The War on Terroir


THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE: Nossiter worries that globalization is destroying small wineries like the one owned by Battista Columbu in Sardinia

Jonathan Nossiter says he never wanted to make a film about wine. The American filmmaker and sommelier thought it would be too hard to avoid the snob image that his favorite beverage often evokes. A slick portrait of oenophiles spouting pretentious adjectives as they decant a product the audience can only enjoy vicariously? No thanks. "That would have been worse than the cheesiest porn film," he says. Luckily, Nossiter, 43, overcame his reluctance. Mondovino, his documentary about globalization's impact on the winemaking business, is a quirky, subversive defense of Terroir: the idea that every wine ought to be a unique expression...

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