Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Andre: The Voice of Wine - A Film About the Legendary Napa Winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff - Debuts Oct. 9 at Mill Valley Film Festival



The long awaited featured documentary film Andre: The Voice of Wine will receive its North American premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival next month.

The film documents the incredible life story to Andre Tchelistcheff, the man who, more than anyone, influenced Napa Valley vintners on how to make fine wine. A Russian emigre who studied in Paris, he first came to be the winemaker at Beaulieu and later at Mondavi. 

He was a figure of such stature that an entire generation of American winemakers sought his advice. He mentored Mike Grgich (whose winery is a sponsor of the film) and told Jerry Seps to plant zinfandel at Storybook Mountain Vineyard, the Chappellets to plant Cabernet on Pritchard Hill, and the King family to purchase their 1,000 acre estate in southern Oregon. And on and on.

The film was directed by Tchelistcheff's nephew Mark Tchelistcheff, who I met at a Grgich Hills Estate event several years ago when he was fundraising for the project. The film features interviews with Warren Winiarski, Mike Grgich, Robert Mondavi and Francis Ford Coppola, along with famous Italian and French winemakers. 

My old friend and colleague (from when I was more active in the documentary film world) - Michael Chandler - is the consulting editor.

Showtimes are:
  • Monday, Oct. 9 at 6:45 pm
  • Friday, Oct. 13 at 1 pm
  • Saturday, Oct. 14, 6:15 pm
For more info or to purchase tickets (which go on sale to the general public Sept. 17), visit mvff.com.

To learn more about Tchelistcheff, you can read his NYTimes obit here. He is also featured prominently in one of my favorite books, Napa: An American Eden by James Conaway.