Here in California — land of lush vineyards and glamorous Hollywood film production — winery promo videos are pretty much all the same. And they're all lame. Few things are duller than watching someone drink wine and describe the sensations they’re picking up.
There's really no excuse for wineries to keep pumping out mediocre productions since there’s so much of Hollywood talent in wine country — especially now that a small Pennsylvania winery has managed to make the best wine promotional video in history.
Set to the tune of 2pac’s “California Love,” the video is the creation of the husband and wife team of actor Christian Campbell (brother of Neve Campbell) and actress America Olivo (best known for stints on Chicago P.D. and Degrassi — The Next Generation). They've partnered with the Broadway Dreams Foundation, a performing arts education nonprofit that offers youth training in musical theater, to produce a hilarious, Great Gatsby-inspired video for Grace Winery, a mere five-acre estate connected to Sweetwater Farm Bed & Breakfast in Pennsylvania's Brandywine Valley.
Complete with choreographed dancing and 1920s-era costumes, the video stars a cast of seasoned performers who deliver every move and rewritten lyric as if they’re on stage selling wine to the cheap seats. Even the winery’s owner, Chris LeVine (yes, that’s his real name), gets into the mix. He can be spotted strutting through the vineyards, head bobbing as he chomps on underripe grapes.
Compare this to the utterly bland promotional videos for California wineries — even those that feature celebrities. Drew Barrymore’s commercial for her Barrymore blend is full of the vapid dullness that is standard for just about every winery promotional video we've ever seen. (It makes her performance in Adam Sandler’s Blended seem absolutely riveting.)
Even the mildly entertaining promo video for Francis Ford Coppola's winery — which compares making wine to making a movie — tells you absolutely nothing about the wine itself, though that's probably a good thing. Its conclusion? Both wine and movies take time and a lot of money to make. Blech.
By utilizing both an L.A. song (“California Love”) and an L.A. medium (film), Grace Winery has completely schooled Hollywood when it comes to promoting vino in an entertaining and non-stuffy way.
Word is that Nello Olivo Winery in El Dorado, Calif., is preparing its own response video in an attempt to outdo “California Love.” Time for L.A. winery owners to step it up.
Matt Miller is a freelance writer and wine specialist with certifications from SWE, CMS, WSET. You can follow his wine choices on Delectable & he tweets at @lawinewriter Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.