Sour Grapes: The Great Grape Heist

7th August 2017

If you are at a loose end and fancy a night in with a glass or two of your favourite plonk then consider a little known documentary called Sour Grapes. Directed by Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas.

For many, the wine industry is full of mystique and a little hazy (not just from the night before) in terms of why some wines are more expensive than others. Often those with roots in the wine industry think their teeth are whiter than yours and unless you were born on the end of a silver spoon you probably should stick to the Sainsbury and Tesco shelves.

Sour Grapes is a prime example of the wine industry and the smoke and mirrors that surround it. The documentary tells the tale of a little known Indonesian named Rudy Kerniawan and his venture into making the US wine ‘elite’ look like a pack of clowns, exposing how little the proclaimed professionals knew themselves.

Sour Grapes La Roche

Kerniawan builds his name when he starts off spending huge sums of dirty money each month at top wine auction house Acker Merrall & Condit. After Rudi starts racking up to $1m USD a month, people start to take notice as he begins hosting tastings of rare wines with other collectors. Kerniawan starts breaking records when he consigns two lots of wine to two major auctions at Acker, Merral & Condit in 2006, netting $10.6 million in the first and $24.7 million in the second. The second auction was the record for a single sale of wine at auction, beating the previous record by more than $10 million.

Rudy’s rise as the rockstar of the American wine scene in the 2000’s comes crashing down as quickly as he shot up. We won’t give too much away, however, investigators get involved and culminates in Rudy being sentenced to 10 years’ behind bars for what appeared to be selling very expensive Ribena juice.

Wine doesn’t have to be expensive in order for the juice to be awesome. Just ask Rudy, as he duped some of the worlds wine elite into thinking his blend of blackcurrant’s and plums to be on par with a $20,000 bottle of Romanée-Conti. In fact, the best ‘bang for your buck’ sits within the £12-£18 range and if you are a little bit savvy, or ‘Savage’, you can get them delivered directly to your door. That’s where we come in. Good grape juice at a great price. Not Sour Grapes at extortionate prices.

Savage Vines Online Wine Store
Kyle of Savage Vines.

Savage Vines is a subscription based wine company which source wines that are banging value and deliver them direct to your door. Subscribers receive different wines each month which have been personally selected by our in-house sommeliers whose sole purpose in life is to source you epic wines, direct from the vineyard gate. We focus on sourcing amazing wine from hard-working, environmentally conscious and organic family winemakers. You are sure to find fantastic wines from all across the world. New styles, new grape varieties, new regions – all delivered directly to your door every month. It doesn’t get better than that. There is no chance of Sour Grapes here.

If you want to treat yourself, or someone else in your life, don’t forget to check out our Monthly Wine Subscription and Gift Wine Subscription products. Each month you’ll receive hand-picked wines from small, independent family winemakers who focus on organicbiodynamic and sustainable viticulture. Learn more here:

The Sour Grapes documentary runs for 1 hour and 25 minutes’ and is worthy of the couch time.

Sour Grapes is available on iTunes, Netflix, Amazon play store or via


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