Just in time for the holidays, the feel-good romance masters at the Lifetime channel have gifted us with Christmas on the Vine, one of their more than 30(!) new made-for-TV holiday movies this year.
“I make many Christmas movies, and I like my films to have original settings and not to repeat other stories,” director Paul Kaufman told Unfiltered via email. “I know that nobody had done a Christmas winery movie.”
Set during the holidays in Washington state wine country—not far from where Christmas on the Vine writer Duane Poole was raised—the movie tells the tale of Brooke, played by actress Julianna Guill (Crazy, Stupid, Love), a marketing exec helping a down-on-its luck family winery in her hometown. But there’s a Grinchian hiccup: The town’s holiday spirit has been dampened by a large wine company that’s buying up all the local wineries. Not only does Brooke fight to bring back the town’s Christmas cheer, but she also starts a partnership and budding romance with an obstinate but charming local vintner played by actor Jon Cor (Being Human, Supernatural). Will the local wine industry survive? Will love conquer all?? Will there be wine tasting??? It's a Lifetime movie, so you probably already know the answer to all of those questions.
Filming took place in early 2020 at Seaside Pearl and Mt. Lehman wineries in Canada’s Fraser Valley wine region, not far from Vancouver, and they finished in the nick of time. “Our last day was in March, when COVID started to hit hard,” said Kaufman. “We wrapped on a Friday and the following Monday all the movie and TV productions were closed down.” Kaufman looks back fondly on his vineyard work, and on working with the winemakers and vineyard owners who consulted on the film and trained his team. “We used their tractors and equipment. We learned a lot,” says Kaufman. “They were very proud of their wine, and it really helped with us telling the story.” Kaufman hopes that viewers will acknowledge the work that goes into making any wines they sip while watching the movie, which will remain in Lifetime's Christmas movie rotation through the end of December and can also be streamed at MyLifetime.com.
There’s no plan for a sequel just yet, but Kaufman is on board. “Wouldn’t that be great?” he said, “Christmas on the Vine Wedding!”
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