So how does a small winery in the middle of Kentucky end up being the Official Wine of a Hollywood Film Festival on a resort island just outside of Los Angeles? It was as simple as a chance meeting on a plane.
For the fourth year in a row, Horseshoe Bend Vineyard and Winery, located in Willisburg, Kentucky, is the Official Wine of the Catalina Film Festival on Santa Catalina Island.
It all started when Ron Truppa, director of the festival, was sitting next to Horseshoe Bend’s publicist on a return flight during Christmas. After a phone call to winemaker Greg Karsner, the rest was history.
“I told him I admired his passion for wanting to start a film festival in the heart of Hollywood and he admired my passion for winemaking. ” Karsner says, “I offered to send him some bottles and if he liked them and wanted to use them to give me a ring. Four years later……still here!”
Truppa had already tried a variety of California Vineyards but was not satisfied. He appreciates and enjoys what he has with Horseshoe Bend, even if it is half way across the country. “We constantly communicate back and forth about the private labels they provide for us, and the Catalina Wine Mixer party that they throw every year.”
So does any of this wine being in the hands of celebrities on the West Coast have any kind of perks that go with it? But of course! Two years ago Greg was able to watch Marvel’s “The Avengers” as well as have lunch with the comic’s founder, Stan Lee. “That was an incredible experience. The nerd in me loved it!”
Who is scheduled to attend this year? Nicholas Cage and William H. Macy are slated to appear and there is a chance that Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner will also turn out to promote their new movie. And which of these celebrities would Greg Karsner most like to see? He provided a most Hollywood fashioned answer “No comment.”
The Catalina Film Festival runs from September 25-28 and benefits the Catalina Island Conservancy project. The featured movies are on Friday night (with red carpet previews!) and the weekend is packed with seminars from industry professionals.