Punkovino, by Tina Meyer and Yoann Le Gruiec
In ten super-energetic episodes, the Punkovino web series shows a gallery of portraits of winemakers who swear only by natural wine. To pay tribute to their full-on punk spirit, a dozen musicians were invited to reinterpret their cuvées.
Punkovino was imagined by Tina Meyer, a food and wine journalist who has worked with Le Fooding, France 5 or Marie Claire. With assistance from the Iko production company and Arte Creative, she tasked Yoann Le Gruiec with directing it. Together they filmed in Belgium, Georgia, the Balearic islands and several regions in France. Their gamble: make the link between portraits of wildly nonconformist winemakers, and improvised musical synaesthesia by musicians like Flavien Berger or Arnaud Rebotini. Each to their own, as such they reinterpret natural wine crus to create the soundtrack.
Each of the ten episodes of Punkovino opens on a question as a provocation: can you make wine in a city? Winemaker, for the upper class? For women? By way of reply, a cast of punks who make natural wine, living and with no filters, and who resolutely refuse diktats of traditional winemaking. “I’m not a winemaker, I’m an intuitionvator”, declares the anarchist Alban Michel, who harvests his grapes in the Corbières. Eloi from Tarragona chooses to give up a prestigious local appellation and talk of a “table wine” in his precious Château Paquita. The episodes are edited at a frenetic pace, lasting barely seven minutes, always ended in music. As such each wine bottle is tasted then reinterpreted by a group or a musician as joyful “winaesthesia”.
No gods, not masters
Punkovino is a project that journalist Tina Meyer had been working on for several years. Filming took three months. During this very tight period, the team visited ten French, Georgian, Belgian or Italian winemakers. This frenetic rhythm is picked up in the very short episodes, and needed major editing to capture the punk energy running through these wines and their creators. Through this meeting between wine and music, Tina Meyer wanted to underline the libertarian state of mind and search for spontaneity that all those she met have. The series' title, Punkovino, is a tribute to the film Mondovino, by Jonathan Nossiter, which already had an ironic and disillusioned look at the world of wine.
The intuition Internationale
Far from limiting itself to French terroirs, the Punkovino web series opens with the diversity of techniques used all over Europe to obtain “wild” wines, opposite to the sector’s industrialisation. In Georgia, the winemaker Keti makes a place for herself in a world of men, by taking on the ancestral kvevri, enormous amphora which are buried to macerate the wine. In Bavaria, Michael Voelker uses bat guano as fertiliser for his “Batman” cuvée. Servaas Blockeel, is the only natural wine producer in Belgium, and doesn't hesitate to surround his vines with large coppices to keep his neighbours’ pesticides away. The protagonists in Punkovino are all radically different, but nevertheless share the same passion: wine in all its forms, with no scruples.
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