From the grape to the dinner table - how Cognac is made. c 1973
Documentary about the processes involved in making Cognac brandy. There are two versions of this film; both are colour faded. Check other records. Sound is currently missing for this version; it exists for some sections of 'testing' version but is very scratched.
Reel 2. L/S of a French farm building with a large table in the foreground set with soup bowls. Two women and a young girl emerge from the building and walk towards the table. The young girl places large chunks of bread on the table, the woman places bottles of wine on the table. C/U of the wine and bread. Woman pulls a cord which rings a bell to announce lunch.
Elderly woman rides on a cart full of grapes. There is a large bunch of flowers sticking out of the grapes. Workers follow the horse and cart back to the farmhouse. The workers gather around the tables. There are flowers on the tables. This seems to be some kind of celebration lunch - probably to mark the end of the grape harvest.
Women bring huge bowls of soup out and ladle the soup into bowls for the workers. C/U of man eating. One man ladles himself out some soup then grabs a wine bottle and pours some wine into his soup! C/U of a woman wearing a traditional paper hat drinking soup from her bowl. L/S of group of men and women in traditional dress. They are the entertainment.
Various shots of the musicians and dancers putting on their strange hats and tying their neckerchiefs and ties. A young girl pulls the flowers from the cart of grapes and gives them to a vicar. The dancers and musicians walk into the courtyard. More shots of the workers as they eat more soup and watch the dancing. The dance is rather like a version of "pat-a-cake" with hands being clapped and fingers wagged at each other. Quirky and nice! M/S of the workers clapping along to the music. C/U of a lecherous man grabbing a woman and trying to kiss her. More shots of the dancers.
L/S of barrels being rolled off a lorry and into a storage area. Shot of a barrel being rolled off a van by three men. The top is knocked off and a sample of the brandy is taken out. Four men sample the brandy. They smell, taste and look at the brandy, holding the glass up to the light. High angle shot of the distillery. Lorry loaded with boxes drives past the camera. Name on the side is "Martell". We follow the lorry as it makes its way to the docks. C/U of a street sign which reads: "Place Edouard Martell." Various shots of boxes of Cognac being moved around the docks on trolleys. Boxes are stacked. A customs official or possibly a gendarme checks the boxes and writes something on the side. C/U of man in a beret directing the loading of boxes. Load of boxes is lowered onto a cargo ship. L/S of boxes being pushed towards the ship. L/S of the boat in dock.
Note: this version of "Cognac Story" has the celebration sequence, the other does not. The "Testing Version" has more footage of the Cognac being tested and shots of the interior of the distillery.