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Intellectual Properties Worldwide and Zen Haze Prods. have signed Randall Miller to direct “Bottle Shock,” the story behind the birth of the Napa wine industry.

Project’s based on Ross Schwartz’s screenplay, which culminates in the triumph of California wines over the French at the 1976 Paris Tastings.

Miller and writing/producing partner Jody Savin will polish before casting commences in early 2007 for a summer shoot in Napa and Sonoma. Miller and Savin co-wrote and produced “Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School,” which Miller directed; pic was released by the Samuel Goldwyn Co. this year.

IPW chairman Marc Toberoff and president of production J. Todd Harris brought the script to Sonoma-based Zen Haze partners Marc and Brenda Lhormer, who have operated the Sonoma Valley Film Festival over the past five years.

“It’s a fantastic underdog story,” Miller said. “It blends both dramatic and comedic elements, but at its heart, it’s a very engaging story about these dreamers in Napa who dared to take on the wine establishment and beat them at their own game.”

Project’s announcement comes on the heels of Robert Mark Kamen being hired to adapt journalist George M. Tabor’s nonfiction tome “Judgment of Paris” into an indie pic. That story of how California wines landed on the map after besting their French cousins in the 1976 blind tasting (Daily Variety, Nov. 22) is being produced by Clark Peterson (“Monster”) and Elizabeth Fowler, and will be financed by private equity.