Chasing Crush: Hollywood’s Next Great Wine Country Film?

The man behind the Grammy- and Tony-profitable musical Jersey Boys, who also transpires to be the male driving one particular of the leading-rated Cabernet Sauvignons in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley, is now pairing two of his greatest passions. Film, Television, theater (and wine) producer Kevin Kinsella, proprietor of Kinsella Estates, is operating on a new wine-themed movie, Chasing Crush, with producer Gene Kirkwood (Rocky) and director-writer George Gallo (Terrible Boys). “We want to make a good piece of art, a superb film,” Kinsella instructed Wine Spectator, “maybe anything that could even win an Oscar.”

And there’s a cinematic twist! The plot of Chasing Crush involves a canned Cabernet of the exact name, and Kinsella, Kirkwood and Gallo are basically producing the wine and putting it on the sector. Properly, they are not making it. That career belongs to Kinsella Estates winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, who oversaw creation and also owns a share of the Chasing Crush wine brand. On top of that, Brown is building his Hollywood debut as an government producer for Chasing Crush the movie. “It’s geeky, I know, but pulling again the curtain on production could be a wonderful way to introduce much more individuals to wine,” Brown explained to Wine Spectator by means of e-mail, “while also satisfying the exacting requirements of the wine aficionados.”

The IRL Chasing Crush is a non-classic Sonoma Cabernet designed from Kinsella’s Jersey Boys winery in Dry Creek Valley, set to start with a output of at least 25,000 cans (sizing and rate are even now TBD) and probably hitting cabinets this summer months. This marks Kinsella and Brown’s 1st foray into canned wines and a substantial pivot for the two of them—Kinsella Estates wines are ordinarily priced in the reduced triple digits, and Brown is one particular of the most remarkably sought-right after winemakers in Napa Valley.

Nonetheless, Kinsella plans to retain the cans rolling if this first batch is thriving, quite possibly increasing the brand with other versions and designs. But he will not be working with his own vines in that case. “I cannot convert my whole production to canned wine,” Kinsella claims. “If this explodes like a rocket ship, I do not have the vineyard ability.” This would be yet another massive change for the vintner, whose winery motto is “We get no fruit, and we sell no fruit.”

 Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown stands in a vineyard in Napa Valley

Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown makes some of California’s best Cabernets. (Tai Electrical power Seeff)

Chasing Crush (the motion picture) tells the remarkable tale of five Napa vineyard interns from close to the globe banding together to make a canned wine from the estate’s leftover Cabernet. “[The interns] are all broken in a sure respect,” claims Kinsella. “The method of doing work alongside one another in this hard environment—working with each and every other, finding to know each individual other—it adjustments their outlook on daily life. And the broken pieces that they arrived with get repaired.” The movie’s title refers to the passion that drives winery workers to make wonderful wine as they journey the planet, like surfers wanting for the great wave.

Kinsella was motivated by his wine ordeals and all those of actual-globe vineyard interns, specially employees from the Southern Hemisphere. The people will facial area non-fictional task dangers like wildfires, and the movie will function serious-life footage that Gallo shot throughout last year’s Northern California wildfires. “[George] bought together with a fireplace captain more than in Napa who generally gave him carte blanche,” says Kinsella, who shed his entire 2020 classic to smoke taint. “He bought in wherever he wanted.”

Kinsella’s first script wound up in Kirkwood’s arms very last year by means of an oh-so-Jersey Boys acquaintance: the health practitioner of late 4 Seasons member Tommy DeVito. “I get a telephone connect with out of the blue from Gene Kirkwood … effectively, you acquire that phone phone, correct?” Kinsella remembers. “And we commenced talking about the project.”

Kirkwood prompt bringing on Gallo, and the 3 were being soon conference in Los Angeles, exactly where the dialogue organically turned to producing an precise wine. “So now we’ve received a motion picture which is also a business undertaking!” reported Kinsella.

Filming is established to begin this summer season at Kinsella Estates, with Gallo directing and Kirkwood producing. The workforce could possibly also shoot at Brown’s Calistoga vineyard, Rivers-Marie, and at Tamber Bey, exactly where Kinsella’s wines are manufactured. “We will use a good deal of [my] property,” Kinsella suggests, “because I envisioned the movie dependent on my activities at my winery and the surrounding parks.”

“I have the very same experience I had when I did Rocky,” said Kirkwood through email. “There’s anything about Chasing Crush that I have not felt in some time.”

“What we are accomplishing with Chasing Crush has not been performed in advance of,” Kirkwood stated. “We’re carrying out an elevated, creative movie with an amazing product tied to it. It’s incredibly organic, and audiences are heading to tumble in appreciate with the motion picture and the wine jointly.”

Kinsella is eager for a 2022 theatrical launch with a summertime or drop premiere. He believes the film will promote Napa and Sonoma as a wine country working experience outside of tasting rooms, and hopes the Cabernet will assist introduce folks to canned wine (specifically if audiences can delight in it even though seeing Chasing Crush). But it’s however early times, and we’ll have to hold out and see if the film can crush it at the box office environment. “Hopefully this will be monumentally successful,” Kinsella says, “and the imitators will occur flocking.”

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