“Napa Ever After,” a Mahogany presentation that is a part of Hallmark Channel’s “Annual Summer Nights” program premieres Saturday, August 26th (8 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PT). The heartwarming movie stars Denise Boutté (For the Love of Ruth, Why Did I Get Married, “The Young and Restless”) and Colin Lawrence (“Riverdale” and “Watchman”) as a young Black couple who finds love while restoring a family vineyard and winery in Napa Valley.
“Napa Ever After” is historic for Hallmark because it’s the first Mahogany movie to premiere on the main Hallmark Channel. Toni Judkins, Sr. Vice President of Programming and Development, who joined the network from TVOne, was looking for someone to write a film that takes place in a vineyard. Wendy Eley Jackson (Maynard, The Invitation), who is CEO and Chair of Auburn Avenue Films and is best known as Executive Producer of award-winning documentaries like Maynard, took the challenge and penned the romance with co-writer Nina Weinman.
“The amazing Toni Judkins was looking for someone to write a story about love in the vineyard. I’m a writer and live near a vineyard so Toni tapped me to write the story” says Jackson, who has an MFA in Screenwriting from the University of Georgia.
After inheriting her estranged grandmother’s vineyard in Napa Valley, Cassandra (Boutté), a very single high-powered attorney, takes a sabbatical from her job to renovate the property that was the source of the fractures within her family. Once an award-winning winery and destination wedding venue, Eloi Vineyards is in disrepair and on the brink of bankruptcy. With the help of Alec (Lawrence), a handsome local widower, Cassandra sets out to reclaim her family legacy by reviving the vineyard in time for her dear friend Lena (Tiffany Yvonne Cox, “Reasonable Doubt”) to have the first wedding there in years. Through the process, Cassandra discovers more about her family and opens her heart to a new love.
“Love comes in all shades but this love is to show everyone that Black love is beautiful,” adds Jackson.
“Napa Ever After,” premieres Saturday, August 26 (8 p.m. ET/5PT), on Hallmark Channel. Check local listings for channel information.
This post was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on social media @Ntellectual.