Cinematographer and vintner Michael Seresin is passionate about all art forms; an April Gornick painting dominates the dining room of his London town house.
There's yet to be a great movie about wine. (The Year of the Comet, a caper about the world's most expensive bottle of Bordeaux, was a box-office failure.) Still, creative people in the film world seem to have an urge to own wineries. Francis Ford Coppola has put down roots in Napa, Gérard Depardieu in the Loire, and in New Zealand you can find both the actor Sam Neill and the cinematographer Michael Seresin making wine on their recently acquired estates.
Talking to Michael Seresinwho was responsible for the look of Midnight Express, Fame and the famously damp-looking, green-tinged Angela's Ashesyou sense that by starting a winery, he may be searching for permanence in an ephemeral world. A youngish fiftysomething, Seresin is already fretting about whether one of his five children will one day want to take over his 400-acre estate on New Zealand's South Island. After spending much of his adult life in Europe, Seresin says he sometimes feels "like a fish out of water" in his native New Zealand, but nonetheless, that was where he decided to start a winery. And not just any winery, but one that would be one of the best in the world. Otherwise, Seresin says, "I'd rather sell the damned place."