Interview With Cold Climate Wine Documentary Makers
Marcus and Emily Taplin were looking for something fun to do with their limited free time so they started visiting regional wineries. Emily is a reporter at WQOW-TV in Eau Claire and Marcus works in the sports department at Fox Sports North in Minneapolis. They both had no idea that wine was being made in their area.
“After we visited a few local wineries, my first thought was ‘how is it possible to make good wine in Minnesota and Wisconsin?'” Emily says. “We really enjoy the wine and the whole winery experience and we wanted to learn more about the history of northern wines and how they’re being made.”
So the Wisconsin couple is now using their storytelling and media skills to produce a 6-10 minute documentary about the University of Minnesota’s cold climate wine grapes and the burgeoning new wine industry in the upper Midwest.
Both Emily and Marcus are in their 20’s and admit to “not being super knowledgeable about wine.” However, they view a lack of pre-conceived ideas about wine as a journalistic advantage. Their film about the emergence of new wines like Marquette and LaCrescent is intended for other open-minded wine drinkers who are also seeking a new experience.
See related story: Millennials Favoring Midwest Regional Wines
“Leinenkugel is a half hour from where we live, so why can’t people think of wine like they think of beer and try the local product?” Emily said.
To the Taplins, part of the appeal of local wineries is accessibility and a sense of community. “We enjoy going to local wineries and meeting the owners and winemakers; everyone is so nice,” Emily says.
Some of the wineries the Taplins have visited include; Vino in the Valley in Maiden Rock, WI, Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery in Stockholm, WI, St. Croix Vineyards in Stillwater, MN and Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls, MN. They plan to include local wineries, grapegrowers, researchers and grapebreeders in the documentary which will be filmed this summer.
The Taplins used Kickstarter, a web-based funding platform for creative projects, to raise $1,00o to produce the video. “This is our hobby and our profession,” Marcus said, “the funding basically covers our costs.” The documentary will distributed free of charge on the internet and the Taplins said wineries can use the video on their websites also.