Wine Documentary

Vitis Prohibita – Resistant Grapes Coming out of the Shadows

Directed by Stephan Balay. The incredible true story of six « innocent » grape varieties that were deemed outlaws by the French government.

Runtime : 92 mins
Released : 2019

Vitis Prohibita Film Synopsis:
This is the incredible true story of “innocent” grape varieties that were deemed outlaws by the French government.
Their grapes were falsely accused of being toxic when made into wine. Selling their wine was prohibited.
Their crime?  They were grapes of resistance.
Resistance to pests and diseases that, for more “noble” grapes, must be controlled with chemical sprays. In spite of laws specifically banning these grapes from European soils and attempts to demean their wines, rebellious farmers have defended their value and defied their prohibition.
Resistant grape varieties may yet have the last word. This film takes you inside stunning rural landscapes in France, Italy, Austria, Romania and the United States where the resistant vines are living history and their unique wines have a passionate following.

«This is a movie that starts from a very small corner of the Cevennes in France and takes us to the United States to learn with precision, detail and intelligence, what is a resistant grape and a hybrid or multi-species vine, but also what is an act of resistance, an act of responsibility, an act of freedom, an act of love for wine. Here is a film that made us laugh and moved us, and which, while telling us about the past and the present, is talking mostly about the future.» Jury of the International Grape and Wine Festival Oenovideo

Watch the Trailer:

A film by Stéphan Balay
In recent years clandestine sales of unauthorized wines have tended to disappear, becoming instead, open declarations of independence: protesting formulaic norms for personal taste, demanding farming that is respectful of the environment, and insisting on removing a prohibition founded on baseless, unjust and obsolete laws.
In this film, I wanted to give voice to the elders who have maintained the tradition of making wine from their outlaw family vines; to young people with a clear vision of the potential future for the varieties in the marketplace; and to the activists who champion these historically maligned grapes and their wines. Stéphan Balay

Pierre Galet, ampelographer, professor of viticulture
Hervé Garnier, amateur winemaker association Mémoire de la Vigne
Lucie Morton, ampelographer, viticulture consultant, Charlottesville, Virginia
Gilbert Bischeri, amateur winemaker, Les Côteaux d’Aujac
Greg Taylor, winemaker, Bully Hill Vineyards
Martin Weinek actor, winemaker, producer of Uhudler, Burgenland
Freddy Couderc history nut, writer author of « Les Vins Mythiques de la Cévenne ardéchoise et du Bas-Vivarais »
Winifred Wright, sales director, Terravox Kansas City
Vincent Pugibet, winemaker, producer of wine with resistant grape varieties, Domaine La Colombette
Virgil Grecu, member of  the Académy of agricultural science and forestry, Ploiești Romania
Franco Zambon, amateur winemaker, confraternita del Clinto association Cilnto de Marca, Veneto Italy



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