The stunning mountain ranges of Portugal’s Douro Valley are the setting for “A Wonderful Kingdom,” a poetic observation of traditional winemaking in northern Portugal. This new documentary focuses on the Douro Valley, a remote area that’s the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Douro Valley has been the site of winemaking for some 2000 years. It isn’t easy to cut the grapes from the vines, to transport grapes on steep mountains, or to stomp ripe fruit with bare feet to create the grape juice that will become wine. Nonetheless, descendants of families going back generations participate in these annual viticulture rituals to this day.
“A Wonderful Kingdom” is directed by Carlos Carneiro. Born in Porto, Portugal and now living in New York, Carneiro says the Douro Valley’s Old World winemaking is “a living metaphor for the bounty that can spring from the harshest conditions, the rewards that can be reaped after long labor, and the symbiotic relationship between humans and the land that nourishes them.”
Reverent and meditative, this observational documentary hosted by Malcolm McDowell (“A Clockwork Orange”) is set to prose by iconic Portuguese poet Miguel Torga.
“A Wonderful Kingdom” can be viewed on Apple TV and Amazon’s Prime Video.