When global shutdowns began in March, plenty of us took our work and hobbies home, and in that, celebrities are just like us. Actor-vintner Sarah Jessica Parker and her winemaking team at Invivo moved their blending sessions to Zoom to put the finishing touches on their Invivo X, Sarah Jessica Parker 2020 Sauvignon Blanc. Arranging the shipment of some vials of high-priority cargo and rigging in-cellar video conferencing, Kiwi winemaking duo and Invivo co-founders Rob Cameron and Tim Lightbourne were able to connect the New Zealand winery to Parker's New York home. Now, viewers can get a glimpse of how they made it happen in a new video submitted for Wine Spectator's 2020 Video Contest.
"I thought the distance would make the kind of necessary communication impossible," Parker told Unfiltered via email. "However it was our typical fun, surprising, wonderfully perplexing moment, and an ultimately fruitful blend."
The video, which has garnered an Honorable Mention for Best Star Turn, shows the winemaking trio bridge thousands of miles during their two-hour blending session. (Watch that video and the rest of the Honorable Mentions and runners-up!) To get it started, Cameron had to ship over six wine samples of Sauvignon Blanc from Invivo's Marlborough estates, along with flasks and cylinders for Parker to blend herself (with the help of special guest and husband, Matthew Broderick).
"Although it’s not the same as being together in person, the dynamic between us was just as positive and I think we made the same blending decisions virtually as we would have face to face," Cameron told Unfiltered via email. He also says that Parker pushed her wine style a little further this year, opting for a "softer wine with more oak influence."
“I was so worried, as competing with our first Saugivnon Blanc felt slightly daunting given its success and our love for it," Parker said. "But I am supremely excited about this blend, and I’m so eager for its launch in September."
The process wasn't much different even farther afield, across the Atlantic in West Cork, Ireland, where talk show host Graham Norton kicked off his seventh vintage with Invivo over Zoom. For this chat, Lightbourne and Cameron were tuning in from Auckland's Sky Tower, more than 11,000 miles away. Invivo shipped him six samples of SB and an enology kit as well, and Norton eventually eliminated the wines that "didn't travel well," to find his 2020 blend.
This year's Video Contest also got a submission from fellow Unfiltered (and TV) star, Titan Games contestant and Paso Robles winemaker Margaux Alvarez, who gave viewers a look at her CrossFit training regimen and her G.O.A.T label.
"The theme of the video is based on my daily determination to succeed through hard work and hard training," Alvarez told Unfiltered. "Wine is my escape at the end of the night to reflect on the struggles and to review or adjust the plan I have in order to achieve my goals." Anothing thing we all have in common.
Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.