The drought in California has brought to the surface tensions that have been brewing for some time over water use and wine. As northern Chilean vineyards shut down due to lack of water there, all over California, drought ranks as one of the top concerns on the minds of farmers, grape growers and everyone who lives here.
The Russian River runs through wine country in Mendocino and Sonoma counties and is the main source of water (along with groundwater) for growers and vintners. There are more than 60,000 acres in vine in Sonoma and 16,000 in Mendocino. Very little is dry farmed and almost all growers use water for frost protection.
Though the river plays a starring role in the vitality of the region, it has never been the subject of a feature length documentary before. Now its turn in the spotlight has come, as local Sonoma folks have put together what looks like a very fine film, judging from the trailer.
Here's a taste of what's to come at local premiere events in Napa and Marin counties.
It's playing March 4 in St. Helena at the Cameo Cinema in an event sponsored by the local Sierra Club.
It will also play March 12 at the Rafael Theater in San Rafael at a special screening with the filmmakers in attendance.