Late last year, I started getting interested more in vineyards and wine, especially since moving to Virginia and living in the Hampton Roads Region of Virginia Wine Country. There are over 300 wineries throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. This abundance of wineries provides a lot of opportunities to explore this type of photography. Virginia is rapidly growing in the wine industry, and with the multitude of wineries in Virginia, I developed a new interest in vineyard photography.
My favorite winery is The Williamsburg Winery in Williamsburg, Virginia. I first fell in love with this place because, when I visit their property, it is as if I were actually in another place such as France. In fact, The Williamsburg Winery was inspired by Europe’s finest estates with their architecture and with their furnishings. The Williamsburg Winery is a 320-acre farm known as “Wessex Hundred”, and they have over 50 acres of different varietal grapes planted in their vineyards. Their first wine was produced in 1988, called the Governor’s White, and they continue to still produce this wine, which is one of their most popular wines.
The Williamsburg Winery is a distinctive winery destination and, by the way, makes some very delicious wines, which I regularly enjoy. The property has a rich history that dates back to the early Colonial era and has unique scenery for vineyard photography. It is a great place to get away and to explore the vineyards in the countryside.
After several visits to The Williamsburg Winery, I started to become very interested in the process of wine making and the maturing of the vineyards. This led me to want to photograph the changes that occur during the wine grape growing season.
Just as with my wildlife photography, getting to know the subject is very important in capturing great vineyard photography. In Virginia, a new grape growing season starts in Spring with the bud break, and during the summer months, you can find green vines growing on the trellis systems with green grapes on row after row in the vineyards. Sometime in the August time period, those grapes will start to turn purple in the ripening phase, also known as going through veraison. The harvest time in Virginia is usually late-August through late-October, depending on the variety of grape as some ripen fast than others. During this ripening phase, the grapes are protected with net coverings to keep them safe from deer and birds as the grapes are becoming sweeter in the ripening phase. There are several factors to when a particular variety of grape is harvested by hand such as the weather, pH levels, sugar levels and acidity. The grapevines are pruned during the dormant season, which is in the winter in Virginia.
I have learned a lot about the vineyards and the grapes this growing season, and as I continue to explore this new avenue of vineyard photography, I am sure I will continue to grow in my knowledge of wines, grapes and vineyards. I am looking forward to capturing the upcoming harvest season in at the Williamsburg Winery and in Virginia Wine Country.
Stay tuned to my blog as I will continue to write about my vineyard photography adventures.
Thank you for taking the time to view and read my blog.
All the very best,
Lori A. Cash
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