Are You Ready For The Reality TV Wine Drama? It Is Coming, And May The Best Bottle Win!
Do you like wine? (Argh, with an opening question like that in the wine blog, I probably lost half of my readers on the spot) When you look at the shiny wine bottle in the store with an artfully (or not) designed label, do you know about – better yet, can you vividly imagine – all the hard work which went into making sure that bottle will get to you and [hopefully] will also taste good? Soon, you will get a chance to get to know it first hand and almost experience it – with the help of the big TV. No, I’m not talking about the new Sideways or SOMM – I’m talking about the real winemaking drama taking place in the format of the Reality TV.
10 aspiring winemakers, two teams, two great wine regions. Lots of vineyard and winery chores. Clash of characters. And pain of elimination. Until only two contestants are left to make their best bottle of wine. Then celebrity judges will put an end to it and decide who gets the $100K and opportunity to bottle one vintage under the Best Bottle label. That’s all there is to it. Intrigued? Want to learn more? Great, as I was intrigued too and wanted to learn more when I heard about Best Bottle Reality TV competition series and its kickstarter campaign.
In an effort to learn more, I got an opportunity to interview Scott Krauger, the executive producer of the Best Bottle series – and I would like to share with you our conversation. Oh yes, before we get to the interview, here is the Best Bottle trailer, for you to get an idea of what to expect from the series:
And here is our Q&A:
How did you start your love affair with wine?
In 1993 I was brought on board to help develop the estate vineyard at Archery Summit Winery in Oregon. My mentors Bernard Lacroute and Gary Andrus taught me about the love of wine, showed me how wine is crafted and the terroir. I was exposed to people who had a deep love for wine-making, and through their art and style, learned to craft exceptional wine.
How the idea for Best Bottle was born?
Three years ago I was producing a documentary called Heart of the Vine which highlighted the terroir, Mother Nature, and the vineyard people who craft the wines. I wanted to show how wineries and winemakers express a wine’s location and vintage.
Why California versus Oregon?
First, this show is all about Community (yes, with a capital ‘C’)! Thus the region vs. region. My mentor, Gary Andrus, gave me a huge shot early in my career when he hired me. Gary taught me so much and Community was at the top of the list. So, Best bottle is a celebration of wine regions and those individuals who delicately craft amazing wines for the world to enjoy. Future seasons are planned to expand into a global competition by shooting future seasons in New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, and so on.
What was the selection process to select 10 “aspiring winemaker” contestants?
It really goes to the most entertaining characters with great back drop stories. They have an appreciation and love for making wine. They are artisans, aspiring or established wine makers. This show is used to showcase their skill and art on a world stage.
What makes you think that looking at the winery chores will be attractive enough for the viewers to make it a successful TV program?
With more than 20+ years of experience in the wine industry, it really comes down to the characters we cast for the show. We have exciting episodes planned for 14 seasons. The show takes the contestant and viewers through the wine-making process…”behind the scenes”. We are also demonstrating what happens out in the vineyard and the sale side as well. This all done in an exciting competition/challenge and elimination format.
Will the show be available on YouTube, or would it be a live TV-only program? Where on TV?
We have partnered with Mance Media, our World Wide Distribution agent. They will show case and take this show to VOD and foreign markets. They are already working on establishing the domestic broadcaster and global distribution into other television markets. We’ll also have YouTube clips and other video content highlighting not only the show but supporting aspects…i.e. Interviews and additional content from tasting events at food and wine shows all over the United States.
When the first episode will be coming out?
As you know, the wine industry is dependent on the seasons. Right now we are looking at Harvest of 2014 in the northern hemisphere or Harvest 2015 in the southern.
Do you think this show will be as successful as the movie Sideways? Do you expect your show to change the dynamics of the wine consumer market, as Sideways did for Pinot Noir versus Merlot?
That’s the million dollar question and I’d love to say, “Hell yes!” I do think the show will really showcase the thousands of vineyard and winery workers, who are often the unsung heroes. Everyone remembers the winery owner, but do they even think about the men and women who harvest and process the grapes? Or the many who spend hours blending and tasting to get just the right blend? Best Bottle will open people’s eyes, minds and hearts to the entire Community (there’s that word again).
Can you tell us what wineries will be involved in California and Oregon?
Not yet. That’s still super secret Hollywood stuff. We can say we have commitments for locations, support, and participants.
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Here are some additional links and information for you:
Producers: Scott Krauger, Rob Richards, Matthew Wilson, Annie Tonsiengsom, Matthew Mancinelli
Media contact: Kari Fredheim Karig@geminidigitalfilms.com
Please understand that Best Bottle series needs your support – visit the Kickstarter project page to learn about sponsorship options and use the opportunity to help to create first ever reality TV wine drama. Cheers!