wine

New Work with Domenique

I had the good fortune to be in Paso Robles on assignment when Domenique contacted me wanting to do a shoot.  Domenique and I had previously worked together to shoot an athletic/sportswear inspired shoot in Paso Robles and she is a rock star, so of course we made it happen.  We tried out a couple of different concepts and played around with wardrobe and scenery.  The light was spectacular, and Domenique's skin was luminescent. Here's some of my favorites from that day.      

 

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Harvest at Edible SLO

New season, new work at Edible SLO.  I was super stoked to have some of my harvest photos published in a photo essay for the magazine. 

See full issue here

www.jaymeburrows.com/harvest

I also shot a story on some local businesses in the area including Komplete Kombucha, based in San Luis Obispo and Villacana Winery's RE:find Distillery in Paso Robles.  

Years ago I had a friend that brewed her own kombucha and it was terrible.  Bitter, acrid, and way to powdery and green tasting.  I was pleasantly surprised that I really liked the brew made by Komplete Kombucha.  I tried their ginger flavor and their hibiscus, and both were fantastic.  They made me a kombucha convert overnight.  The company is made up of three young and ambitious entrepreneurs and I see big things in their future.  

RE:find Distillery and Spirits is owned and operated by the truly lovely Monica and Alex Villacana.  They make vodka, gin, rye whiskey, and limoncello from the first press grape juice that comes from their own Villacana Winery during the winemaking process.  With two businesses to run, Monica and Alex are very busy people but on the day that I photographed them I found them to be energized and very sweet and hospitable.  They showed me around the distillery and tasting room and we chatted about the various projects they have in the works.  When the shoot was over they very generously gave me a bottle of my choosing to take home.  I went with the gin because there are few things better on a hot summer day than a gin and tonic.  Wow, was I impressed.  My boyfriend Justin proclaimed that it was even better than Hendrick's, which as all gin lovers know is the peak of gin perfection.  You can find RE:find products at cool bars and liquor stores everywhere, including my neighborhood Oaks Gourmet in Franklin Village in Hollywood!

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Campaign for Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance: Part 1

Over the past few years I've fully fallen in love with Paso Robles.  Combining that with my love of food and wine, being asked to shoot for the PRWCA was a really cool honor for me.  Here are some images that will be used in the 2014 "Grow Wild" campaign to promote the Paso Robles wine region. 

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A big part of the campaign focuses on Paso's sustainable practices including use of animals to abate weeds, fertilize the soil, and promote a holistic farming practices.  Tablas Creek Winery was nice enough to let the animals loose in the vineyard for us even though the grapes were still on the vines.  Perhaps a bottle or two worth of grapes were sacrificed to the animals for the cause, but hopefully the images were worth it!

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We also shot in the barrel room at Robert Hall Winery.  The size of the cellar always shocks me and it's a challenge to photograph in such a cavernous space.  The barrels go on for days and the smell of oak and fermentation is heavenly.  Not a bad place to work for the day.  

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Paso Robles Farm to Fork Progressive Tour

Last Friday the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce held its inaugural Farm to Fork Progressive Food and Wine Tour.   The tour was a multi-location food and wine extravaganza of some of the best things the area has to offer.  Proceeds benefit a scholarship fund for local high-schoolers.  I donated some of my images to be used for promotion of the event and they were nice enough to invite me along for the day.  At right is the brochure for the event with some of my work.  It was a delightful, hot, whirlwind day (filled with lots of cool swag), here are a few of the highlights...

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A breakfast of bacon wrapped fig strata, quinoa with apples, roasted rosemary potatoes and chimichuri at the Pioneer Museum was the way the group of 100-plus people were welcomed to the tour. We then boarded buses and headed off to our first stop, Windrose Farm in Creston.  Once there we were treated with chipotle and heirloom tomato bloody mary's made with a local grape-based Re:Fined vodka.  In my book it doesn't get much better than this.  Then, bloody marys in hand, we were given a tour of the farm by owner Barbara Spencer.  Windrose is an organic, bio-dynamic marvel, growing more than 40 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, apples, squash, peppers, and almost anything else one can imagine.   After the tour the group sat down for a tomato tasting and some lemonade, then on to our next stop...almost.   

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I won't get into the details, but there were some bus issues that caused some very uncomfortable time in the sun.  Luckily there was a bottle of water in my goodie bag and my bloody mary was still in effect.  Once a new bus arrived to take us to our next stop we were in business again.  The second stop, Windfall Farm, was the apex of the tour.  A cooking demonstration by cookbook author Brigit Binns while sitting on bales of hay and sipping J Lohr Viogner was just what I needed after the bus debacle.  Even better, we all got a copy of the cookbook which I've been eyeing in local shops for weeks.  

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Binns demoed the food which we were to be served later, a pear and fennel salad and a braised short rib with creamy polenta, yum!  The wine continued to flow as we moved onto communal tables for lunch.  I moved on to some Petit Syrah to pair with my short rib and stopped to stroll through the spectacular foaling barn near where lunch was being served.  The group was mostly women and I had a very diverse, interesting bunch of ladies at my table.  After lunch it was time to grab a bottle of J Lohr's premium Hilltop Cabernet, and proceed to our final stop, Pasolivo for a little something sweet.  

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A tour of the olive orchard, followed by an olive oil tasting were a nice way to round out the day.  I enjoyed some local Leo Leo strawberry gelato in the shade, and the tour was complete.  Such a fun day surrounded by people who are doing truly impressive things with their resources.  I am so proud to have become a part of the Paso Robles food and wine community over the past couple of years and it brings joy to see good, hard working people thrive.  

An Evening in the Vineyard

The lovely Esther Flink and I enjoyed bopping around several Central Coast vineyards last week during our sunset shoot.  Esther is a Toronto transplant to the area and she brought to the shoot the professionalism and charm of a seasoned model.  We had a great time racing around the country-side looking to capture the last bits of light.  Here's a small sampling of images from our shoot. 

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Harvest Project 2012: Part 1

I have been working on a personal project on the California Central Coast wine grape harvest for the past few weeks.  It's a work in progress and I am still waking up before dawn, pulling on my boots, heading out to some of the best vineyards in the area, and photographing the harvest.  I vacillated between waiting until the project was completed, and releasing it in parts.  I decided that it was best to give you small portions at a time.  This is mainly because there are way too many images that I love to only show a final 10-20 once the edit was completed.  Also, it allows you, the viewer, to see the evolution of the project and how things change over time.  These images were shot at Fe Ciega Vineyard, located in the Santa Rita Hills area of California, and Laetitia Vineyard, located in Arroyo Grande.  

 


 Thanks to Rick Longoria at Fe Ciega Vineyard and Jackie Ross and Dave Terry at Laetitia Winery for facilitating access to the vineyards and being so gracious and helpful!!!

Elegant Country Dinner and Tomato Tasting at Windrose Farm

On Saturday, September 15th, two lovely events were held at Windrose Farm in Paso Robles, California.  First in the afternoon there was a tomato tasting featuring over 20 varieties of tomatoes.  In the evening there was a farm to table feast paired with local wines from Tablas Creek Winery.  It was a hot summer night, but spirits were high on the farm.  Here are some images from the event and around the pastoral grounds of Windrose Farm. 

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One of my favorite parts of the day was simply wandering around the expansive apple orchards.  There are dozens of free-roaming chickens that made themselves at home in the shade beneath the trees.  Windrose is in a unique location in that they can successfully grow both apples (which typically require a cool climate) and tomatoes (which love the heat) due to their warm days and cool nights.  

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Windrose also raises sheep on thier property.  They have tons of room to roam about, and lead happy lives hanging out with the dogs in the pasture.  

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Barbara and Bill Spencer are the owners of Windrose.  Barbara is seen here talking to the diners about the practices on the farm and what the menu is for the evening.  

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Neil Collins (seen at right), the winemaker at Tablas Creek Winery in Paso Robles, paired each course with his wines.  Tablas Creek is known for being a leader in Rhone varietals, which proved to be a great pairing with the menu.  Almost all of the ingredients were sourced from Windrose, and were prepared by chef Clark Staub of Flatbread Full of Life based out of Los Alamos.  You can find out more about Tablas Creek and Flatbread here...

http://www.tablascreek.com 

http://fulloflifefoods.com/

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Windrose Farm owners Barbara and Bill Spencer in front of their sheep. 

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Flatbread brought out their wood burning oven from which they prepared pizza during the day and used to cook the dinner in the evening.  Chef Julie Simon of Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles came to assist with the dinner as well as Kat from Flatbread. 

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The day was a great success and I am lucky to have been a part of the festivities.  The Central Coast food and wine community is a very tight-knit group and it is nice to see people who are passionate about the things they create and who value artisinal traditions and quality ingredients. 

http://windrosefarm.org/

Harvest Project 2012

September has proven to be a busy, busy month!  I have started work on a personal project on the Central Coast grape harvest which has led to early mornings and long days!  I don't think I've slept this well in ages. I have been incredibly lucky to have gained access to some of my favorite vineyards over the past few weeks and I'm so excited about the images that have come out of the shoots.  Unfortunately the harvest project along with my normal assignments has left me very far behind on editing.  I foresee weeks of playing catch-up at my computer in my future.  The luxury of having time in the field is well worth the editing time later.  I hope to have more images for you soon.