‘Decanted’ pops cork on winermakers | ParkRecord.com

‘Decanted’ pops cork on winermakers

Screening is a fundraiser for the NAC

The Park City Film Series will host a prelude of sorts with a special screening of Nick Kovacic's wine-making documentary.

The first of two fundraisers planned for the National Ability Center, the showing is designed to prepare people for the nonprofit's second charity event — the Red, White and Snow wine tasting festival — set to happen in March.

Kovacic's film, titled "Decanted," will screen at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium. There will also be a reception and winte tasting, open to ages 21 and older, one hour prior to the showing.

Tickets to the screening are $8 for general admission and $7 for students. Tickets for the wine tasting, which include admission to the screening, are $35.

Ticket proceeds will benefit the National Ability Center, which provides recreational activities for all abilities.

Filmmaker Kovacic said he is thankful to the Park City Film Series for facilitating the screening.

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"I'm really looking forward to joining everyone in Park City for a little toast to the Park City Film Series," Kovacic said during a telephone call from Baltimore, Maryland. "[Executive Director] Katharine Wang and the board members have been so fantastic. And while I haven't been out there, yet, I can't wait to get there."

"Decanted" is Kovacic's documentary about winemakers in Napa Valley and is a follow up to "Brewmore Baltimore," a documentary about beer making in Baltimore.

The filmmaker thought a documentary about wine would be a natural progression for him in terms of the types of films he creates.

"I've always been passionate about beer, wine and spirits," Kovacic said.

His fascination with wine stems from its uniqueness.

"Unlike any other beverage, wine is almost like a time capsule that gets better with age," he said. "If you pull out a bottle from your cellar and see the year, the vintage, it's like a time stamp. Then when you open the bottle, it's usually with friends or family and brings back memories."

The idea of making "Decanted" started when Kovacic met Steve Reynolds of the Napa Valley-based Reynolds Family Winery.

"I first met Steve in Washington, D.C., and spoke with him a little bit about what he did," Kovacic said. "He invited me to Napa, and I did some research and proposed the idea of a possible documentary.

"I wanted to make the documentary to find out more about the people who are behind the bottle, behind the label, and see what kind of work it takes to growing and cultivating the grapes and making the wine that goes into the bottle," Kovacic said.

The filmmaker met an array of winemakers while he was in Napa.

"The more time I spent with them and the vineyard crews, the more I found they were all so passionate about what they do," Kovacic said. "In the end, I could have made a documentary series that was hours and hours long, but I distilled it all down so we could fit everything into a feature-length movie."

Filming commenced in August 2014 and wrapped in July 2016.

Kovacic, worked closely with producer Matt Riggieri and cinematographer Nate Pesce.

"The three of us basically went out and worked on the film," Kovacic said. "I directed it and we shot it. We spent many nights crammed in one hotel bedroom."

Kovacic edited the film as the project moved along, and basically had the entire film done before he returned to Napa Valley for some additional footage last year.

"I wanted to shoot the opening of the film and shoot some pick-up pieces," he said. "We had a really awesome post-production team here in Baltimore, and premiered the film in November."

As with most documentary filmmakers, Kovacic learned different things about his subject while on location.

"Something that stood out was that you can take the same ton of grapes from the same vineyard and take eight different winemakers and put them into the same winery and get eight totally different tasting wines," he said. "There are so many different ways you can process the grapes and there are various philosophies, theories and, most importantly, styles that every person brings into making wine.

"Winemaking isn't purely science," he said. "It's art, and you have all of this tradition that has been passed down throughout the ages, so you'll see a huge range of wines that come out of one region."

Nick Kovacic's "Decanted," not rated, will screen at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave. There will be a pre-screening wine tasting at 6 p.m. for ages 21 and older. Tickets to the screening are $8 for general admission and $7 for students. Tickets to the wine tasting and screening are $35. The price includes three glasses of wine. Ticket proceeds will benefit the National Ability Center. For information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com. And for information about the National Ability Center, visit http://www.discoverNAC.org.