What draws you to the bottle of wine, if you have no preconceived notions of what wine you’re going to be purchasing? Art…

What keeps you looking at the bottle as you enjoy the wine within? Art…

What evokes emotion about that bottle of wine if you haven’t tasted what’s within, yet? Art…

As we define terroir, we take all parts of what it is into consideration: vineyard variables, soil types, sun exposure, soil depths, climate, moisture, the human element and what s/he contributes… viticulture and viniculture variables. It’s extensive.

As we define the romance of wine, we unconsciously take all parts of what it is into consideration, and that includes all of our senses.

With the sense of sight, after we’ve chosen the bottle, we open it and look at the wine’s color and brilliance. Before we do that, though, we’re drawn into the packaging’s art. This is because art is an integral part of the wine’s entryway romance.

I was totally reminded of this after I had gone to Gloria Ferrer to photograph Ann Rea. Ann’s an artist that I met through the Suisun Valley Grape Growers Association, when they held their 25th AVA celebration in December 2007. Ann had been commissioned to create Suisun Valley images for Wooden Valley Winery that the Lanza family would then share with the Suisun Valley Grape Growers Association. The images I took of Ann at Gloria Ferrer that day weren’t what I imagined they would be, though, because Ann had her marketing hat on versus her painting one… A totally different world of who she is. However, it was good to see her in that element, because as we work together, I need to know her really well.

As we drove away from Gloria Ferrer, coming to the end of their driveway on Route 121, I looked across the road… The real reason we had gone to Gloria Ferrer – to enjoy the artist – became amazingly evident… My eyes fell upon two giant blue Adirondack chairs, on either side of that road’s entry way. I was totally intrigued, because this was such a photo opportunity. I could envision a person climbing into one of the chairs, which would show enormity and perspective. It reminded me of Lily Tomlin’s “Life in the Little Lane with Edith Ann” character.

Once we crossed the road and pulled into a parking lot, a world of art opened up to us. What was going to be a few minutes to capture one image became about two hours of art exploration. Had we not already spent most of the afternoon at Gloria Ferrer’s Catalan festival, we would have spent many more hours. This is where wine and art collide… There’s a tasting room at Cornerstone Place; however, it’s not dominating. It’s just part of the landscape… and that’s mostly what this art is all about… Architectural gardens and how this aspect of art presents itself.

This final image below is what it is all about… When I photographed this one, I was inside of Claude Monet’s spirit for a few brief moments in time… Suspended in the illusion and the potential of what this was going to become as my current desktop image… Where it now sits. A glass of wine is made lovelier when I gaze upon this photographic art. This would make a great label, and I’d be drawn to whatever was inside of the bottle… Trust me.