As I work my way through some preliminary and background posts in my Year in the Life of Wine project, this early work is as much for my own edification as it is my audience’s–and it’s got some fun photographic challenges.
I wanted to do some light coverage of this year’s harvest to feature in these preliminary posts, and that would mean shooting when they harvest at Tablas Creek. They harvest at night. And that is a tough thing to shoot–action shots in almost total darkness? Hey, I’m always up for improving my skill set–and will need to if I’m going to shoot this intensively next fall. First, thank goodness for cameras that perform well in low light. That helps a great deal. As for the rest? Jump in the deep end of that figurative pool and get to work.
The payoff is that it gave me a much-needed handle on how to approach this kind of vineyard photography, and got the creative wheels turning as I think about interesting ways to photograph things next fall now that I have a feel for the technical requirements.
I may have nibbled a few Mourvèdre grapes (Counoise, too), and discovered that grape juice mud is a thing in dusty vineyards. And it’s sticky stuff. I was impressed again with the hard work and skill of the harvest crew (all of whom were so incredibly lovely to hang out with as they worked and I shot).
And, most of all, I’m excited to taste the wines that are made from these grapes I followed over the course of a night and morning. I’m already a fan of Mourvèdre generally, and Tablas Creek’s is one of the best I’ve had.
So. Never been present for a night harvest? Go take a look right here, in that case. Later this week: back at the winery with the fruit from the night’s harvest.