Today is the beginning of the 2018 Hospice de Beaune weekend. It’s also the worldwide release day for the documentary film Three Days of Glory.
I got a chance to get a sneak preview of the film that was produced and directed by Scott Wright of Caveau Selections and filmmaker David Baker. As I’ll explain below, it’s a must watch for wine students and Burgundy lovers.
But first, a teaser from the trailer.
What is Burgundy?
This is a central theme of the film. It follows the journey of several Burgundian producers, including Thiébault Huber of Domaine Huber-Verdereau in Volnay, Patrick Essa of Domaine Buisson-Charles in Meursault and Thierry Violot-Guillemard in Pommard, as they deal with the devastating April frost and numerous curve balls that the 2016 vintage threw at vignerons.
While grappling with the complications of the present, the vignerons (along with other voices like Burgundy expert Allen Meadows of Burghound and Scott Wright himself) contemplate their place in the traditions of Burgundy as well as the role they play in shaping the future of their families’ domaines.
The Human Element
What is exceptional about Three Days of Glory is that it really highlights what Wright calls “the human element” of Burgundy’s story. Every wine book you pick up about Burgundy will spend gallons of ink in exposition of terroir. That is irrefutably a huge part of Burgundy.
But the hands that put Burgundy’s story to paper, that shepherd the fruits of terroir to the glass, are the hands of the men and women who work the land.
Their heartbreaks, their struggles and, indeed, their glories are intimately connected. Against the backdrop of this troublesome vintage, Wright and Baker give viewers a chance to learn about what makes Burgundy, Burgundy in ways that you can’t gleam from a book or bottle.
Coupled with the film’s beautiful cinematography, watching Three Days of Glory is the next best thing to visiting Burgundy itself when it comes to understanding the region and its wines.
While the film is playing in selected theaters, you can rent Three Days of Glory at home on iTunes for only $4.99. That’s well worth it for a date night with a nice bottle curled up on the couch.
The Hospice de Beaune — 3 Days of Glory and Wine
The title of the film refers to the Les Trois Glorieuses, the 3 day celebration around Hospice de Beaune weekend that happens every November. Regardless of the success or struggles of the year’s vintage, the Burgundians celebrate the end of harvest with events such as the famous Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin dinner at Clos de Vougeot, the La Paulée de Meursault luncheon and the Hospice de Beaune wine auction conducted by Christie’s.
While you have to be a Burgundy insider to attend most any of these events, if you have deep pockets, you can visit Christie’s website on Sunday to make a bid. The time listed is 2:30 pm. I’m not sure if that’s London or Beaune time so I would recommend folks on the West Coast US to set their alarm for 5 am if they want to be part of the action.
Or, like me, you can live vicariously through Three Days of Glory as they showcase the auction and festivities around the weekend.
It’s near impossible to watch Three Days of Glory without wanting to try the wines of the producers featured. So right after you finish, you can do what I did and head over to the Caveau Selections site.
There you’ll find a little bit of back story about Scott Wright and his wife, Martha, who started their import firm in 2005. Prior to getting into the import business, the Wrights founded Scott Paul Winery in the Willamette Valley. Scott also worked several years with the Drouhin family as director of Domaine Drouhin Oregon.
Not only do they have available wines from many of the domaines featured in the film (including from the 2016 vintage), they also have an awesome selection of Grower Champagne. I particularly flipped when I saw Laherte Frères (an insanely good Pinot Meunier specialist) and Pertois-Moriset (great blanc de blanc grower from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger).
I haven’t decided if I want to join their curated wine clubs yet but it’s clear that the Wrights have a passion for seeking out exceptional growers to feature. While I greatly enjoyed watching Three Days of Glory, I think the discovery of the portfolio of Caveau Selections is going to be delighting me for years to come.