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First Big Crush to be made into a film

A team of New Zealand filmmakers is set to make a film about a journalist’s first winemaking experiences in Marlborough.

First Big Crush: The Down and Dirty on Making Great Wine Down Under, published in 2007, recounts a year in the life of US journalist Eric Arnold as he sets out to make wine in New Zealand.

Arriving at the Allen Scott winery in Marlborough, Arnold doesn’t know his Pinot Noir from his Pinot Grigio, let alone the first thing about carbonic maceration and secondary fermentaion.

The book charts his wine education, from pruning and pressing, to bottling, broken up with tales of pig hunting and rowdy drinking sessions with the locals.

‘As a New Zealander, I feel the down and dirty view of the industry here will make for compelling viewing’, said project leader Ben Ruffell.

Arnold, who worked as an editor at Wine Spectator after writing the book and is currently an editor at Forbes, said he was ‘thrilled’ Ben had taken on the project.

‘He and his partners share the vision of telling a story that truly conveys the rugged, rural lifestyle of New Zealand winemaking. Which, I suppose means they appreciate gross-out humour as much as I do’, Arnold added.

The production team is currently searching for a screenwriter.

Written by Lucy Shaw

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