Romance at the Vineyard (2023) Movie Script

[pleasant music]

And this is now our award-winning pinot noir.
The smooth texture comes from
our vintage oak-aged barrels
and gives us a wine
that is mature,
yet has soft notes of raspberry,
cherry, and vanilla.
- Mm, what's the secret.
- Well, if I told you,
it wouldn't be a secret anymore.
But go ahead, give it a try.

Oh my gosh that's good
Of course we're going to be
in your local
Hank's Wine and Spirits
across the country this fall.
We are so excited.
So please make sure
to tell your friends.
Thank you.
[phone dinging]
Sorry, excuse me.

[breathing deeply]
Al, we have a problem.
Um, uh, can it wait?
No, it can't.
[peppy music]
[plane whirring]
[cars honking]

Did you see the awards list?
I did, we cleaned up.
The board isn't happy.
Our wines won
in almost every category.
Keyword being "almost."
What do you know about
this Merado place?
[contemplative music]
Merado Vineyards, Santa Barbara, California.
First place pinot noir.
- I thought we bought them.
- No.
We bought every vineyard
in the area except that one.
- This place is gorgeous.
- It is.
That's why
you're getting it for us.
You think I can get them to sell?
- If they won't talk to you--
- If anyone can
talk someone into selling
something they don't want to,
- it's you.
- Is that a compliment?
Oh, this is really off,
what happened?
Too much oak.
The oak in the new barrels
is too intense
- and it swamped the fruit.
- And the others?
What--what about
the old barrels?
Perfect, but we needed to test the oak sensitivity
in the new barrels.
A lot of winemakers
are moving away from oak barrels
for this very reason,
which is what I suggested
when we replaced the barrels.
Okay, but the wine
from the good barrels
is enough
to get us through the summer
- and the tasting room, right?
- Not enough
to fill our order with Hank's.
- We should consider the offer.
- No.
Or talk to one of the vineyards.
All the vineyards in the area
are owned by them, Nick.
I know, but, Al, maybe we should take the meeting
- at the very least.
- Wine Inc. has basically
turned every other vineyard
into a theme park.
I mean, what--what--
what does a Ferris wheel
have to do with
making good wine?
I mean, technically nothing, but--
They'd ruin this place.
Look, I know things haven't been
the way that they used to be--
They way they used to be?
Nanna and Poppa
are hanging on by a thread.
But they don't know
that we know that,
and the reps, they're coming to
the Summer Nights tasting event.
Yeah, for us to officially
sign the contract, Al,
we need the pinot noir
that's now gone.
- We should tell Nanna and Poppa.
- No, no, no,
under no circumstances
can they find out.
That would cause them
even more stress.
So what do we do?
Give me a day, I'll come up with something.
[phone dinging]

How much money did they offer this time?
I don't know, I didn't open the email.
Maybe you should.
Okay, okay, okay.
[quirky music]
"Thank you
for your offer, Ethan,
but we are not interested
in selling at this time."
[upbeat music]

[engine whirring]

[phone ringing]
[breathing deeply]
- Hey, man.
- Well, how'd it go?
It was fine.
- She's not really my type.
- She's gorgeous
and she had a PhD.
She's everyone's type.
We gotta get you
to settle down, man.
Where's the fun in that?
I just haven't found
the right one yet.
The Cara to my Ben.
You're ridiculous,
but not wrong.
So where you headed?
I'm at a winery
in Santa Barbara.
Ah, the American Riviera.
I've always wanted to open a
restaurant there.
You and Cara should come meet me.
I'll be here a few days.
Ah, I'm a bit swamped.
Going over new wines
for the menu.
Speaking of,
what did you think
of that bottle we sent over?
Do you want my honest opinion?
Was it that bad?
- Should've come to me.
- We were going for exclusive
and everything
under your label is--
Don't--don't say it.
Big box, mega corporate.
Hey, I gotta run.
[text tone beeping]

We'll see about that.
[pleasant music]
[overlapping conversations]
Um, well, enjoy the wine, guys.

Hi, uh, what can I get ya?
Uh, sauvignon blanc, please.
Um, first time here?
Yeah, but I've read about you guys.
on your recent award.
Well, thank you.
Can I give you an insider's tip?
- Please.
- Our pinot noir
is actually going to be
world famous.
- World famous, huh?
- Yeah,
it took my grandparents
10 years to perfect
and we finally just got
national distribution.
Oh yeah, with who?
- Hank's Wine and Spirits.
- Huh.
I had no idea.
Not that I should've known.
I--I was just, um--

You guys have already started
selling through them?
Well, the--the deal
isn't closed, closed.
We've--we've actually had
some bottling issues
that kinda set us back a bit,
but, you know,
Rome wasn't built in a day, so.

Something like that.

All right.

Mm, very nice, crisp.
- You from around here?
- LA.
Huh, and how'd
you hear about us?
My boss--friend--
my friend told me
about this place.
[mellow music]
- It's gorgeous.
- And, uh, where you staying
- on your trip?
- Your B&B actually.
Oh, well, you have great taste.
I hate to speak ill
of any of the other vineyards
in the area, but, um,
they may look authentic
from the outside,
but they're actually owned
by this big corporate chain
Wine Inc.
Wow, really?
Yeah, it's just so sad to see all the family and the history
of each unique place
being bought out.
We're actually being hounded
by them at the moment as well.
- Oh yeah?
- Yeah.

Would you guys
ever sell to them?
Or to anyone who wanted to buy?
We honestly wouldn't even be considering it
if, um, things hadn't been
so tough recently.

Hi, I'm Allee.
Nice to meet you, Allee, I'm--
Well, nice to meet you, Greg.

Oh, right, yeah.

That might be
one of the best wines
I've ever had in my life,
and I've had a lot of wine.

- What's your secret?
- Well, you're just gonna have to
go on our vineyard tour tomorrow
and find out.

Room five, down there.
Enjoy your stay.
Oh, good evening,
how can I help you?
I have a reservation
under Ethan Blake.
Oh, Ethan.
Ethan, Ethan Blake,
there you are.
- Room 12.
- Great.
Um, would it be possible
to change the first name?
It's actually Greg.
Well, I prefer Greg, not Ethan,
just Greg.
- Please?
- Sure, honey.
Yeah, Greg it is.
Thank you.
I see that your reservation
has been paid for,
so since you'll be staying
right through the weekend,
please join us
for a family dinner
and our annual
Summer Nights tasting event
on Saturday.
That's also complementary
for our B&B guests.
So if there's
anything else you need,
just let me know.
You're upstairs to the right.
Got it, thanks.
[uplifting music]

[exhaling heavily]
[phone ringing]

- Hey.
- How's it going?
- So far so good.
- That is what I like to hear.
Hey, listen, I booked some rooms
for the suits and I
to come down this weekend
and seal the deal.
Can you have them primed
and ready for sale by then?
Yeah, Saturday
should be enough time.
Great, see ya then.

Oh, there she is.
- How'd it go today?
- Just swell.
- What happened?
- Um, nothing.
Well, well, how's everything
looking in the cellar?
I mean, everything in place
for our big night?
Yeah, you know,
I just have to, uh,
- check with Nick about that.
- Check with Nick about what?
Um, whether we have enough labels in stock.
[quirky music]
Yeah, right, uh, the labels.
Ha, we'll see you soon, ciao.
Can you put a Catherine down
for the villa suite
- for this Saturday night?
- Yeah.
She also booked two other rooms.
- Oh.
- And wants to put in an order
for a case of the pinot noir.
I think I'm gonna
head to the cellar now
- and lock up.
- No!
- You can't do that because--
- Um, because you've already
just done so much today,
and, um, Nick here and I
- will do that, right?
- It's really not a problem.
- We insist.
- No, we got it covered.
[sentimental music]
Yeah, we have to figure something out.
[breathing deeply]
Okay, can we do anything with these?
No, I mean, not unless
we wanna make a new blend.
That's it!
We make a whole new blend
for Hank's people
and debut it
the night of the party
and we'll have, like,
a special VIP tasting
"the newest Merado wine"
to distract from the fact that--
- The pinot's ruined.
- The pinot's ruined,
but that way we won't
lose our deal with Hank's
and we'll have something
to fill the void
at the night of the party.
- So you're saying we--
- Make a new wine.
In five days?
- You're insane.
- We have so many blends
to choose from, I mean,
how hard can it be?
It took Nanna and Poppa
over a decade
to create the pinot noir.
Well, do you have a better idea?
I didn't think so.
So we're gonna
get the new blend ready to go
and by the time they figure out
that we've lost all the pinot
they'll be so thrilled
with the new wine sales
that they won't even
be able to be mad at us.
- If you say so.
- Give me tonight
to do some research and, uh,
we will get started
first thing tomorrow.
[suspenseful music]
How did everything look?
- Good.
- Fine.
Fine and good.
- It's all locked?
- All locked.
- And the alarm is on?
- Mhm.
- The temperature is--
- Is--everything's great.
[quirky music]
- Okay.
- All right, well, night, yeah.

[pleasant music]

[indistinct remarks]


[sentimental music]

So what you doing out here?

Just taking in the view.
I forgot how gorgeous it is
out this way.
Got more stars out here than Hollywood.
[quirky music]
Is it always like this?
Year-round, yeah.

[exhaling heavily]
Your grandparents
did a great job with this place.
Four decades is a long time
to run a business.

How'd you know they had
this place for four decades?
Uh, I read it online
before I came.
I always do
very thorough research
every time.
Apps, you know, blogs.
- That is a lot of research.
- Yes.

[exhaling heavily]
Yeah, I would love
for them to retire,
but I don't think
they are going to.
Well, it is a great place.
[soft music]
What's your story?
My story, uh, well,
I was born and raised
in the Midwest.
Ah, we get a lot of Midwesterners.
They're--they're really nice.

Do you have any siblings?
Yes, um, one sister.
She is married with kids
in our hometown.

You make it sound like it's a bad thing.
No, no, it's not, it's just that works for some people,
- but I'm just--
- An overachiever.
You're chasing the next thing,
the next high.
I mean, I guess, yeah.
- Are you not?
- No, I love my life here.
[insects chirping]
I've worked hard
for my life here.

I mean, do you ever think
about what you leave behind
when your time is done?

No, not really.
I mean, I--I worry about
what I'll miss out on.
I want a life really well lived.
I wanna eat the best food,
drink the best wine,
- travel to the best places.
- Wow.
What, what?
You sound like someone I know.
- Must be a great guy.
- Yeah.
[breathing deeply]
You sound like my ex.
Ooh, sounds like there's a story there.
Basically I ended things
because my heart
is in this place.
This and my family
are everything.

Yeah, I get that, but aren't you afraid of missing out?
- On what?
- Things, life.
Well, doesn't that happen here?
Yeah, that's fair.
Okay, well, I will see you
in the morning.
- Okay.
- Okay.

[uplifting music]

- Morning.
- Morning.
- Just some coffee, please.
- Oh.

Sugar, milk, or cream?
That's perfect, thanks.
Got any big plans for today?
Not really, I was just going to check out a vineyard tour.
Oh, they're great.
You know, Alexandra
does such a good job.
Yeah, it was her idea
to start the guided tours
- in the first place.
- No kidding.
- Yeah.
- That girl has lots of ideas.
Always coming up with
new experiences
- for our guests to enjoy.
- Yeah.
What happened to good wine
and a good view?
Oh, Franco, times change.
- That they do.
- Mm.
Thank you.
It can't be that hard.
Do you even know how to make a blend?
Well, I mean, that's what the internet is for.
- This is not gonna end well.
- Thank you for that
vote of confidence, Nick.
[quirky music]
Okay, so in order
to get a replicable blend,
we are going to
need to do some math.
We need to make sure
that residual sugar,
color, alcohol,
and volatile acid levels
- are all consistent.
- Starting to realize
why Nanna and Poppa
never got into blends.
Okay, this is just to make a small batch.
This isn't for distribution,
and once we get the ratios down,
we will make them
from real grapes.
Ah, sounds super easy.
[phone dinging]
Great, I have a vineyard tour in five.
Can you be a gem
and go to the store
- and get these for me?
- Oh, oh.
Okay, great, thanks, bye.

[insects chirping]
- It's gorgeous, right?
- Oh, wow.
- Hey, uh.
- I'm sorry.
Yeah, it's really something.
Yeah, how'd you sleep?
Great, best night's sleep I've had in a while.
- Mm.
- So quiet here.
- Yeah.
- You've lived here
your own life?
Uh, pretty much, yeah.
Nick and I used to come visit
during the summers,
um, and then
we permanently moved here
when I was 8 and he was 5.
And your parents?
I'd like to think that they were very proud of us.
Oh, I--I am--I'm sorry.
Oh no, it's okay, it was-- it was a really long time ago.
[sentimental music]
[overlapping remarks]
[engine whirring]
- What was that?
- Yeah.
Green Vine's party bus.
[breathing deeply]
They were bought out
by Wine Inc. and it's--
it's changed the whole area.

- How so?
- You know, with cell phones
and booking apps
and social media,
they want it all
and they want it now.
Fast and cheap and right at their fingertips.
Exactly, and if it's not that,
then they'll find
somewhere else.
And we're not fast
and we're not cheap,
but we are real.

So in the late 1960s,
Gianna and Franco Balzerini
purchased this land
for just $3,000,
and after realizing
that they were sitting
on a plot of land
that was perfect
for growing grapes,
they decided to give
winemaking a shot.
So then they invested
all of their savings
into the land,
and Merado Vineyard
is still making local wine
to this day.
And we have won
countless local awards
for the past decade
for our wines,
but most proudly
and most recently,
we have just gained
national recognition
for our very popular pinot noir.

Um, do you guys
have any questions?

We'll continue on.

[breathing heavily]
Oh, grazie.
How's it looking?
[soft guitar music]
I wonder if it's time
to finally sell.

We haven't had
a good harvest in years.
with the rising
production costs.
We can't sustain
another bad year.
But the deal we'll have
with Hank's will set us free.
You know, as soon
as we finally sign,
the pinot noir
is our ticket out.
And if not?
I got another call
from that Wine Inc. place.
We cannot sell to them, Franco.
I mean, look what they did
to all the other vineyards
- in the area.
- I know, I know.
I'm just saying we have options.
The kids cannot know
about this, Franco.
You know, it--
it'll just crush them.
I don't wanna keep things from them,
not when Allee's
working so hard to take over.
Let's give her
until the tasting event.
You don't wanna put
any more stress on her plate.
And then afterwards, we'll...

...we could reconsider.

If need be.
If you guys wanna head inside to the tasting room,
I will be there shortly.
- Hey.
- It's bad, Al.
- What's bad?
- It sounds like Nanna and Poppa
are in a far worse situation
than we thought.
Well, I mean, I know things haven't been great, but--
- No, this blend has to work.
- And it will!
Did you get everything
that we needed?
- Yeah, I got it.
- Okay, okay.
- [woman Thank you.
- Um, you handle the tasting room
and then I'm gonna
handle the blend.
Uh, so--
- Hey.
- Hi, um--
You guys are making a blend?
Sorry, I couldn't help
but overhear.
Yeah, no, no, no, uh, we're just experimenting with the idea,
- but if you wanna go ahead--
- Is there something
- I can help with?
- Uh, definitely not.
- I--
- It's not a problem at all.
Wine is my passion,
and well, I'm already here.
Plus, last year
I helped create a blend
that actually won, like,
four Decanter Awards.
Are you for real?
So sorry, one sec.
[contemplative music]
- Al, Al!
- No.
- Any updates?
- Well,
this place is just as beautiful
as the pictures.
Anything else?
It looks like
they had some issue
and are trying
to create a new blend
- to save their vineyard.
- Fantastic.
They'll be grateful to us
for saving them.
Yeah, I offered
to help make the blend.
Ethan, that is genius.
Make them think you're doing
all you can to save them,
then when it fails,
selling is their only option.
I don't know if that's
what I would be doing.
Whatever, just keep up the great work.
I'll be there
in a couple of days
to get them to sign
on the dotted line.

I wasn't sure if I believed in fate before this moment.
No, no, Nick, Nick, he is a guest,
a guest we know
very little about.
Three heads might be better than one,
- plus, he's made a blend.
- Again, he is--
we know nothing about him.
So, this blend.
Yeah, it's kinda our last hope.
- Um.
- And you guys need help?
Desperately, we've never created one before.
Well, I don't wanna overstep, but I would love
to be of assistance
in any way I can.
- Um, wha--
- Al,
a guy who's made a blend before
is offering to help us
make a blend.
Seems like a no-brainer to me.
It would be my pleasure.
Great, well, I'll head in and do the tasting,
and you two will
go create magic in there.
[cheerful music]
If you just follow me,
I'll take you
to a delicious tasting
in our tasting room
'round the corner, so let's go.

Should we get started?
Yeah, well,
remind me how you know
how to make a blend again.
and years of training.
I've spent a lot of time
with wine people in my life,
and if I can be of service,
I would like to.
I know how daunting it can be.

So if you don't mind me asking,
why the urgency
to create a new blend?
We've had a bit of a situation.
The pinot
in the new oak barrels is off,
it's--it's way off.
Let me guess,
you forgot to test
the oak sensitivity.
That's why we need it,
and our deal with Hank's
is contingent on this
and the only issue is they want
the pinot, which is--
- A no-go.
- Exactly.
What do your grandparents think about this?
They don't know and I don't want them to know.
[contemplative music]
what is it that you do exactly?
[quirky music]
- Me?
- Mhm.
I work in sales.
A guy who works in sales
has won four Decanter Awards.

Something doesn't add up for me.

I don't know
if this was a good idea.
Look, there's a lot
riding on this
and I--
I don't know you very well.
Yeah, no, I totally get it.

Can I give you a tip real quick?
- Uh, sure.
- When you're starting,
measure and record
the amounts of each type of wine
you put into the glass.
I know it's tempting
to just start pouring
and see what it tastes like,
but by measuring,
you can keep a record
of what worked and what didn't,
and that way
you can adjust as you go.
A little more a cab,
a little less zin.
You know?
[uplifting music]
- Thank you.
- No problem.

And if you change your mind,
I will be here all week.



[birds chirping]
- Oh here, let me.
- Oh.
Here, Nanna, I'll--I'll set it up.
- Thank ya, honey.
- Yeah, no problem.
- Hi.
- Hey.
How was the tasting?
You guys know
how to make a wine.
How did the blend creating go?
It was a bit of a fail.
- Hey, who said it would be easy?
- The internet.
Really, really?
- Wow.
- I know,
I know, I know.
[cheerful music]
Can I help?
Yeah, sure.

You guys do family dinner every night?
We do.
We like to make people
feel at home.

I like the vibe here
It's cool.
If only we were cool.
I think you're cool.
But you know what I mean.
A few years back,
a good wine tasting,
a fun vineyard tour,
and dinner by the firepit
was enough to make people happy.
It was about slowing down
and connecting with each other.
Yeah, I get it.
They want all the distractions.
Who cares about grapes
when you have
a big corporate monster?

Well, you can't blame people for wanting experiences.
And there are plenty of places
that will provide that.

But it's the integrity
of our wine
that makes us special.
And I don't want to lose that.

I hear Ferris wheels are a huge hit in this area.
That looks perfect.
Thanks, you two.
- Um...
- You're welcome.
Uh, it's a pleasure.
All right, Alexandra,
why don't you gather everyone
for dinner?
Uh, you got it.

[soft, bright music]
Well, I was 22 and need to the job.
And what do you do now, son?
Oh, now I--I work in sales.
Of what kind?
Of fruit juice.
Fruit juice sales?
It's--it is a booming market.
[quirky music]

dinner was amazing,
Mr. Balzerini.
But I cannot take
any of the credit.
You made all that?
I mean, they're my grandfather's recipes, so...
Again, I can take no credit.
Honestly, he is the best chef in all of Santa Barbara.
I've been trying
to convince him
to open up a bistro here.
People come for the wine.
Yeah, but they would stay for the food.
I think you're onto something with that.
My friend is
a restaurant investor in LA,
I'd--I'd be happy
to connect you guys.
Ooh, that sounds like an interesting idea.
Yeah, but with everything else going on here at the moment...
I think it's worth a go.
Yeah, why not?
Great, leave it with me.

What is your deal?
You know my deal.
We need to tell them.
And Mr. Jawline.
I don't want to waste
his friends' time.
Taking a meeting isn't wasting anyone's time, Nick.
[soft music]

I know you,
you always do
the right thing,
and I promise you
that's what we're doing.
If I can't come up with
something in the next few days,
we can tell 'em.

Thank you.

Hey, Nanna.
So what are you two up to today?
Oh, you know, it's a beautiful day out,
and I thought maybe
we could set up the games
for the party.
Both of you have fun now.
[soft music]

So do you get out of LA often?
I do.
I travel a lot for work.
Do you like it?
Yeah, sometimes.
Sometimes it's just work.
Do you like what you do?

It has some perks.

I thought we were going
to set up games.
Well, I wanted to take you on the scenic route.

This is my favorite spot here.
I can see why.
I grew up going to lakes
with my family.
I always dreamt of living
by the water one day.
[soft music]
There's not a lot of lakes
in LA.
No, there's not.

This is beautiful.

Do you, uh, ever get away,
leave Santa Barbara?
I haven't been back to LA in years.
I'd love to show you around
some time.
Oh, that would--
that would be great.
Yeah, it sounds like we both
could use some time off.
I will give you
the best food and wine tour
a gal could ask for.
Well, that sounds amazing.
Great, it's a date.

So, these games...
Uh, yeah.
We, um, better get to it.

[birds twitter]
[mallet strikes]
[Ethan sighs]
Okay, that's it.
- Whew!
- All done.
You know, we take our games
very seriously.
I can see that.
You guys should leave this
set up.
- Good, wholesome fun.
- Yeah.
I have some--
I have some ideas,
but things move very slowly
around here.
You mean your grandparents?
I would love for them
to retire and relax,
you know, so I could--
Take over?
But, I mean, so I could
take care of them.
Have you told 'em?
No, not directly.
I think you should.
[soft music]
So, um, enough about me.
Was it hard to leave
your hometown?

I knew what I wanted wasn't there.

I think if I had
something I loved,
then maybe, but...I didn't.
And what would that be?
You know, I hadn't really thought about it
till I came here.

But what you guys have.
Yeah, I think I'd like
something like that one day.

I can see the appeal
of living here.
You can hear yourself think.

[horseshoe clangs]
Wow! Good shot.
Plenty of practice.
My parents had a lot of land
growing up.
Yeah, what was it like?
It was remote.
The kind of place
you had to make your own fun.
Mm, sounds like we have a few things in common.
Yeah, we do.

But, yeah, that's how I want to
raise my family down the line.

[horseshoe clangs]

I'm terrible at this.

[horseshoe clangs]
The trick is the follow through.

Your thumb is the indicator.
So when you toss,
keep your thumb in line
with the peg.

[inhales, exhales]

[horseshoe clangs]
There you go.
Well, I have a good teacher.

So, I've been giving it some thought.

Your blend?
Uh, right.
Yeah, I really would like to help.
I promise, I will give away
none of your trade secrets
and everything we create
will be strictly...
Well, can I get that in writing?

There you go.

- Well, if you blow this--
- I won't. I promise.
I want to help.

Sweet setup.
Okay, well, I guess we're done here.
I'll see you later.
[soft, bright music]
Did you guys have fun?
Yeah, yeah.
Your sister's really...nice.

Yeah, she is.
So, tomorrow...
We tackle the blend.
Sorry. What?
It has to stay secret.
Yeah, safe with me, I promise.
Okay, so after breakfast,
we will head down
to the cellar,
and we don't want
to look suspicious
and we don't want people
asking questions.
- Why would they ask questions?
- Because guests only go
- to the cellar on the tours.
- Ahh.

So just play it cool.
You got it, boss.

[bright, pensive music]
- Did we look suspicious?
- No.
I think we looked
totally natural.
- I don't know if we did.
- We definitely did.

Ah, so thank you so much for doing this.
Of course.
The prospect of creating
a new blend is exciting.
Yeah, we'll give you credit on the back of the bottle.
- Oh, no, that's--
- No, no, no, no, no.
You could be
literally saving us.
It's the least I could do.

[cellar door slides closed]
[soft music]
Can't guarantee success,
but I can guarantee
my best effort.

Well, I guess I'm just gonna
have to trust you.

So, Hank's people
are expecting a red, um,
but that's out of the question.
- White it is.
- Right.
So we have a Riesling, um,
a Sauv Blanc, um,
Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio.
More than enough to work with.
- Sorry.
- Go ahead.
- My bad.
- It's you.
- Go ahead.
- Sure.

Hey, Al, can I call ya Al?
I think it's great that you guys are doing this.
Thanks, but it's not like we really have a choice.
Yeah, but it's like you said the other day.
You are creating something new.
Well, I mean, I think it's more of a "we" now.

Here we go.


- Um...yeah, it's okay.
- Not so good.
Yeah, okay.
- We could do better.
- We'll keep trying.
Do you get back to see your family at all?
Not as much as I'd like.
I try to make it back
for Christmas when I can.

When was the last time
you saw 'em?

- Yeah.
- Yeah, it's been way too long.
My work is just insane.
And I've been a little focused
on finally being promoted.
[liquid pouring]
Round two.
[glass slides]
[soft, tense music]

Yeah, it needs more body.
More body.
[soft, pensive music]
So, what's the promotion?
It's basically everything I've worked for
the last 10 years.
More responsibility,
more creative input.

And what's stopping you?
Well, the department I work for is in acquisitions,
and we have
one potential client
we are trying to land.

So you just have to land this client and you're good?

Pretty much, yeah.
Here's to you
landing that client.
Okay, cheers.
[glasses clink]

- Ooh, wow.
- It's terrible.
- It's so bad.
- Yeah.
Well, I'm sure they're gonna be
wondering where I am,
so I should probably get back.
Yeah, better not push our luck.
Um, but we'll pick this up
Sounds like a plan, boss.

Guys, thanks for coming.
That was great.
[gate clinking]
[energetic music]


Here, let me take that for you.
All right, gotcha.
Thank you, son.
Do you know how to tell
when the vines
are ready for harvest?
Picking the perfect grapes is like falling in love.
Takes time.
It can't be rushed.
Vitis vinifera.
They're always my favorite grape
to grow.

You know why this is
the perfect location for them?
Your soil blend?
Well, that.
But the breeze we get
from the Pacific
keeps the grapes cool.
These guys are a finicky bunch.
don't like the heat.
Sounds like a challenging variety to grow.
The challenge is part of the fun.
When a grape releases easily
from the stem,
that's how you know
it's ready.
Again, like love.
You don't have to force it.
When they're ripe,
they're plump,
and they fall easily
from the cluster.

[inhales deeply]
Yeah, thank you.
Happy to help.

Beautiful plot of land
you got here.
Your granddaughter told me
you guys built this place
from the ground up.
I never could have done it without my Gianna.
She's the glue
that keeps it all together.
You two are the perfect blend.
[Franco laughs]
Want to know the secret?
Laughter, lots of laughter.
Keeps you young in spirit.
Helps you to remember not
to take anything too seriously.
And total trust.
No secrets.
Well, come on.
We've done enough today.

I like your style.

Would you care for a glass?
Love one.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
[glasses clink]
My grandpa told me
you helped him today.
[soft music]
I got a first-rate lecture
on the vines, the grapes.
Yeah, yeah, he'll do that.

So you got any plans
for tomorrow?
[cell phone chimes]

[soft, tense music]

Is everything okay?
Yeah, it's work.
It's relentless.
Well, do you ever get time to switch off,
think about what you want
out of life?

Like, for instance,
what I want out of life is,
I want to love and be loved
while doing what I love.

That's a lot of love.
Yeah, I know, but that's what I want.

And what about you?

I'm gonna have to get back to you on that one.
[energetic music]

Well, I think that's all of it.

Right, yes,
and I have some emails
I need to mail.
I should, uh, um...

Hi, Nanna.
Have I told you how proud of you I am?
All the time.
[Gianna chuckles]
You're such a generous, loving, kind person.
And I couldn't be more proud
of the woman you've grown into.
I learned from the best.
[Gianna chuckles]
But there's something I need you to know.
This place, Merado,
well, it's our responsibility,
it's not yours.
So, if there's something else
you want to do with your life,
you know, go and see
more of the world,
we will totally support you.
Nanna, this place is every--
I know, I know that you love this place.

Hey, but there's more to life
than grape vines.

What I'm trying to say
is it's been a while
since you opened your heart.
You know, your big,
vibrant, beautiful heart.

And I don't want you
to miss out on anything.

And you know, having someone
to tame the vines with,
it makes life,
days so much sweeter.

Maybe there's another option
instead of just buying them out.
Anything other than an outright sale
is not going to work.
I can send Carl down there
if you need some backup.
No, that won't be necessary.
I'll be there tomorrow
with the contract.
- Catherine, can we just--
- Stay the course, Ethan.
[soft, somber music]

[Ethan sighs]

- Morning.
- Hey.
Uh, coffee's in the pot.
You're gonna need it.
I am?
[bright music]


You look great.
I--I--I think it suits you.


So, I mean, obviously we could use the machines,
but the stomping gets
the fermentation of the grapes
going quicker.
And it also adds
to the intensity of the flavor.
[soft, bright music]
It is a great way to test character.

I assume you're talking about me.
- Yeah, Greg.
- Great.
Yeah, tell me about you.
You have a special lady
back in LA?
No, no, no, no.
When it comes to relationships,
I haven't quite known
where to start.
Yeah, tell me about it.
I can relate to that.
This place always comes first.

Al, I think what you're doing here is really cool.
Well, thanks.
It's my everything.

All right,
let's stomp those grapes.

Great. Can't wait.
Are you, uh,
having second thoughts?
Uh, no, no.
I am coming in hot.
[grapes squelching]
Oh, wow.
Yeah, it takes some getting used to.
[quirky music]
[grapes squelching]

It's kinda gross.
You know, you can, um,
you can sit on the sidelines,
it's fine.
- You can watch.
- No, I--hey,
I am happy to do my part.
[grapes squelching]

Is this sanitary?
We've been doing this for generations.
Doesn't mean it's sanitary.
[grapes squelching]

[water spraying]
- Hey, hey, hey, hey!
- Don't tell me
you're scared
of water, too.
[soft music]

That was fun.
Once you get over
the small squishy things
- going between your toes.
- You're such a city slicker.
All right, you two.

Let's go create a--
Create a what?
Um, uh,
we were going to create, um,
an anniversary surprise
for you guys.
- What?
- So we thought
it would be great
to have, like, you know,
the anniversary secret surprise,
but we don't want to ruin it.
- [speaking Italian].
- Should we go?

That's--I'm taking that as yes.

Kids these days. Huh.
But they've done a great job with the grapes.
- Hey.
- Hey.
So I had some time.
I just threw it together,
what do you guys think?
[soft, pensive music]
Oh, this is great.
Do you think we can get this
printed in time?
Yeah, I'm sure I can figure something out.

- Can I give one note?
- Please.
People think that using words like reserve and handcrafted
make their wine look
more attractive to buyers,
but from our--
their perspective,
those words are unregulated
and anyone can use 'em.
So if we can simply just say,
"Merado Anniversary Blend,"
with your vineyard rating
or green certification.
- Are you guys green certified?
- Yeah, we are.
So, "Merado Anniversary Blend,"
with your green certification,
tells buyers:
One, it can be marketed
as eco-friendly.
And two, it has specificity
from other wines
at your vineyard.
And therefore
makes it more attractive.
How do you know all this?
He won four Decanter Awards, remember?
Okay, you two get to work
and I'll make sure
nobody comes in.
Sounds like a plan.
[bright music]

Another ten?

Aw, man. Really?

I think we have to admit defeat.
We're further away
than when we started.
One more, just try one more.
My tastebuds can't handle it anymore.
Last one.

Please, boss.
[energetic music]

What is this?
It's the one part Sauv,
two parts Chardonnay,
with a topper
of Pinot Grigio
mixed with the one part
two parts Sauv with
a topper of Chardonnay.

So literally all the options.
Pretty much, yeah.

Bottoms up.

This is good.

This is really good.
This could work.
I'd buy it.
But would other people?

What if we do
like a taste test
in the tasting room,
and, uh, we just gauge
their reactions?

[indistinct chatter]

- So, what is it?
- Well, you can try it.
Um, it's the one part Sauv,
two parts Chardonnay.
And a topper of Pinot Grigio.
Mixed with the one part Riesling, two parts Sauv.
With a topper of Chardonnay.
I think they like it.
Hey there, would it be possible for us to get another refill?
Um, uh, sure, of which one?
This new white blend.
It's delicious.
Of course. Be right back.
[triumphant music]
Does that mean we did it?
- I mean...
- I think we did.
[pensive music]

Well, I better get the new blend
into bottles.
Yes, I need to go and check in
- with the office.
- Yep.

I can put in a good word if you want.
- What?
- My sister.
Oh, no, I couldn't.
Not that I wouldn't, I just--
She's very...
I do like her.
Smooth, man.


I feel like I should offer you a job
after everything
you've done for us.
Seriously, it was nothing.
It was everything.
I mean, if we manage to stay
in business because of this,
you are absolutely welcome
to stay here
- any time you want--
- Oh, come on.
- Free of charge.
- You don't have to--
No, you don't understand.
I can't thank you enough, Greg.
You have given us
a fighting chance.
[soft music]

[cellphone ringing]
Ugh, sorry, I have to take this.
Yeah, I'm done here.
Just, uh, shut the door
when you leave.

That was quick.
Ethan, what has gotten into you?
I we really need
another acquisition
in this area?
I'm just saying,
from a business perspective,
does it really make us
that much better as a company?
- We had a deal, Ethan.
- I know, but I'm just--
Whose side are you on?
Ours or theirs?
There doesn't have to be sides.
You know...I'm not sure
this is working out.
Thank you for your time.
I'll handle it from here.
[soft, tense music]

- Hey.
- Hey.
- Sorry about that.
- No, it's okay.
- You okay?
- Yeah, just work stuff.
You wanna talk about it?
[soft music]
I've been thinking about the whole work/life thing.
What'd you figure out?
To strive for balance in everything I do.
Needs a bit of work, but...
I realize there is
so much more to life
than the corner office.
It's funny.
I've always been
so laser-focused.
I went to college,
then grad school,
got the job,
and I was really enjoying it,
the chase of the next high,
the sale,
the acquisition.
But now...
I'm not so sure
it's what I want anymore.
Well, if it's not what you want,
you can always
choose a different path,
write your own story.
- Oh yeah?
- Yeah! I mean,
that's what I'm doing.
I am really ready to take over
for my grandparents.
And you helped me realize that,
so, thank you.
- I didn't do anything.
- Yes, you did!
And I'm going to tell them.
You really are
more than ready.

But for myself, I just...
I worry that it's too late,
that I'm in too deep.
It's never too late.
The deal I'm supposed to close?
I'm not so sure
it's right for the client.
Well, um...what changed?

I don't know.
But I don't necessarily
wanna go through with it.
Okay, well, I mean, can't you talk to your boss?
I mean, find a new client?
She has her heart set on closing this deal.
[poignant music]
Well, if it doesn't feel right to you,
then you should listen to that.
Look, I don't know much
about your fruit juice company,
but you have
a really great heart.
Yeah, I'm not so sure about that.
Are you kidding me?!
Because of you,
we have a shot,
a real shot.
You did that.

And if she can't see that,
then, you know, that's her loss.

[he sighs]

You're following your dreams,
building a future,
and I'm...

[he sighs]
I don't know
what I'm doing.
Well, at least you're
starting to think about it.

I'm gonna let you, uh,
finish up here.

[softly exclaims]
The whole batch of the pinot noir is gone
and you didn't think
to tell us?
- It's not the whole pinot noir!
- We have people coming
to buy that wine!
People who can save
our vineyard.
- I know, and that's why I was--
- They don't want this wine.
They want the pinot noir,
Franco, honey.
We were only able to get the Hank's people to look at us
because the pinot noir
had won an award
after years of perfecting!
And you think they're gonna
settle for a blend
that you two created
in just a few days?
- Poppa, if you'll just listen--
- No!
Franco. Don't speak to them like that.
We should have told you.
If you wanna yell at anyone,
yell at me, it's my fault.
Nick wanted to tell you
but I told him to wait.
We taste-tested it
on the guests today
and it went really well.
- It is really good.
- Why didn't you tell us?
Because I knew how much was riding on this blend.
And there's nothing we can do
about the lost pinot.
Greg helped create the blend.
And if we end up
saving the vineyard,
it's because of him.
[mellow music]

Well. You gonna pour me a glass
or not?
[soft, tense music]

It's not bad.
[exhaling deeply]
I know it's not the pinot,
but it's worth a shot.
You should have told us, but...
This is good!
And we will see what the rep from Hank's
have to say about it.
I'm proud of you.
Both of you.
You've created
something really special.
Yeah, I just hope it's enough.

Ben, hey.
Sorry to call so late.
Do you have plans tomorrow?
If not, you wanna come
to a party in Santa Barbara?
I might have a business venture
for you.
[uplifting music]
Nanna and Pa are really impressed with the blend.
[soft music]
I told them if we save
this place, it's because of you.
Mm, it was a team effort.
Yeah, was it, though?
[bird chirping]
[Allee exclaims]

You know what's really cute?
They kinda think of you
like family now.
What you guys have
is really special.
Yeah, it is.

- I just hope it's enough.
- Me too.
Come on, you two.
This party isn't gonna
set itself up.
[upbeat music]

[ice clinking]
In and out.
We get them to sign,
then we can close
this chapter forever
and I can finally buy that
vacation property in Bora Bora.
Oh--and I know
I booked a suite there,
but I don't actually
want to stay in that dump.
No. In and out
in an hour or less.
Sound good?
[driving music]
[elevator bell dings]
[laughter, indistinct chatter]
- Nick.
- Yeah.
You've really outdone yourself.
Hey, what is this?
You know, I thought it was time to expand on Poppa's recipes,
so this is my own creation.
It's a take on
goat's cheese and arugula tart.
- Nick...
- You hate it.
- I...
- This is so good!
This needs to be
in the tasting room!
You're so talented.
[mellow music]

Hey, guys.
Are you guys enjoying--
oh, thank you.
That good?
- Hey!
- Hey.

To you.
To us.
To us.
[glasses clink]

You okay?
I have something
I need to tell you.
But first,
I need to say something else.
It's just...
- this has--
- Uhh, she's here, she's here.
[soft, tense music]
[she exhales nervously]
I'm sorry, I'm sorry,
what were you saying?
That's okay.
It can wait.
- Are you sure?
- Yeah.
- Let's do this.
- Okay.
[upbeat music]
Oh, as I was saying,
this is our granddaughter,
It is so great to finally meet you.
You as well.
We're very excited
about our pending partnership.
- Hey.
- Hey!
And we have a special surprise for you.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
- Okay.
- Please, please.
You made it.
Any opportunity to get out of L.A.
and breathe a little fresh air.
Wow. This is gorgeous.
Thought you guys were buying
these places up like crazy.
We were.
But this one's different.

Like I said on the phone,
I might have an opportunity
for you.
- Give you a tour?
- Lead the way.
So, you're telling me that the pinot noir is gone?
Well, for this season, yes.
Okay, well, that changes our terms.
Um, but we have a new wine for you to try.
Uh, Merado Anniversary Blend.
What--what is this?
A new wine,
created exclusively
for Hank's Wine and Spirits.
[soft, tense music]
[birds twitter]
It could be perfect.
You think the Balzerini family
would go for it?
I mean, we don't have a chef
or anything to pitch them.
I already have one in mind.
I'll give Luca a call.

[indistinct chatter]
Um, can I have a moment, please?
[crowd chatter]

Hey, Al?
Can I talk to you a second?
Uh, yeah.
You okay?

I have a confession to make.
a couple of confessions.

For one,
my name's not really Greg.
I'm Ethan,
Ethan Blake.
I'm a wine rep.

Wine, Inc.
You sent those emails.

On to confession number two.

I was sent here
to get you guys to sell.
[music turns dark]
No, no, no.
Don't call me that.

I'm sorry.

You lied to me.

We are not selling.
That might be the best option, no?
Catherine Hayes,
Senior VP of Wine, Inc.
Ethan's boss.
Alexandra Balzerini,
I take it.
We're not interested
in your offer.
I think you should be.
We've learned about
your current predicament
and know that your
award-winning pinot noir
is a no-go this season.
How did you know that?
Ethan here told us.
Would now be a good time
to go over the paperwork?

I can't believe you.
Business is business, Ethan.
You should know that
better than anyone.
Yeah, you're right.
Which is why
I can't do this anymore.
Did you know
that the vineyards we buy,
we don't even continue
to make their wine?
Of course we don't!
Could you imagine
the overhead on that?
I can.
But I think it's worth it.
What is wrong with you?
I am done
with all of this.
I quit, Catherine.
- You can't quit.
- I just did.

- Hey!
- Hey. Thank you so much
for your patience.
I'm so sorry,
but we can't offer you
distribution at this time.
If anything changes
in the future, though,
we'll reach out.
We really appreciate your time.
- Thank you.
- Thanks.
[mellow music]

It's okay, honey, we tried.
What are we gonna do?
Well, we have had an offer.
Yeah. It might be time.
Dude. What is this?
Oh, it's a new blend.
How new is new?
You're tasting the first of it.
So no one's had this wine outside of this group of people.
And it looks like
no one else will.
Why is that? It's incredible.
I mean, I think
we did a good job.
I might have helped
with the creation of this wine.
For Wine, Inc.
For the Balzerini family.
You, Ethan Blake, helped someone out,
just because?
It was nothing.
Who are you and what have you done with my friend?
This is cool.
I like this side of you.
You know,
I don't think I've seen you
without a tie on since...
- College?
- College, yeah.
Yeah. Too bad I messed it all up.
I didn't tell her.
- "Her"?
- Yeah, her.
I didn't tell her
I was from Wine, Inc.,
and I said my name was Greg.
Like--like your dad's name?
Yeah, yeah, it was the first name that came to mind.
- That's bad, man.
- I'm aware. Thank you.
Ethan, I think I have a way we can earn you some points back
with your new...
Excuse me.
Hi, family.
Catherine from Wine, Inc.
We spoke on the phone?
I don't mean to interrupt.
I was just wondering
if you'd had a chance
to look over the offer.
- We have.
- Wonderful.
I have my legal team here
to answer any of your questions.
[soft, tense music]
It's a good deal,
much more than we paid
your neighbors,
and we would love
to keep you on as staff,
if you're interested.
Could we have a moment?
I'm sorry.
I'm only authorized
to offer this deal
until the end of today,
at which point
we will retract the offer.
And, well, I can only imagine
it takes a fortune
to keep a place like this
[hollow laugh]
[paper sliding]
I'll be over here.

This is a very generous offer.
It would set you and your
brother up for a long time.
We don't care about that.
But we do.
Thanks, both of you,
for doing your best,
but it's time
that we hand this place over
to someone that has the capital
to keep it up and running.
Alexandra, honey,
you've shown such
love and passion
for our Merado,
but it's a sinking ship
and we don't want
to burden you with it.
It's not a burden.
I wanted to be able
to take over this place
so I could take care
of you guys.
What you have created is
nothing short of extraordinary,
and I want to be able
to carry on your vision.

I know you said
in life, there is more
than grapevines.
But this is it.
This vineyard.
It's about bringing
families together,
and I want to be a part
of that.

Don't sign that.
You have another offer.
I know there's a lot on the line,
so I'll make this quick.
My company would like
to invest in your winery.
We're a restaurant group
out of L.A.
that focuses on rustic
and traditional places,
nothing big-box or chain.
Now, you guys would stay
at the helm
and we would be the folks
behind the scenes.
We've actually been looking
for a Santa Barbara location
for a sister restaurant
to our Blue Plate in NYC
but with a Santa Barbara spin.
Now, our group has restaurants
all over the country
and would like to put
our newest location here
at Merado.
We would also love
to set up a partnership
for wine distribution
in all of our restaurants.
We pride ourselves
on exclusive-label brands,
and your new blend
is something
that we would love
to roll out nationally.
Now, I don't want you guys
to feel any pressure,
so, please,
take all the time you need.

[soft laughter]
[bright music]

So it's good news?
Looks like it.
It's a partnership,
not an outright sale.
That's what I thought
was right for this place
all along.
After I got here,
I tried to tell Catherine
that partnering with you guys
for distribution
was the way to go.
That what you have here
is too special to just buy
and turn into another
photo-op winery.
But you lied to me, Ethan.
[soft music]
Was anything you said real?

Everything else was real.
Except the juice sales.
That was code for wine.
- Why should I believe you?
- You have no reason
to believe me.

But for what it's worth,
I quit.
I don't wanna work
for a company
that doesn't believe in people,
And I'm sorry for everything.
I'm sorry I didn't tell you
who I was
and the real reason
I came here.
I wanted to.
But by the time
I felt I could,
I realized I had feelings
for you.

And if you knew
who I really was, then...
it would ruin everything.

But that was wrong,
and I'm sorry.
Yeah. It was.

But because of you...
[she sighs]
...we now have a blend
and an investor
who finally believes in us.

So, thank you.

When do you head back to L.A.?
I'm not really sure.
I don't have a job now, so...
Well, that's good,
because I think
we'd like to hire you.

As long as the new head of
the Merado Vineyard's on board.

It's time for us to hand over the reins to you, Alexandra.
This next chapter of Merado
is gonna be led by you.
You are more than ready for this, my girl.

And Greg...
Uh, his name's not actually Greg.
It's a...
- ...long story.
- Long story.

We would like to extend the offer
as director of distribution--
as long as the new boss
is on board.
I'm proud of you, Al.
- You did it.
- We did it.
I'm looking forward to working with you...
- ...partner.
- Thank you.
And you as well, Nick.
Heard a lot about you.
I would love to speak to you
about the menu,
if you've got a minute.
Yeah. Of course!

[soft, bright music]


[Franco sighs]

May I have this dance, m'lady?


Do you want to dance?

No? That's fair.
I'm still mad at me, too.

One dance.

I'm not very good.

So, um...
there's something
I need to come clean about.
What now?
I'm falling in love with you, Al.

You're the kindest,
most beautiful person
I've ever met.

Spending time with you here
has changed my life.
I mean it.
So, thank you.
[uplifting music]
- Is this Greg or Ethan talking?
- Ethan. Clean slate.

So, you wanna give it a shot?
We need some ground rules.
No more secrets
and no more hiding.
We have to be honest
with each other
a hundred percent of the time.
I promise.

- We make a great team.
- You're right, boss.
We do.