New Short Film: Man Leaves Rat Race to Become Monastic Burgundy Winemaker

Plus, an Oregon winery makes a reopening music video and Jordan winery bakes TP-garnished quarantine cakes
New Short Film: Man Leaves Rat Race to Become Monastic Burgundy Winemaker
Bonjour to all that: Philippe Pascal embarked on a new life as a family farmer-winemaker at Burgundy's Domaine du Cellier aux Moines. (Courtesy of B+C Films)
May 28, 2020

Climbing from the corporate ladder to the golden slopes of Burgundy sounds like a pretty good change of scenery. That's what Philippe Pascal decided when he left behind a plum job at LVMH as an advisor to the chairman himself, megabillionaire Bernard Arnault, to pursue Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at a 900-year-old monastery near the village of Givry. Now, Pascal is a documentary film star as well, whose life and work at his Domaine du Cellier aux Moines are the subject of the new short film "A Burgundy Story."

Philippe Pascal in the vineyard
Philippe Pascal has worn many hats. (Courtesy of B+C Films)

Pascal founded Cellier aux Moines in 2004 in the vicinity, more or less, of fellow recent Burgundy film stars like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Albert Bichot, and his now-thriving family domaine stayed out of the way of filmmakers Billy and Cecilia Faraut. “We decided to do a full-on movie about how it all started,” Margot Pascal, co-owner of Cellier aux Moines and Pascal’s daughter, told Unfiltered. “We were doing our thing and we never really saw [Billy filming], so all the shots are really genuine and true.”

Pascal’s words weave in and out of the various landscape shots and grape-picking scenes. “I love what we are doing today, reinventing ourselves,” Pascal says in the film. “We left the corporate world to live our passion.”

The Farauts always wanted to make a film centered on a harvest. Since grapes don’t wait, they had to adapt to the pace of the vineyard workers in order to capture everything, and it gave them a new appreciation for wine. “It’s such a love affair that they have with this property, and you feel it and you see it,” Billy told Unfiltered. “It was quite a lovely project, and it took on a life of its own.”—S.Z.

Jordan Winery Gifts Toilet Paper and Wine Cake to NFL Star Emmitt Smith, Zoom Chats with Celebs

Jordan Winery is giving quarantine birthdays a much-needed sugary boost with its Charmin Ultra Strong gifting game. The Sonoma winery is sending toilet paper and wine to its celebrity fans and top rewards club members … in the form of cake. Former NFL running back and three-time Super Bowl champion Emmitt Smith recently felt the love as he posed in front of his frosted “quarantine essentials” treat. So far, 12 cakes have been delivered to Jordan’s roster.

Emmitt Smith and toilet paper cake
Emmitt Smith is all about the fundamentals. Pictured here with his toilet-paper-wine-barrel cake (Courtesy of Jordan Winery)

The idea started when Jordan Winery’s staff realized there were many club members whose birthday celebrations were limited to rather muted at-home affairs. Lisa Mattson, director of marketing for Jordan, decided to combine the hottest gifts of quarantine season—wine, sweets and TP—into one. “We wanted to bring a smile to the faces of our biggest fans at a time when no one is celebrating,” Mattson told Unfiltered via email. “We hope that these unexpected surprises made our fans laugh at a time when they were sad about sheltering at home.”

Jordan Zoom tasting
Dangerously full Zoom chat with Jordan fans, including NBA player Josh Hart (third row, far left) and actor David Henrie (bottom row, far right) (Courtesy of Jordan Winery)

Jordan is also hopping on the live chat train as well. They hosted a “Cab, Canines and Cats” Zoom tasting with some top customers, including New Orleans Pelicans up-and-comer Josh Hart and Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place star David Henrie. Hart opened a bottle of 2002 Jordan Cabernet (his two rottweilers later knocked over the glass) and Henrie opted for a 2016.—S.Z.

Oregon Winery Welcomes Back Visitors with a Few New Rules—and a Cool New Tune

Earlier this month, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced that much of Oregon had received approval for Phase 1 of reopening, which included allowing restaurants and wineries to receive some visitors. Anticipating anxious guests, the team at Stoller Family Estate in the Willamette Valley worried that expectations for a relaxing wine tasting might not match up with the reality of masked staff and a hint of disinfectant in the air, communications director Michelle Kauffman told us. How to best show employees and potential visitors what wine tasting looks like in a COVID-cautious world? “As we began working on the messaging, everything felt stuffy and dry, almost clinical,” said Kauffman.

So her team channeled their inner Dundee Hills Beyoncé to orchestrate a toe-tapping, finger-snapping musical number with accompanying video and dance. “We knew we could deliver this message in a fun and engaging way that would provide a much-needed smile,” she added.

Stoller’s single, "Welcome Home (with a Few New Rules)," is a showpiece of homegrown talent. Kauffman and team wrote the lyrics and score and recruited local musician Haley Johnsen, a contestant on Season 11 of American Idol to lend a (professional) singing voice to the cast of Stoller tasting room thespians. Kauffman reported that the jingle is working: “Everyone has been very respectful and thankful that they can come taste in a safe environment.”—A.R.

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