Spirit of the Vine

I live with a large portrait of this lively spirit found in a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

It was the winemaker’s favorite wine, not mine.

However its hidden beauty and expression have brought light into my home for almost three decades.

It was the 2nd wine I photographed after becoming artist-in-residence for Sterling Vineyards.  For a medical scientist that was a way cool ‘gig.’  Lugging my microscope up to the cellar, staying in the  guest house, having the winemakers and viticulturist ply me with questions of what this would look like, and what about merlot grown on Diamond Mountain.  They were curious and together we forged a new way inside wine.

Since then. and since I have photographed thousands of wines, I am still asked questions – now it is ‘what is that?’

I try to give answers a scientist would give – its the tannins, pigments, molecular collaborations.  Yet in my heart what I see captured on film is the spirit of the vine.

The Spirit of Sauvignon Blanc, done in the lean style, is svelte and angular, distinct backbone and clean finish.

The above portrait is a 2 year old sauvignon blanc from Sterling (1982).

Below is a more recent sauvignon blanc, this one a 2 year old from Benziger Family Estate, Casey’s block 2007 (Mendocino).  This is also made from biodynamically grown grapes.


Here is the Spirit of Sauvignon Blanc that is created with a gentler expression, a one year old from Alpha Omega (2008).


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