West Sussex vineyards to feature in brand-new movie alongside Stephen Fry, Brad Pitt, and Champagne A-listers

A number of West Sussex vineyards have been featured in a brand-new film which is set to host its UK premier in Horsham this weekend.
Sam Linter Bolney Wine GB Chairman and Frank MannionSam Linter Bolney Wine GB Chairman and Frank Mannion
Sam Linter Bolney Wine GB Chairman and Frank Mannion

Swipe Films’ new feature length documentary, Sparkling: The Story of Champagne is released in UK cinemas this weekend, to coincide with English Wine Week.

Among the vineyards set to feature are Bolney, in Haywards Heath, Wiston Estate, near Pulborough, and Sugrue South Downs, near Washington in West Sussex

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The film features a stellar ensemble cast including Stephen Fry and the A-List from the world of champagne including the chairman of Bollinger Etienne Bizot, Dom Perignon wine-maker Vincent Chaperon, and the Queen's winemaker Tony Laithwaite.

The film-makers were given unique access to film at the Queen's vineyard at Windsor Great Park.

The film's director, Frank Mannion of Swipe Films makes his debut with the film.

You can watch the trailer here.He said: "The film is a love letter to the joys and pleasures of champagne. We were fortunate to be able to shoot during lockdown as champagne producerswere classified as essential workers!

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"There are so many great wine tours and tastings to be enjoyed within an hour or two’s drive from London at the likes of Bolney, Wiston Estate and Sugrue South Downs in West Sussex, Hush Heath in Kent, and Hattingley Valley in Hampshire - all great day trips.

"Our hope is that the film will open the audience’s eyes to the quality and variety of English wine and they will enjoy immersing themselves in the world of champagne and sparkling wine while raising a toast to better things ahead in 2021.”

It will have a special one off screening at 8.30pm on Monday July 5 at the Everyman Horsham where every cinema-goer will enjoy a free glass of award-winning Bolney sparkling wine.

It was also play at the New Park Cinema in Chichester from August 1.

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The film has received great reviews and has been described as 'a film of the finest vintage' by the Daily Mail and 'a fine aperitif for the summer' by the Guardian.

Mannion hopes that by introducing filmgoers to British sparkling wine producers, it will inspire people to visit local vineyards in West Sussex and surrounding counties.

The filmmakers added that they hope that 'wine tourism' in England and Wales will flourish as the country opens up from lockdowns.

Tony Piantedosi, vice president of acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures said: “Frank’s film is beautifully shot, thoroughly researched, and above all a good time, full of amusing anecdotes and exotic locales to quench the thirst of a significant built-in audience."

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