Wine 2.0

Smoke Wallin, Wine 2.0 Chairman Interview with Carla De Luca on new film: 'AMERICAS WINE: THE LEGACY OF PROHIBITION'

J. Smoke Wallin, Chairman of Wine 2.0, had the opportunity to interview filmmaker Carla De Luca Worfolk, Director, EP/Producer, and Writer of an amazing new wine film. Carla is an Emmy award-winning television and documentary producer. Her new DOCUMENTRY FILM ‘AMERICA’S WINE: THE LEGACY OF PROHIBITION’ is an amazing look at the history of the wine industry in America. I had the opportunity recently to ask Carla some questions about her experience making the film. Let us know your thoughts.


Smoke: Carla, what inspired you to make “America’s Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition”?

Carla: I had the opportunity to film the private luncheon celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Prohibition's Repeal where a number of the venerable winemakers were honored. As several were in their 80s and 90s, I began thinking about their contributions and personal histories, and felt strongly that their story should be recorded before the passing of this generation. I also believed we should cover major policy issues which affect all consumers, such as direct shipping laws, health research, and the globalization of wine.

Smoke: Can you tell us a little about your experience growing up in and around the wine industry?

Carla: My father became President and CEO of the Wine Institute when I was about nine years old, which seemed very natural to me. Being part of a large Italian-American family, my parents and grandparents often had wine with their meals. The best part has always been meeting the people. I have very fond memories of visiting wine makers and their families, playing in the vineyards and sharing meals all through the years.

Smoke: What was your biggest surprise while putting this project together?

Carla: The biggest surprise was learning about how the boom in home winemaking in the early 20s created such an incredible demand for fresh grapes. I also marveled at all of the ingenious ways winemakers stayed in the business during Prohibition and recovered after Repeal. On a deeper level, these aspects really underlined for me the incredible optimism and determination of the wine makers and also immigrants who overcame great obstacles during that era, including Constitutional barriers.

Smoke: Besides our interview, who was your favorite interview and why?

Carla: Besides our interview, that's truly a tough question. We interviewed remarkable people and had great experiences across the board. Because it was such a unique experience, our meeting with Brother Timothy has stayed especially vivid for me. He invited us to spend the day with him at his residence on Mont La Salle above Napa Valley. At age 93, he had difficulty walking, but he graciously hosted us all day, answering our questions and sharing other reflections with such brilliance and clarity. Over lunch we talked about everything from Prohibition to the Internet. He was an amazing individual.

Smoke: It seems you had all tiers cooperate in the making the film, who did you want to get involved by would not and why?

Carla: Actually, nearly everyone we asked for an interview accepted. A couple of people declined, mainly due to logistical reasons. We did hope to have a few critics of the wine industry, but in the end we felt very pleased that we had such credible credentialed people, and a number from outside the wine community, like Kevin Starr, Leon Panetta, Marion Nestle and Phil Lee, who gave us balanced comments.

Smoke: The cast of characters who did interviews was amazing. A number of these industry titans are no longer with us. Can you comment on the timing of putting the film together as it relates to this?

Carla:
We really felt like time was of the essence, knowing that a number of the people we wanted to capture on camera were at an advanced age. Several had not been interviewed in their later years and some had never been interviewed on camera. Recognizing this was one of the driving forces of the documentary, impacting our research and how we managed our schedule. We are extremely fortunate we were able to record them when we did.

Smoke: What can you tell the Wine 2.0 members “behind the scenes”? Any cool stories?

Carla: There were a lot of memorable moments, from 95 year old Dan Turrentine serving us his favorite drink besides wine, Dr. Pepper, to Tom Shelton surprising us after the interview with a complimentary tasting of some of Joseph Phelps's finest wines. We also were very lucky after a camera failure which obliterated most of Kevin Starr's first interview. We caught the problem just as we were packing up to leave. He graciously cleared the rest of his afternoon schedule to redo the interview. He was equally, if not more brilliant, the second time.

Smoke: I’m sure you had tough choices to make in putting the final cut together. What did not make the film?

Carla: It truly wasn't easy to make choices and it took several months. In the end, we couldn't include everyone we interviewed in the final film, but all of the interviews will become part of the Bancroft Library's California Wine Industry collection. Also, believe it or not, we actually collected more than 3,000 still images, but only used 300 images in the final cut.

Smoke: What’s next for the film? Festivals? TV?

Carla: We just had a great premiere evening at the Napa Sonoma Wine Country Film Festival at the end of September. We've also received terrific awards - the Gold Kahuna Award, which is the top prize in the Documentary Competition at the Honolulu International Film Festival, and the Silver Ace Award for Outstanding Filmmaking from the Las Vegas Film Festival. Currently we're focussed on outlining an edited-for-television version for national broadcast, and I'm glad to say there is strong interest. We'll be keeping everyone updated on this and future screenings through the Bancroft Library's website.


About Carla De Luca Worfolk, Director, EP/Producer, and Writer
Carla De Luca Worfolk, an Emmy award-winning television and documentary producer, has enjoyed an extensive career across media, gravitating towards highly creative assignments with an emphasis on education, public service and policy. Throughout her career, the San Francisco Bay Area native has worked as an independent producer, magazine editor, writer, public relations executive, and paralegal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Santa Clara University, and a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California at Berkeley. During her years as a CNN producer in Atlanta, Worfolk supervised content for the highly-rated CNN Saturday/Sunday Morning program, a live, two-hour magazine show, and was also on the Emmy-winning team that covered the Olympic Park Bombing in 1996. America’s Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition is her first independent film.

Tags: America's Wine: Legacy of Prohibition, Direct Shipping, Gallo, Mondavi, Phelps, Prohibition, WSWA, Wine

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Nice job on the interview with Carla De Luca. She's a very talented woman and this is a seminal piece of work.
I met Carla through her Dad when he was with the Wine Institute and we became friends and colleagues. I'm happy that her work on wine and history is being recognized.
Hi Dyann,
concur completely! have you seen the film yet?
Regards,
Smoke
We just announced we will be hosting the New York Premiere of America's Wine at Wine 2.0 New York Nov 18! Special screening for the trade and Reserve attendees...

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