A behind the scenes photo of interview with Rex Pickett about his latest book, Vertical, which is the Oregon Wine Press exclusive cover and feature story. The December issue will be available Monday at the same time the book will officially start shipping, though some copies of the book are already circulating around Oregon tasting rooms. For more insight into Rex, visit his blog at http://rexpickett.com/, and watch the video interview below . . .
I thought I was prepared for the rigors of Riesling harvest with Dr. Ernst Loosen. I’d recently survived a week in Burgundy ‘embedded’ with the harvest crew 24/7 who were able to endlessly eat, drink, and dance while maintaining the energy to pick all day after a few hours of sleep. During the past seven years of capturing pinot noir harvest in the Willamette Valley I’d become accustomed to climbing up steep slopes covered in wet clay slick as an ice skating rink. I’ve experienced what the Canadians have coined as ‘extreme winemaking’ – traditional icewine harvest where the temperatures are in the single digits and the crew fortifies themselves with spirits and wear ski gloves to pick the frozen grapes. However it was the steep slopes of Dr. Loosen’s famous Ürzig vineyard in the Mosel region of Germany that have been the most surprising.
Imagine scrambling up a sixty degree slope covered with loose volcanic rocks, terrain only a mountain goat would be comfortable navigating. I was tempted to grab hold of the vines for footing, but was afraid of accidentally uprooting a rare and valuable resource – these vines are 100 years old and on original rootstock. I struggled to keep my footing while carrying my gear and focusing on the details, yet the harvesters were able to meticulously separate individual berries from each cluster into separate buckets depending on the level of botrytis (aka Noble rot). This was more labor intensive than any other harvest I’ve experienced and can’t be fully experienced without seeing it in action.
I was fortunate to enjoy the entire spectrum of wines from Dr. Loosen’s private collection, from dry to dessert Riesling, each reflecting the essence of the vineyard’s terroir and a purity of fruit. The Urziger vineyard photographed during harvest is known for spicy aromas and tropical fruit flavors, while the Wehlener Sonnehurh vineyard photographed with the blue slate is renowned for minerality and delicate acidity. Unexpected delights were a 10 year on the lees sparking Riesling from Ernest’s private library and wonderfully complex and mineral pinot gris unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.
Ernst is a tireless advocate for Riesling renaissance, however surprisingly modest about his own accomplishments: Decanter Magazine named him Man of the Year in 2005 and one of the world’s top 10 white winemakers in 2006, He regularly travels to Oregon to make pinot noir with Jay Somers and to Washington as a consultant for Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling label, Eroica.
Argyle launched Cellar Key, (http://thecellarkey.com/) a nationwide promotion which allows views to take a video tour of the winery, read accolades, meet the winemaker, and explore food and wine pairings directly from your smartphone.
I worked with the team to shoot footage on location in Dundee, Oregon which was then edited and programed by a production company in Chicago. Here’s the two videos I worked on:
Multimedia piece: Photography Tour through Burma, Feb 2010.
Of all the places I’ve traveled to in search of authentic culture, Myanmar (aka Burma), is undoubtedly at the top of my list. Working with Bob Holmes to lead a small exploratory photo tour was the ideal way to interact with the people in an unobtrusive way. Everyone I met – nuns, monks, farmers, and artists – were genuinely curious and kind. I was especially touched by the amazingly talented photographers, painters, lacquer artists, and clothing designers, all of whom expressed admiration for an American woman’s ability to travel freely and make her living as an artist. When I asked how they felt about being photographed, they answered with the same response “I will not leave Burma in this lifetime, but at least my photos will make it to America.” In each location we worked with a local guide, one of whom best explained the basic desires of the people: to improve their quality of life and to be treated as a human, rights I take for granted. “Listen to the words behind the smiles”, our guide emphasized. “I want people to hear and know our heart.”
We plan to return to Myanmar to lead another photo tour throughout the country, please contact me directly if you are interested in details.
1. Does your photography capture the personality of your brand?
Are your photos authentic, memorable, and instantly identifiable? Do they capture your unique sense of place, or are they generic? Do your visuals inspire your customers to create an emotional connection to your brand?
2. Are you consistently integrating photos and visual media?
Do you have professional quality photos and videos consistently utilized on your website, blog, social media, printed collateral and press releases?
3. Are you maximizing your media coverage?
When a journalist covers your winery in a magazine or newspaper, do you have high quality photographs available to accompany the story? In today’s market, fewer publications have time or budget to send a photographer to accompany the writer. Your coverage space can double or triple with professional images custom created for a publication’s audience.
4. Are you managing your visual assets?
Are your photographs and videos keyworded and captioned for search engine optimization? Do you have an image library available for immediate, high-resolution download? Are your photos and videos of consistent high resolution, press-ready quality? Is your visual media backed up on three separate hard drives in multiple locations, and also available on multiple servers online?
5. Do you have a multi-media or video strategy?
Is your video HD quality with the ability to be utilized in a variety of applications? Are you also evaluating the above questions for your multi-media and video projects?