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Sunday, 16 February 2014
Mondovino Director Releases Natural Wine Documentary
Ten years after "Mondovino" mocked Michel Rolland, Robert Parker and
Robert Mondavi, director Jonathan Nossiter is back on the wine trail,
this time in Italy
The director of the controversial but highly acclaimed documentary
Mondovino is back with a new film, celebrating natural wine producers in
Jonathan Nossiter's “Natural Resistance,” premiering at this week’s
Berlin Film Festival, follows four winemakers in Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna
While “Natural Resistance” is about wine, it is not intended to be a
sequel to “Mondovino,” according to Nossiter. However, it’s likely to
ruffle a few feathers. Not only does it extol the virtues of so-called
"natural wine" – a term that has no agreed definition – it attacks the
country’s quality system, the denominazione di origine controllata
(DOC), as well as conventional grape growing methods.
“Natural Resistance” is “the most joyful and optimistic film I have
ever made," said Nossiter. But the introduction to the 86-minute
documentary, published in the Berlin Film Festival brochure, will
displease many Italian wine producers within the country’s DOC system:
“What looks like a bucolic paradise, where intelligent people produce
wine according to time-honored and organic methods, is actually revealed
to be a battleground. The DOC association, which is supposed to look
after the interests of independent vintners, promotes winemakers who
produce vast amounts in a standardized quality; and the agricultural
industry with its hygiene regulations excludes traditional methods of
It adds: “The only thing saving the landscape from being totally
destroyed is affluent foreigners using the old vineyards as summer
In an interview with Nossiter at the festival, he discussed the stars of the film: Giovanna Tiezzi of Pacina estate in Tuscany, Elena Pantaleoni of La Stoppa in Emilia Romagna and Stefano Bellotti, owner and winemaker of Piedmont's Cascina degli Ulivi.
“These people are pacifist rebels, who have been able to offer positive
role models, who have thought about how to rethink the world, how to
operate a moral resistance to a system that no longer works, finding a
way to survive, to live,” he said.
Bellotti has produced natural wines for 25 years. “He is someone who
is not afraid of anyone, who speaks freely and every thought has an
ethical and political sense,” said Nossiter. Natural wine producers, according to Nossiter, “are a model of ethical, political and human success” and a message of hope.
“Neither one is like the other, their wines are not alike, but they
have found common ground. Their common value is: freedom for oneself and
respect for others,” he added.