Saturday, March 06, 2010

Star-struck in the Winelands

Published by at 8:28 am under News

Mike Ratcliffe as Robert Downey.
AMERICAN magazine Wine Spectator has been having a bit of late by comparing wines to actors. All this with coming Sunday’s Oscar awards in mind. The magazine’s tasting panel has selected ten wines, across five categories, each of which suitably ‘personifies’ the nominee, and, by implication, the role he or she plays in the movie.
 Stellenbosch’s Warwick Wine Estate was in the limelight on the red carpet this week after receiving an impressive 90 points by Wine Spectator, says a media release. “In addition to this affirmation, Wine Spectator has nominated Warwick’s Sauvignon Blanc, Professor Black 2009, for Best Supporting Actor.  
 “Spotlighted for his supporting role as François Pienaar in the apartheid-rugby-allegory film, Invictus, is the handsome, charismatic and refined Matt Damon. Wine Spectator decided that a bright South African star – Pienaar, immortalized by Damon – commanded a bright wine with the same stellar constitution. The crisp, tropicality and liveliness – coupled with a long floral finish – of Professor Black, made this luscious wine the obvious choice for the Best Supporting Actor role.”
 No mention is being made however on rumours of another Hollywood production heading for South African shores, this time to film a script by Michael van Niekerk depicting the rise of the country’s wine industry post 1990. Using the Stellenbosch winelands as a backdrop, the story tells of five wineries’ vision and energy in using South Africa’s liberated status to launch the nations wines internationally. Strong personalities and a few dramatic events make, according to Van Niekerk’s publicist, for a terrific storyline. “No title has been finalise, but we might as well ride on Clint Eastwood’s recent success and call the movie InVino,” the publicist said.

WOSA, Shirely??
WOSA, Shirley?
 Although casting has to be finalized, movie insiders reckon that Mike Ratcliffe, Warwick’s marketing dynamo and industry young-gun who is a character in InVino, is set to be played by either Robert Downey Jr or Ralph Fiennes. Steve Martin is a shoe-in to play colourful restaurateur turned winemaker Ken Forrester, while Shirley MacLaine is keen to take-on the role of Wosa whizz Su Birch.
 So who knows….perhaps the SA wine industry will make it all the way to the red carpet next year.

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