According to the Virginia Wine Marketing Office, Virginia’s native grape, Norton, received a significant boost in public awareness this week as the historical grape was featured in Norton, the Most American Grape that You’ve Almost Never Heard Of, the winning video in the 2014 Wine Spectator Video Contest. The short film, featuring Chrysalis Vineyards‘ owner Jennifer McCloud, tells the story of Norton, a red grape named after Daniel Norborne Norton of Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Norton was a physician-turned-vineyardist, and first grew the grape sometime around 1820. McCloud’s Chrysalis Vineyards is the largest Norton producer in the world.
The video was produced by Marina Cracchiolo and Pierre Marcelin, and filmed onsite at Chrysalis Vineyards, in Middleburg, Virginia and in their studio in Washington, DC. The video received the most votes in a field of 9 finalists, and according to Wine Spectator, this year’s contest had a record number of entries, with submissions received from around the globe. “Narrowing the field to the top nine finalists was very difficult”, stated Gloria Maroti Frazee, Director of Education and Video for Wine Spectator.
Ms. Cracchiolo, a CNN news assistant, was thrilled when she heard the news. “Pierre and I are honored that the video, which started off as a fun project for the two of us, has been so well received and generated so much buzz for the Norton grape and Chrysalis Vineyards.”
McCloud remarked, “I’m so happy Marina and Pierre won the contest, not only for the recognition and acknowledgment they received as young filmmakers, but for the exposure their wonderful short film offers our native grape, Norton. Their great storytelling, along with the educational theme made their piece very interesting and engaging. It certainly helped my mission in spreading the word about Norton, The Real American Grape!”
The video is featured on Wine Spectator’s website at http://www.winespectator.com/videocontest2014.