Jan 212017

I was treated to a wine tasting at a Tuscan vineyard. They took us into a cave where the family has been making wine for a very long time. We were shown how the wine is made and I was surprised to discover that they made white, red, and rosé all from the same grapes. As it turns out, the wine isn’t colored by the color of the grape but by how long the skins are left in the vat.

We were presented with a delicious rosé to start off the day. Unfortunately, I thoroughly enjoyed this and tucked back a few glasses before moving onto the rest of the tasting flight, which was voluminous. We were treated to food pairings for the wine. The owner’s mother appeared as we enjoyed lasagna made in strict accordance with her recipe.

This photo is taken from the spot that I put back the original few glasses of rosé. I, along with most of our group, got a good nap in on the bus ride back to Florence.

barrels of wine stored in a tuscan vineyards cave

Sep 092012

Gear Update

I’ve ordered all of my replacement gear and it should be arriving shortly. Buying most pieces used from BH PhotoVideo saved enough cash that I was able to add a macro lens into my kit. I’ve wanted one for years, so I’m looking forward to playing with it. Once it all gets here I’ll update my gear page with the new pieces and explain any changes I’ve made.

Today’s Photo: Duomo and Vines

On my first day in the Asti region of Piedmont, we took a drive to Acqui Terme. On the way there I spotted a vineyard and winery that I wanted to photograph but the sun was dropping and it was in the shade of the hills. So, after getting up at sunrise and taking in the views from Alice Bel Colle I decided to go back to this winery. I took a lot of photos there, and fell down a hill. This is the first of those photos I’ve processed. I saw the village in the distance, with the dome, from all over the place, but never actually made it there. Looking at Google Maps, I’ve realised that it’s called Fontanile.

Hillside with rows of grape vines with the village of Fontanile and its Duomo in the distance and mountains and hazy sky in the Asti region of Piedmont.

Dec 292011

This is the driveway to the Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch. After two days of adrenaline, cage diving with great whites and going on a combat flight in a Huey Helicopter, it seemed a good idea to have a more relaxing day. Wine was the perfect solution. That being said we still decided that we had to stop off at Cheetah Outreach to become acquainted with a few big cats on the way to our first vineyard. We didn’t want the day to feel too safe. After enjoying a wine and chocolate pairing (mandated by Shannon’s exuberant cheer while hearing the options), which involved 6 or 7 wines and three chocolates, everyone was suitably mellow.

Not mellow enough, however, to prevent them heckling from the car as I set up for this photo. The reason for this one and only display of tensions at my photo taking was quite understandable. I spent so long setting up, and adjusting the positioning of my camera that we were too late for the game sampling lunch we had planned. Fortunately this disappointment was replaced by one of the great experiences of our trip – bobotie. It’s a South African dish made with minced beef, raisins and spices topped with an egg film. It looks like a cottage pie but that’s as far as the similarities go. It’s also served with mango chutney and bananas. I have no idea how anyone decided this combination was a good idea. When I’m next in South Africa this will be one of the meals I seek out.

In the end, I’m happy with this picture and my time-wasting resulted in a great meal, so it all worked out nicely.

Dirt driveway to the Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa flanked by lavender and bushes and storm clouds overhead.