Un Bacio in Cucina

a photographic exploration of Italian food, culture & wine

Tag: bottle photography

From the tree to the bottle – The olive harvest in Sicily

Last month, I was commissioned by Mandranova, a luxury villa and olive oil company in Sicily, to photograph the olive harvest, the estate and the recipes for their forthcoming book. This book will celebrate and coincide with their tenth anniversary and will include many of the authentic Sicilian recipes they prepare for the guests like Cannoli, Timballo di anelletti, and Pasta con le sarde a mare. These are some of the images from the harvest to the finished product. More of my work, including food and wine images, can be seen on my website. Thank you for letting me share this short photo essay with you. If you have any food, product or lifestyle projects please contact me below or visit my website at www.lesliebrienzaphotography.com

The method of collecting and gathering the olives on nets in Sicily

The method of collecting and gathering the olives on nets in Sicily

A worker gathering a handful of Nocellara olives during the harvest

A worker gathering a handful of Nocellara olives during the harvest

 

 

 

 

 

From tree to mill as quickly as the baskets can be filled. Always a tractor standing by to guarantee the freshest oil possible

A peaceful and contemplative scene in the mill. My job was to capture moments like this and the way of life in Sicily

Always enjoyed photographing in the production facility especially when I could hold a small cup under this fresh and warm stream of olive oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also produce a blend. This is the new bottle from the 2015 harvest. Bottles are one of my specialties and all the magic happens in my studio

They also produce a blend. This is the new bottle from the 2015 harvest. Bottle photography is one of my specialties and all the magic happens in my studio

Four olive varieties are grown on the property, Nocellara, Giarraffa, Biancolilla and Cerasuola. All native to Sicily. This is one of the styled bottle shots of the Giarraffa I shot in my studio

Four olive varieties are grown on the property, Nocellara, Giarraffa, Biancolilla and Cerasuola. All native to Sicily. This is one of the styled bottle shots of the Giarraffa I shot in my studio

Winery Images Hang on Walls in Themed Hotel Rooms

There is a very hip hotel in Portland, Oregon called Hotel Vintage Plaza and they recently renovated their rooms so that each is named after and represents an Oregon Winery. A selection of images of the wineries including the vineyards, bottles, views etc.  are hung in each room. I just found out that five of my images of Methven Family Vineyards were chosen to hang in that particularly themed room. These are the images they chose:

Wine Splash-IMG_0119

This image was taken in my studio when I first started photographing for Methven Family Vineyards. I used a very high shutter speed and had a lot of patience as I shot this wine pour over 40 times, cleaning up, cleaning the glass and resetting the shot after every take. These glasses are the very fragile Riedel glasses specifically designed for Oregon Pinot Noir. Reidel calls them “the perfect Oregon Pinot Noir Dream Glass“. Luckily it didn’t break because it was the only one I had! Finally, after all that, I got this one image that worked. Once I have a full day free again I’ll try doing more of these but with different backgrounds and maybe with a Rosé.

Reserve 2004-IMG_7092

Since bottle photography is one of my specialties, I personally wanted to create this group image for them. The year 2004 was the first vintage for Allen and Jill Methven as wine producers and new owners of the vineyard. There aren’t any of these left to sell but I’m sure there are a few hanging around. Also, these glass bottles aren’t really used anymore in the industry because they are very heavy and very big  which isn’t practical these days. One nice thing is that they have a very deep punt, which feels nice when you’re pouring the wine because it feels like an expensive bottle, which it was. You can see in the image how deep the punt is compared to a bottle you may have at home. It was a very good year!

View of the Vineyard-DSC_0067

This image was taken on a beautiful summer day once you turn off the main country road. The road is long and winding and leads up to the tasting room and vineyards which you see in the distance.  The shadow made by the tree proves that clear days and sunshine do exist in Oregon! I do a lot of winery photography partly because the atmosphere is so beautiful and it just feels good to be there.

Entrance to Tasting Room-IMG_1608

This is the entrance to the tasting room which resembles a Tuscan villa with the cypress trees and all. You can see the vineyards in the reflections in the glass. There is also a Bocce court on the property which is always busy in the summer months. The interior is just as beautiful with all natural materials and a huge commercial kitchen.

Wine and Chocolates-IMG_1080Lastly, in this image I wanted to show a scene that is all too familiar with Oregon Pinot Noir, wine and chocolates. These two go extraordinarily well together and there are certain varietals that, when tasting at the vineyard, you will be handed a chocolate truffle in order to get the full experience. They’ll even explain the proper way to have the two together. Combining my food photography with wine always makes a nice scene

If you want to see more images like these I have a portfolio called ‘Wine and Olives’ on my website as this is one of my specialties and passions. Follow me as I continue to photograph wineries in Oregon, New York and Italy. One of these days I’ll get myself out to California to explore the wine scene there. If you find yourself needing a hotel in Portland and stay at the Hotel Vintage Plaza make sure to ask for the Methven Family Vineyards room.
Thanks for reading and if you have any suggestions for beautiful wineries to visit anywhere please leave a comment.  More of my winery and glass images can be found on my website.

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