After last year’s Mondovino and Sideways, wine will again hit the big screen, this time in a low-budget independent shocker to be shot this summer.

The vineyards of New York’s Finger Lakes wine region will provide the backdrop to Vineyards of Death, an ‘adult-oriented, mystery, action, comedy film’ written and directed by Finger Lakes resident George Boyce.

French actress Sarah Desage, who recently starred in director Spike Lee’s She Hate Me, is said to be starring alongside Boyce, who has cast himself in a main role. Boyce already has film experience, with multiple small roles, and as a broadcaster.

The film revolves around the murder of a winery owner, found dead in his vineyard. His widow (Desage) fights to prove her innocence with the help of a retired NYPD detective (Boyce).

Boyce says he still has not completed the script and is unlikely to have done so prior to shooting.

Shooting in Watkins Glen, also known for its motorsport links and nearby racing circuit, is scheduled to begin in mid-July and although no financial details have been released, it is understood to be a low-budget film with a small cast and crew.

Boyce is currently looking for Watkins Glen residents to lodge the team for his self-styled ‘adult-oriented, mystery, action, comedy film.’ Hosts are likely to be offered roles as extras in the film.

The town lies at the southern tip of 38-mile-long, 3-mile-wide Seneca Lake, whose eastern and western shores are home to the Finger Lakes’ region’s most outstanding winemaking. Seneca’s eastern side, near Watkins Glen, produces exceptional Rieslings and Cabernet Francs.

Vineyards of Death is due for release in spring 2006.

Written by Oliver Styles, and Howard G Goldberg in New York