Vintage is a short video essay on the Greek harvest period that starts at the close of August and ends in late September. Many artists, writers and poets have been inspired by the process of grape harvesting, since this is a process connected with life, love and nature. It’s a ritual bypassing centuries and connecting people.
Vintage is the process of collecting the mature fruit from the tree and initiating it through a process of vinification. Taking away the crop from mother nature is almost a violent act.
Almost every home in the Greek countryside has a small vineyard, and each vineyard its own small history.
We chose a small Greek home vineyard and Greek family (a big one of course) in the suburbs of Chalkida in Evia island to profile, rather than a big winery. This is in order to show the truly traditional process of making wine (yes, you will see people stepping on grapes, recreating an old process that is not practiced any more). The family comes together for the weekend to collect the grapes, and generations reunite and share the experience. Almost every home in the Greek countryside has a small vineyard, and each vineyard its own small history. People remember when and who planted it, feeling a responsibility to preserve this small private heritage.
Aesop articulates this feeling in one of his fables:
“The Farmer and his Sons”*
“A Farmer, being at death’s door, and desiring to impart to his Sons a secret of much moment, called them round him and said, “My sons, I am shortly about to die; I would have you know, therefore, that in my vineyard there lies a hidden treasure. Dig, and you will find it.”
As soon as their father was dead, the Sons took spade and fork and turned up the soil of the vineyard over and over again, in their search for the treasure, which they supposed to lie buried there. They found none, however: but the vines, after so thorough a digging, produced a crop such as had never before been seen”.
*from project Gutenberg, www.gutenberg.org