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In Thanks to Ground Effect Wine

January 26, 2012 The Press Comments Off
In Thanks to Ground Effect Wine

There are a few moments in our travels over the last 27 months that have changed everything for us, our perspective, our vision, our goals.

Jason Haas at Tablas Creek, Adam Tolmach of The Ojai Vineyard, my initial visit to Jordan Winery, Matthias Pippig, Randall Grahm, Matt Trevisan. Sometimes it was the people, sometimes the vineyards, but all of them changed our way of thinking in one way or another and we are thankful for it.

There is one other name on that list that I might possibly put at the very top. He, through the thoughtfulness of his words, the clarity of his vision, and the character of his heart, has shown us, has shown me a new way, the way I wish all people could see wine. Beyond the big picture, beyond a product, there is the infinite immenseness that is all the small things, of the earth, of the soil, of the plants and bugs, of the terroir. It is these things he has encouraged me to see, to try to find.

His name is Nick de Luca, and he is Ground Effect Wine. … Continue Reading

Vintage 2011 in Review {Wherein I Brag a Bit}

December 28, 2011 The Press 1 Comment
Vintage 2011 in Review {Wherein I Brag a Bit}

The Best Things that Happened to A Long Pour this Year:

In no particular order, here are the best things that happened to A Long Pour this year, some of which has already appeared on ALP. … Continue Reading

Bonny Doon: Day of the Doon IX {Photo Essay}

September 22, 2011 Archieves, The Press 1 Comment
Bonny Doon: Day of the Doon IX {Photo Essay}

We have grown rather accustomed to long trips for short stays, so much so that a 500 mile weekend is not such a big deal anymore.

There are a lot of events we are invited to and we can only attend a few of them. But when Randall Graham asks you to attend, you attend. In this case, the event was his annual Day of the Doon, a celebration of all things Bonny Doon. There was a lot to celebrate this year.

For any who have been following Grahm for the past few years, you are likely aware of his current and perhaps most ambitious project, a 240 acre ranch in San Juan Bautista California. Fitting for the industry trend-setter he is, Grahm is not quietly planting vines on some beautiful but traditional vineyard site. That would be too easy. Starting with a piece of land on the outskirts of a tiny town an hour or so southeast from Santa Cruz, in addition to grape vines, Grahm is planting a small farm on bio-char (1) which will one day include a plethora of fruit trees. He is also hybridizing his own grapes, growing his future vineyard from seed (2), an exceedingly difficult task. The results will be something no one has ever seen before and certainly has ever tried, possibly for good reason, as it may not work. … Continue Reading

The Travels {August}

September 9, 2011 The Press 4 Comments
The Travels {August}

We travel a lot. Not just for A Long Pour, but in general. It seems we are always moving around and popping up in some unexpected place doing some unexpected thing.

We were privlidged to be invited to a few great places in the last few weeks and we wanted to share them with you. … Continue Reading

Secret Project {the reveal}

August 17, 2011 Archieves, The Press 4 Comments
Secret Project {the reveal}

A few weeks ago I posted the “Secret Project” with some shots of  a friend’s new winery taking shape.

At the time, the space was still in a raw state, holes in the ground, bare walls, cut concrete. In terms of photographing a new winery, one might say there was not much to see, no barrels, no equipment, no bottles. But the components were there and perhaps they were more significant than the sum of their parts.

I returned a few weeks later to find a different scene, a more complete one. The holes were patched, walls were painted, fresh concrete was drying. There was more to see now, there was a winery where before there was only a plan. There were barrels, equipment, and yes, a few bottles too. Still, it was in the individual components I found the most inspired images. … Continue Reading

Two Nights with The Maiden

August 3, 2011 The Press 4 Comments
Two Nights with The Maiden

When I started to “get into wine,” in other words obsess over it like the rest of you, it didn’t take long to be sucked into the full allure of it. Both in things real, like the mysteries of good Pinot Noir, to the not so real, like the mystique surrounding “Cult Producers.” I was enamored by it all.

It is perhaps the “Cult Producers” (obvious ones including Screaming Eagle, Marcassin, Sine Qua Non, and others) who inspire the most wonder, loathing, admiration, groaning, rumors, and debate (well that and alcohol levels, which also seem to go hand in hand with Cult Producers). Whatever your sentiment, one has to admit there is a strange allure to the things we cannot have. The forbidden grapes if you will.

I am not a man of Screaming Eagle funds, nor even of Sine Qua Non finances (more reasonable at $200-300 a bottle compared to the boisterous raptor’s $1,000 price tag). I am happily a man of the $13 to $25 bottle, with occasional indulgences in the $30 to $50 range. I do get to drink some of the best wines in California (many in the $15 to $40 range), but much of that is the result of this scam wine blog, which has allowed me to hustle otherwise decent winemakers into pouring me many a glass of their best stuff. What a scam indeed!
… Continue Reading

Secret Project

July 14, 2011 The Press 5 Comments
Secret Project

OK, so I have more than one “secret project,” but this is one of them. I had the opportunity to photograph a new winery taking shape the other week. It is going to be a beautiful and fitting space for the winemaker and it is a privilege to watch it come together.

The half finished state of the winery inspired me to find the emotion in the texture of the materials. Not having something “finished” to shoot forces you to realize that all things are “finished” in their own unique way. … Continue Reading

La Encantada Vineyard {photo essay}

June 27, 2011 The Press Comments Off
La Encantada Vineyard {photo essay}

Every once in a while we come across a truly spectacular vineyard in our travels. Richard Sanford’s La Encantada Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills is such a place. Sadly, the La Encantada Vineyard, which he planted in 2000, was recently sold to investors. Richard told us this a few weeks ago, but it was not public at the time.

Happily though, for fans of Richard’s Alma Rosa wines, he will continue to source much of his fruit from the beautiful and dramatic vineyard, which was one of the first to be certified organic in Santa Barbara County.

The following was shot last Summer. (read the Richard Sanford interview here)

The Winemakers of A Long Pour {photo essay}

June 22, 2011 The Press Comments Off
The Winemakers of A Long Pour {photo essay}

For a second year in a row, A Long Pour is a finalist for the Wine Blog Awards, this time for Best Graphics, Photography, and Presentation (you can vote here). A Long Pour is a lot of hard work and it is nice to get some recognition. But really, all of this made me think of the many great winemakers who have invited me into their wineries and homes, told me their stories, shared their wines, and in some cases let me take their picture.

This is to them…thank you. … Continue Reading

On My High Horse – Analysing the Conversations

June 15, 2011 The Press Comments Off
On My High Horse – Analysing the Conversations

I suppose that when I penned my somewhat tongue and cheek “An Open Letter to Those Who Write Open Letters to Millennials,” I wrote out of some frustration. Increasingly, it seems we are called upon to choose a side and then defend it. There are the obvious topics like politics, but the trivial ones too: Mac vs. PC, Cannon vs. Nikon, Country Music vs. Real Taste, etc.

We live in a divisive culture.

{Read the Original Articles:}

An Open Letter to Those Who Write Open Letter to Millennials

Millennials – Things They Actually Say: Illka Siren & Kara Jones

Millennials – Things They Actually Say II: Jennifer Thomson

Millennials – Things They Actually Say III: Brandi Stansbury & Matt Six

Millennials – Things They Actually Say IV: Elliot Karpman … Continue Reading

{Archives}

Bonny Doon: Day of the Doon IX {Photo Essay}

September 22, 2011

Bonny Doon: Day of the Doon IX {Photo Essay}

We have grown rather accustomed to long trips for short stays, so much so that a 500 mile weekend is not such a big deal anymore. There are a lot of events we are invited to and we can only attend a few of them. But when Randall Graham asks you to attend, you attend. [...]

Secret Project {the reveal}

August 17, 2011

Secret Project {the reveal}

A few weeks ago I posted the “Secret Project” with some shots of  a friend’s new winery taking shape. At the time, the space was still in a raw state, holes in the ground, bare walls, cut concrete. In terms of photographing a new winery, one might say there was not much to see, no [...]

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