Lucy Restaurant and Bar is an establishment that believes that everything starts from the garden. It’s located in Bardessono, a world-class luxury hotel in the town of Yountville, practicing green operations. So it’s only natural that the restaurant would foster the same eco-spirit as the hotel. The restaurant sources many of their ingredients from their own garden, as well as from local Napa growers with a Farm to Fork Philosophy. The bar has a similar philosophy of Garden to Glass. They are a commercial client I love working with, so it was easy for me to capture Jan Russell, manager of bar operations and her love of artisinal cocktails using the garden’s own ingredients. It’s evident to see in the images that the philosophy is not just a modern catch phrase, but instead a honest to goodness promise of practicing what they preach. Utilizing their own year-around-garden, with a focus on seasonal produce, Jan creates inspired cocktails that are both pleasing to the eye and the palate. Her cocktails embody the colors and flavors that are nurtured in the property’s lush and fragrant gardens. It was a great experience for me to watch Jan choose fruits and herbs that inspire her, and then to watch her behind the bar creating cocktails that she is proud to serve to the patrons of the bar. I can attest to the fact they were as fragrant, fresh and mouth watering as they look! Thank you for a great time Jan. It was so much fun watching you work.
This is the second installment of a shoot that I did at Ma(i)sonry in Yountville in the same day. In addition to doing a commercial shoot at this beautiful location for Restoration Hardware, the garden was the scene for a welcome dinner for the 35th Annual Auction Napa Valley. The private dinner was hosted by Blackbird Vineyards and Bulgari. This impressive wine-pairing dinner was expertly prepared by renowned Chef Victor Scargle. As this was part of the fundraising auction, models mingled with guests adorned in Bulgari jewels which were up for auction. On the dining table were more jewels and watches by Bulgari under glass. As a lover of food wine, and the finer things in life, this was a real treat for me. Some of my images landed on the DuJour Blog. Check out the whole story here.
When two successful brands come together as one, it’s exciting to watch what emerges. Such was the case with Restoration Hardware and Napa Valley’s beloved Ma(i)sonry. Imagine how honored I must have been when asked to photograph their partnership. In Yountville, Ma(i)sonry is a locally loved and respected art gallery and boutique wine tasting room, in a country farmhouse setting, with a private garden that can be rented for private parties. It’s listed on the National Historic Register for it’s rich history in Napa Valley. Recently Restoration Hardware purchased Ma(i)sonry. Now in addition to being a wine tasting room and art gallery, it’s also an interior design gallery. I’m extremely proud of the images that came out this shoot, and know you’re going to love them too.
As an added bonus to such as a decadent shoot, this became a two-part project. Ma(i)sonry became the site for a very special dinner on the patio for a fundraising auction. It included amazing cuisine and Bulgari jewels. That blog post is coming up next!
As a photographer based in Napa, I have a love affair with all things food and wine. From enjoying the flavors the valley has to offer, and then being able to photograph them, I’m a pretty fortunate guy. My relationship with Somm Journal allows me to do just that all over California. For the recent October/November 2015 issue I captured images in Livermore Valley of Winemaker Karl Wente of Wente Vineyards.
The Wente Family has such a rich history in the Livermore Valley. Known as the First Family of Chardonnay, their family has owned and operated the vineyard for five generations. They are known as the oldest consistently operating winery in the nation. I love their philosophy about the stewardship of their land and their belief in sustainable ecology. Don’t take it from me, read the entire story. It’s an inspiring story of the land, winemaking and family, and it was so great to be the one to shoot the images. In addition to the featured photos in the issue, I’m sharing some of my favorites of the day. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed capturing them.
In May I did a shoot for Branca International in Tuscany, Italy. Branca International is the maker of Fernet Branca, which many of you foodies out there have sipped on after a delicious meal. Villa Branca is in the heart of Tuscany’s Chianti Region. Branca makes Chianti Classico and hearty Tuscan Olive Oil. The Villa’s history is long by american standards- the cellar dates back to the 1300’s and was previously owned by the Medici family! The vineyards and wine cellar are just spectacular. I had am amazing time working with the winemaking and management team of Stefano and Anna Serbakova. So in addition to an incredible photo shoot, I gained new friendship that day in Tuscany.
Big Sur has some of the most beautiful coastlines of anywhere in the world. After spending a long weekend exploring the area, Sur quickly became a very special place for me. The natural beauty of the area is nothing short of stunning. Steeped in rugged, beautiful vista’s, purple sand beaches and miles of amazing shorelines, Sur is a beloved destination. Here are a few of my favorite images.
I recently did a shoot at Pezzini Farms in Castroville, CA otherwise known as the self-proclaimed artichoke capital of the world. I have never seen to many acres of fresh vegetables. Acres upon acres! In the end, I got caught up in the excitement and bought a few dozen for my family. Pezzini is a great example of a local, sustainable farming operation that strives to bring high quality products to its consumers. During the shoot, I learned a little about the history of artichokes. Artichokes bloom from the same bulb year after year. What you see below are artichokes that stem from the original bulb brought over from Italy, planted locally in Castroville over 80 years ago. If you are interested in a great weekend getaway, stop at Pezzini Farms for fresh produce on the way to Carmel or Big Sur. Definitely worth the trip!
I recently had the pleasure of photographing a lifestyle shoot at Goldeneye Winery in the gorgeous Anderson Valley. It’s in the heart of Mendocino’s wine country. It’s a great region for Pinot Nior, their specialty. The fall leaves in the vineyards were a sight to behold and we captured some amazing images!