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Film featuring SLO County winemakers screening at the SLO Film Festival 

The Amphora Project film

Image courtesy of the Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo

Seven county winemakers using ancient wine making techniques are featured in ‘The Amphora Project — Past Forward’

– The Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo recently announced the upcoming screening of The Amphora Project — Past Forward at the SLO International Film Festival. The film, features seven county winemakers, six from Paso Robles, who are using amphorae in their winemaking process.

The film explores the archeological evidence about winemaking from China, Georgia, Armenia, Egypt, and Italy and shares the experiences of SLO County winemakers who use ancient winemaking techniques.

San Luis Obispo County has the largest group of winemakers in the United States who are using amphorae for their winemaking. Seven of these winemakers and their inspirations for taking up such an old practice are featured in the film. The filmmaking team worked with archaeologists in China, Armenia, Georgia, Italy, and San Luis Obispo County.

The team includes filmmakers Libbie Agran, director of the Wine History Project of San Luis Obispo, and Tim Clott and Noel Resnick with Partners 2 Media video production. The film narrator is Karen MacNeil, wine educator and author of The Wine Bible.

Featured local winemakers

Manu Fiorentini, owner of Paso Roble’s Itek Wine has imported many of the amphorae vessels from his native Italy and has mentored local winemakers. In addition to Fiorentini, the featured winemakers include:

  • John Alban, Alban Vineyards, Arroyo Grande
  • Gelert Hart, AmByth Estate, Paso Robles
  • Vailia From, Desperada Wines, Paso Robles
  • Sherman Thacher, Thacher Winery & Vineyard, Paso Robles
  • Brian and Stephy Terrizzi, Giornata Wines, Paso Robles
  • Daniel Callan, Slamdance Kooperatieve Wines, Paso Robles

Screening times and locations

The Amphora Project film is paired with a second film, In Pursuit of Flavor, and one ticket covers admission to both films. In Pursuit of Flavor follows an apologetic sommelier that returns to his former home of Georgia to explore the humble and hidden truth about wine and its inception. In touring the lush countryside and documenting the deceptively simple process of Georgian winemaking and the unique fruits of its labor — namely, orange wine — Ashwin rediscovers the original magic that saved his life and brought him to the world of flavor.

The films are being screened in San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, and virtually. The dates and locations are:

  • April 26, 1:30 p.m. at the Downtown Center Cinema 3, 888 Marsh St, San Luis Obispo.
  • April 29, 1:30 p.m. at the Palm Theatre, 817 Palm St, San Luis Obispo.
  • May 4, 7:30 p.m. at the Park Cinemas, 1100 Pine St, Paso Robles
  • Virtual viewing is available from April 30-May 7.


Tickets for all screenings and for virtual access can be purchased from the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival website. For more information visit the website or call the office at (805) 439-4647.

The San Luis Obispo Wine History Project

The San Luis Obispo Wine History Project collects and presents two centuries of local viticulture history and works with local vintners and growers to bring life to the wine history of the county. Projects explore the stories of the men and women who made viticulture history in the county. Their stories, upcoming events, and more historical information are available on the Wine History Project website.

Currently, the Wine History Project is curating “How the Italians Changed the Landscape and Wine Culture of San Luis Obispo County, 1900 to Present ” at the Paso Robles History Museum. The museum, managed by the Paso Robles Historical Society is a host location for Wine History Projects exhibits and events. The museum is located in the Downtown City Park, at 800 12th Street, Paso Robles.


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