive to be filled with snobbery and elitism, when reality couldn’t be further from the truth. With everyone’s hands permanently stained purple by the end of vintage, the camaraderie and shared passion is palpable as exhausted workers gather together every day for 8-12 weeks to undertake the physically demanding work. The film follows the process and emphasises that the work continues non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until every grape is crushed and transformed into wine. The effect of the gruelling schedule sees tempers fray and nerves tested, however a genuine sense of community prevails to see them through the tough times together. Gradually viewers will get to appreciate exactly what it takes to convert raw grapes into glorious bottles of red that grace the finest dining tables.