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A GOOD YEAR

About The Production
In describing the allure of Provence, author Peter Mayle notes the area has three hundred days of sunshine a year, stunning scenery, remarkably unspoiled countryside, and extraordinary light. "You don't find that light in many other places in the world. I like the pace of life down here. It imposes a certain rhythm on you, which, when you get used to it, is very pleasant. I feel at home here.”

"I loved waking up in Provence,” adds Russell Crowe, who lived there for two months during production. "There's something extra special about this particular valley, the Luberon. I think it's got to do with its fertility. The light there is very similar to Australia -- the blues, the pinks and the oranges in the sky. I felt very comfortable there.”

"I loved shooting in Provence…it's just so beautiful!” adds Ridley Scott, who has owned a vacation home and operated a vineyard there for fifteen years, but hadn't filmed in France since his debut feature, "The Duelists,” almost thirty years ago. "This shoot was one of my most pleasant experiences.”

Provence itself dates back to 600 B.C., when Phocaean Greeks settled in Massalia, now modern-day Marseilles on the Mediterranean coast, and the region's most populous city. Its history could also be depicted through the history of the wines introduced by these Phocaeans over 2600 years ago. These ancient vines – the oldest in France – were later developed by the Romans and, thereafter, in the Middle Ages, by monastic communities.

Comprised of 700 villages, Provence has several regional wine growing appellations (covering an estimated 27,000 hectares, or 68,000 acres), all designated as A.O.C. (appellation d'origine controlee), the governmental system established in the 1930s that regulates production and distinguishes quality French wines from table wines. The region boasts extraordinarily favorable growing conditions, or terroir, defined as a combination of conditions in a vineyard site that comprise the vine's total environment and give its wines what longtime wine writer Matt Kramer calls "somewhereness.”

The Mediterranean climate (year-round sunshine, perfect ventilation from a wind dubbed "mistral" and good rainfall), combined with the terrain's siliceous soil, favors red grapes like Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, much of which is used to produce rosé, the region's specialty of the estimated 140,000,000 bottles produced annually. White grape varietals common to the terrain include Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Rolle.

Scott based the production in the sub-appellation called Cotes du Luberon (where his own vineyard of eleven hectares is situated), an area whose vines extend over 7500 acres from Cavaillon to Apt in north-central Provence, where 70% are red grape varietals. Most of the vintners (some 80%, including Scott) grow grapes and sell them to cooperatives to produce the local table wine (vin de pays) named for the appellation. However, Scott focused his scouting efforts on several independent vineyards that bottle their own product.

"I looked at almost a dozen chateaux in the area between Roussillon and Bonnieux before coming back to the first one we saw, La Canorgue,” the director states about the location where his company of 125 craftsmen spent most of their nine-week shoot in the Provençal region, which coincided with the vineyard's prime harvesting season for the next year's vintage.

Scott chose La Canorgue due to its spectacular western view looking out over the Luberon, and the magical dusk light that bathes the main house in the late afternoon. The film company, under the watchful eye of veteran location supervisor Marco Giacalone (who worked with director Scott on "Kingdom of Heaven”) and French location manager Thierry Zemmour, took over the vineyard and chateau for much of the nine-week

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