“Wind River” & Mt. Brave On This Week’s “Wine & Film” Podcast

This week’s “Cogill Wine & Film, A Perfect Pairing” Podcast on reVolver Podcasts features the latest from Academy Award nominated writer, turned director, Taylor Sheridan with “Wind River” paired thoughtfully with a Napa Valley Cabernet from high atop Mount Veeder called Mt. Brave. A few more thoughts on the wine and this moving film below. To listen to the show follow the link here, and click “Episode 57.” Or listen through iTunes, Spotify, IHeartRadio or Google Play.

The Film: “Wind River”

There is an on going sense of dread and melancholy in “Wind River” that shows up endlessly on the face of, Jeremy Renner, playing a U.S. Fish & Wildlife agent in Wyoming who finds a body in the mountain snow on an Indian Reservation.

The body is of a young female and you quickly realize there is a hurtful connection here that runs deep in Taylor Sheridan’s thoughtful, underplayed, cinematic rant on hidden crimes and lack of justice currently played out in certain parts of our American landscape.

Elisabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene, Captain America: Civil War) plays the unseasoned FBI agent sent to inspect the possible crime scene and it’s only a matter of time before Renner and Olsen team up to get to the bottom of what’s really happening on the Wind River Reservation.

Taylor Sheridan is a Texas film maker who understands both visceral violence and subtlety. His characters are rarely flashy or wealthy and are often hard working misfits in modern society. “Hell or High Water” and “Sicario” are both examples of great writing and subtle characterizations that play well alongside the nastiness that is about to happen.

The more I think about, “Wind River,” the better it gets and few films will put you in the middle of a relatively frozen unknown culture than Sheridan’s first directing effort.

Graham Green, Gil Birmingham, and Jon Bernthal all add to the multi faceted chaos that becomes the second half of “Wind River.”
Everyone is connected, has a place, and makes sense in this sad, often shivering film.

I also appreciate the fact that writer, director Taylor Sheridan is never in a hurry, just like the winters in Wyoming, you’re stuck, no one is going away, and when all hell breaks loose it’s a searing crime story in capable hands.

 

The Wine: Mt. Brave

High atop rugged, rocky Mount Veeder in the southern part of Napa Valley sits the Mt. Brave Vineyard, a rough, isolated, difficult to farm place that has become a a tribute to the pioneering spirit of those who settled this tough terrain of Mt. Veeder during the 1800s, while paying homage to the Wappo Tribe, “The Brave Ones”, who were the original inhabitants of this breathtakingly beautiful place.

Mt. Brave Vineyard on Mount Veeder

Gary and I had a chance to visit the vineyard a few years ago, remarking at how you really had to want to make wine to farm in the dry, dusty land. But, the wines that have been produced from here for over 150 years is completely unique, with earthy intensity, robust recognizable character and the passion that the spirit of this place evokes. The respect for the land held by the Wappo, “The Brave Ones,” who first called the mountain home, still resonates. Captain Stalham Wing, who arrived on Mt. Veeder in 1853 as one of the early pioneers of the region, showed the first Mt. Veeder wine at the Napa County Fair in 1864.

Pruning vines in winter at the Mt. Brave Vineyard on Mount Veeder

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