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It's the 1970s and Australian wine is a joke - not for drinking, as Monty Python put it, but for 'laying down and avoiding'. The idea that a wine made 'Down Under' could ever challenge the august products of Burgundy or Tuscany has wine buffs and snobby sommeliers sniggering into their tasting spoons.

But little more than 40 years later, Australian winemaking is leading the world. London merchants sell more wine from Australia than any other country, while the chastened French wine industry reluctantly take note of how modern winemaking - and wine marketing - is really done.

Chateau Chunder is both a social history of wine and wine drinking and an in-depth examination of how a small group of enterprising Australian wine makers took on the world...and won, changing the way that wine is made and marketed.

With humour and insight, this documentary features winemakers, marketers, merchants, critics and drinkers including Bruce Tyrrell, James Halliday, Max Allen (Australian wine critics), Chris Hancock (Rosemount), Sir Les Patterson (Cultural Attache to Australia, a comical creation of Barry Humphries), Robert Parker (US wine critic) Oz Clarke and Jancis Robinson (UK wine critics)

Our starting point is the famous Python sketch - "This is a bottle with a message, and the message is 'beware'. This is not a wine for drinking, this is a wine for laying down and avoiding". And it was true. The idea that Australia could be a world class wine-making nation was a joke.

FESTIVALS Premiered at CinefestOz 2012 Selected for screening at Napa Valley Film Festival Food & Wine 2012

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