The mystique and attraction of wine and wine tasting extends beyond the bouquet and taste of wine. The history of winemaking, the acquisition of skills for judging wines, and the casual intimate social experience all contribute to it’s overall appeal. When these factors come together wine tasting can be an enjoyable social experience even for those, who like me, are trivial wine drinkers.
In the last few years, the Yadkin Valley area, just north and west of my home, has become a booming region for wine and vineyard entrepreneurs. Even at this early stage of their existence — four to seven years are normally required before grapes from a new vineyard can produce a respectable wine — this valley region is experiencing a sizeable growth in tourist and wine aficionados.
From some wine samples I’ve tasted, I suspect a few of these local wineries are operating out of someone’s garage but there are others who are embracing the total experience spending considerable time and money on grape selection, vineyards, tasting rooms, bottles, labels, and vintage recipes. They are producing very acceptable new wines and further success may only be waiting upon maturing vineyards and the development of proven wine making expertise. There are even a few examples where family names who’ve been in the wine making business for generations in Europe are investing in this new area.
I often think good coffee shops and wine tasting venues have much in common. They both foster an inviting social experience based on a common enjoyment of a beverage — one for mornings and the other for later in the day — hopefully.
The 2004 movie “Sideways” certainly promoted the wine tasting culture as a social event.
These photos are from our stops in the Tuscany area of Italy. The last two are from the tasting room of Barone Ricasoli, the oldest family owned vineyards in the world…the second oldest of all vineyards.
Warm earthen tones and soft lighting often sets the atmosphere for the tasting of the wines. It’s this inviting atmosphere I tried to capture using natural lighting. A test for the image stabilization of the E-M5, which it easily passed.