Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired North American rights to A Year In Champagne. Writer-director David Kennard’s follow-up to A Year In Burgundy focuses on France’s most famous beverage and was bought after screening at the Santa Barbara and Palm Beach fests. Pic will be released in the spring. We like drinking it but watching it? There is a lot of ground covered here. Pic covers the beverage’s history, grim and bloody, swept by war and destruction from Attila the Hun to the filthy trenches of WWI and the Nazi depredations of WWII. The environment for winemaking is desperately hard — northerly latitude, chalky soil, copious rain, frost, rot. Yet it’s these difficulties that help make the wine unique.

Said Kennard: “The winemakers of Champagne hold their secrets close to their chest: Who would guess that the world’s most famous wine is produced in a place with such bad weather and such a hair-raising history? Only by living amongst them for all four seasons of the year – as we did – are their secrets revealed: their sheer chutzpah, their reliance on luck and their enormous skill to conjure up the most magical, joyful drink from the most unpromising beginnings.”