Director/Producer Rudolf McClain, known for his documentary about Merlot, Merlove, has announced his new project, Que Syrah, Shiraz, and a crowd-funding campaign launching today, August 28, 2017. The fundraising campaign’s goal is $350,000: this will underwrite filming in France and Australia, and support the post production process. The goal is to make the documentary film-festival ready by the end of 2017. “We welcome all lovers of great wines to lend us a hand so that we can bring this entertaining and compelling story to light,” McClain explains.
Donors are invited to the Indiegogo page. McClain explains some of the “perks” for contributing to the crowdfunding campaign: Signed Merlove DVDs, Full-Sized Movie Posters (24x36), (Limited Run) Signed Canvas Full-Sized Posters (26x38), The Girl and The Fig “Fig-Rig” Food Truck Outdoor Screenings for 100 of your closest friends, or see your name on the big screen as a Producer of the film!
“The goal of Que Syrah, Shiraz is to explore the origin of the Syrah/Shiraz varietal and discover its expression in the world of wine today,” McClain explains. “We will tell the tale of its origins and the lives it has touched. This is an amazing story that includes civilizations around the world, DNA testing and the Wild West,” he adds. More than 20,000 acres of Syrah are planted in California, nearly 3,000 acres are planted in Washington State and hundreds of thousands of acres are planted in France and Australia. “This movie will turn the wine world on its head. Wine lovers will discover a new reality… a world in which, as Randall Grahm puts it, ‘Syrah tastes WAY BETTER than Cab’ (Cabernet).”
McClain continues: “This is a film about Syrah wine or should I say Shiraz? Is Syrah from the Rhone region of France or the city of Shiraz in Iran and what about Australia? Could the Romans have brought the varietal from Syracuse, Sicily, to the Rhone Valley? How did this grape make its way to the United States? How do you know what to expect from a wine labeled Syrah vs. Shiraz? What about Petite Sirah? Who will find the truth? We will! Join us as we travel the world to find the true story of Que Syrah, Shiraz!
McClain has already filmed winemakers in California including Randall Grahm (Bonny Doon), Justin Smith (Saxum), Steve Lagier (Lagier Meredith), Pax Mahle (Pax), Gary Eberle (Eberle Winery) and Sean Thackrey (Thackrey & Company) – brief moments of these vintners discussing the quandaries surrounding this grape varietal can be found in the Indiegogo crowdfunding movie trailer. Also included in the Indiegogo trailer are retired UC Davis professor and viticultural geneticist Dr. Carole Meredith and the founder of Balzac Communications & Marketing, Paul Wagner. Charles Smith (Charles Smith Wines) and Christophe Baron (Cayuse) are scheduled to be interviewed this week.
Rudolf McClain produced and directed Merlove, a feature length documentary released in 2008. The film celebrated Merlot in response to the film Sideways. Merlove was selected for four film festivals and enjoyed a week-long theatrical release in Washington State, 25 screenings in theaters around the country and is now available on Amazon.com. Merlove has reached hundreds of thousands of wine lovers around the world. Since the production of Merlove, Rudolf has produced and directed many short films, commercials and documentaries, including the last scene of the upcoming film, Judgment of Paris.