First—credit where credit is due. Once upon a time a wonderful, whimsical, wry little nugget of a narrative seeded itself in the brain of Gundlach Bundschu Winery Marketing Director Susan Sueiro. Perhaps (just maybe) after sipping on a glass of Gun Bun Merlot—a come-hither, ruby slipper of a wine, that—under the right circumstances—transports you over the rainbow. It’s no laughing matter, this wine. It’s just, well, much maligned. How to tell its story with winks rather than winces?
After what we can only imagine was a richly inspirational foray sliding down various rainbows, one of the things Susan did after putting fingers to keyboard was to call us. And we’re so glad she did. Our own Art Director Peter and Susan together finessed the script and shot list so as to make it possible to capture in one day, Peter clicked his heels down to California and ta-dah, they did it. One day. By jove. Peter behind the lens, Susan directing, coordinating scenes, costumes, wings, prayers and wine.
Back home Peter edited, nipped, tucked and nipped some more. Refined the flow and polished the audio, added graphics and selected the songs. Creative Director Sarah said things like, “That looks good,” and “Nuh-uh” and “But…” (She was pregnant anyways.) Peter burned the midnight oil night after night. He felt he owed it to Merlot. And Susan. And rainbows.
Their efforts paid off. Last month A Brief History of Merlot nabbed Wine Spectator’s 2012 Annual Video Contest.
A Brief History of Merlot humorously depicts the trials and tribulations of a varietal misunderstood—even shunned—in the aftermath of the movie Sideways, before its redemptive return to greatness.
After its debut in March of this year, A Brief History of Merlot quickly went viral on YouTube—accruing nearly 20,000 hits in a matter of weeks as major media outlets and blogs across the wine world shared in collective laughter before passing it along. It currently boasts more than 36,000 views.
The video was then submitted to Wine Spectator’s sixth annual video contest this August, where it won the popular vote. According to Wine Spectator, this year’s competition drew entries from all over the world and broke the record for the largest number of voters.
So there you have it. The little Art Dept. video that could. Proving that anything is possible if you put a little blood, sweat and tears into it.
Thanks to all the voters out there who displayed phenomenal taste in choosing A Brief History of Merlot. Thanks to our creative friends at GunBun for having faith in us, for their good wine and their great storytelling.