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The Promise Chronicles Serbia's Premiere Wine Region

Published: August 20, 2019

Doyle Hinman Speaks to Oregon's Wine History

Eugene, OR - The Eugene International Film Festival and Noble Estate Urban (560 Commercial St.) will celebrate selected secrets of wine history in Serbia and Oregon on Wednesday, August 28 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Questions, answers and trivia will be the order of the evening, along with popcorn, cheese, crackers and wine for purchase.

Opening the program will be a one-hour documentary, The Promise. This film focuses on the premium wine growing region of Rogljevo, Serbia during the reign of Napoleon III when phylloxera changed forever the history of fine wine. French demand for premium wines from Rogljevo was so strong that a railroad was built to accommodate the vast quantities being shipped.

After viewing The Promise, Doyle Hinman will discuss how, against all odds, he and about twenty other Oregon winemakers put their shoulder to creating an industry where all known facts were against them. Today it is a fact that the wine industry contributes a billion dollars to Oregon’s economy.  

Background on The Promise 
A few years ago, a prominent winemaking couple from Paris, Cyrille and Estelle Bongiraud, launched an impassioned effort to restore Rogljevo to its winemaking glory.  Their first wine released was named Obecanje, the Serbian word for “The Promise.” The film tells of the demise of some 300 cellars in Rogljevo and introduces the audience to the remaining population of aging winegrowers; their stories unfold onscreen against an astonishing backdrop of Roman architecture. Why did the cellars fail and why have the children of the remaining population all left the community? The Promise is about culture and community as much as it is about wine.

Background on Oregon Winemaking
The first years of Oregon wine were history making. Few believed premium wine grapes could be grown in Oregon, misleading wine labeling was occurring across America and lenders did not want to finance wineries. Oregon winemakers were up against tall odds and these  winemakers were charting a course that would lead the industry by establishing the best wine label laws in America and through great winemaking. Read more>

For more information: Mike Dilley, Executive Director, Eugene International Film Festival, 541.683.1400, 541.359-7306,

Author: Andy Vobora

Vice-President of Stakeholder Relations, Travel Lane County
541.501.9398 | 541.743.8770

Travel Lane County markets and promotes the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region as a destination for travel, conventions, sports, meetings and events. It serves as a private, nonprofit association dedicated to economic development through visitor spending, which pumped more than $783 million into Lane County, Oregon's economy in 2019.