Chateau Chunder, a new film taking a tongue-in-cheek look at the rise of Australian wine premieres in Australia next week.
‘The message says, Beware’: Chateau Chunder
Chateau Chunder: A Wine Revolution, is the latest in a string of wine films – comedies such as Sideways, true-life fiction like Bottle Shock, documentaries such as Mondovino, A Year in Burgundy and the soon-to-be-released Somm.
‘Chateau Chunder truly opens up the sluices at both ends,’ declares the 1972 Monty Python sketch used to open Stephen Oliver’s new film.
‘There’s a message in the bottle, and the message says beware,’ Python’s Australian Table Wines skit continues.
Yet, according to Oliver, it was complacent winemakers in the stuffy halls of Bordeaux and bedraggled vineyards of Europe that really needed to be wary.
Oliver charts the arrival of Australian wine on the global stage, from Python’s ‘Sydney Syrup’ to world-beating Shiraz.
It also shows the fallout elsewhere, in what appear in the trailer to be clips of masked wine militants in southern France cracking open vats of wine.
Although far from new, Languedoc-Roussillon saw a spate of attacks on foreign wine installations in the early part of this century, as Australia overtook France to be the leading wine supplier to the UK.
‘It’s the biggest question in the history of wine,’ says Rebecca Front, of comedy show The Thick of It, in a voiceover during the film’s trailer.
Her voice is followed by appearances from high-profile wine names, including Jancis Robinson MW, Oz Clarke and Robert Joseph. Alongside this, images of blokes downing frothy beers are exchanged for attractive young women sipping wine.
Oliver’s film will be first shown on Australia’s ABC1 channel on 30 October. It is scheduled to be shown on BBC4 in the UK on 13 November.
Written by Chris Mercer