A small wine sub-region of Marlborough is about to be immortalised on film in a movie called Hang Time. THE SLEEPERS Vineyard in Kekerengu is the backdrop for the movie written and directed by Casey Zilbert. Owned by her parents Lynne and Chris Wilson, Sleepers Vineyard is one of only three in the small sub region south of Blenheim. For Zilbert herself, it has been the chance for her to merge her two great loves – film and wine - together, in an effort to bring wine into the world of millennials. Describing it as a millennial wine comedy, the film follows a jilted groom, who finds out a week before the big day that his fiancé no longer wants to get married. “So he and his best two mates go down to the vineyard where the wedding was going to be held, with all the wine, and shenanigans ensue.” With financial backing from Astrolabe Wines, (who the Wilson’s sell most of their fruit to) Hang Time was filmed early in 2017. Which in itself was an issue for all concerned, given it was just two months since the Kaikoura earthquake devastated the area. “There were so many times this film should not have happened,” Zilbert says. “Firstly the
Filming in the Sleepers Vineyard in Kekerenungu.
November 2016 earthquakes and a severe aftershock and then they got hit by a storm. I went down after the earthquake to help, but also to check if they were still okay for me to be doing this. It was heartwarming because everyone came forward. They all said, actually we need this now more than ever. We want this to be something we can look forward to.” Out of disaster comes triumph and in this case it proved so Zilbert explains. Because SH1
was a mess there was no tourism in the region and the group were able to film in places that normally would have been out of reach at that time of the year. “So it was like how can we show every possible corner of what is amazing about Kekerengu so that when the road is open we can take the film out there and say; ‘hey guys everybody is still there, they are looking forward to seeing you.”’ As for the wine angle, Zilbert has more than a little interest
in promoting our fifth largest export. Along with a degree in film-making, she also has a post grad degree in wine science. Although she has never used that to make wine, her background has helped her parents diversify their vineyard plantings. Along with Sauvignon Blanc, Sleepers Vineyard also grows Albarino and Tempranillo. The latter a direct result of a request to Zilbert from her father. “I had just got a job at Short-
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NZ WINEGROWER AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 // 85
NZ Winegrower August/September 2018