The beauty of dead yeast

And other parts of the winemaking process. The hard work that goes into making wine is exposed in a beautiful series of photographs from around the world…


Who’d have thought lees could look so beautiful? Adrian Chitty’s The Eye shows Chardonnay lees forming a striking pattern at the bottom of a stainless-steel tank

The beauty of dead yeast
  • Chris Boiling
  • 2023-05-23
The beauty and hard graft of winemaking are exposed in a series of images. These are the best photographs from the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year competition, part of Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2023.

Preparing for the coming season

Oscar Oliveras_Pommard Pruning
Spanish photographer Oscar Oliveras won the Places category in the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year competition with this image, ‘Pommard Pruning’. Taken in Burgundy, it captures a vineyard worker burning vine branches from the previous season in the Pommard Rugiens vineyard.

Saving the vines from frost

Mick Rock_Iced Vine
An Iced Vine at Chilworth Manor vineyard in England and bougies burning – this shows the dawn battle with frost in spring. Mick Rock took third place in the Places category with this photo.

Looking after the soil

Adrian Chitty_Spreading Pomace
Returning the skins and stems to the vineyard as compost – putting nutrients back in the soil for the coming season long after the juice has been turned into wine. US-based Brit Adrian Chitty earned second place in the Produce category with this photo.

Caring for the vineyard

Sarah Jaeggi_Uranus and Mark
A moment of pure endurance and strength in a Swiss vineyard: Uranus and his guide, Mark, plough a plot whose inclination is too steep for tractors. This photo earned Sarah Jaeggi third place in the People category.

Picking the grapes

Paige Fandrei_The Wine Workers We Don_t See
This image of a harvest worker in the USA, The Wine Workers We Don't See, earned Paige Fandrei a second place in the People category.

The cellar: a place of work, the place where magic happens, a place of beauty

Rodolphe Travel_Like a Tropical cellar
Domaine de Belle-Mare’s beautiful cellar in France’s Languedoc region is bathed in light and the shadows of the surrounding olive trees. We are just a few metres from the Thau Lagoon, which is connected to the Mediterranean Sea and whose sea spray refreshes the sun-drenched vines. This photo gave Rodolphe Travel/Vitinova the runner-up spot in the Places category.

Extracting the good stuff from grape skins

Lucile Carmet_Open the Valves
Pumping over to send the must from the bottom of the tank to the top, wetting the cap and extracting colour and tannins during the 2022 harvest. This photo by Lucile Carmet/Vitinova – called Open the Valves – took third place in the Produce category.

‘No glamour here’

Emptying tank after fermentation

Thierry Gaudillere_Girl after empty a tank
French photographer Thierry Gaudillère won the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year title with this image, ‘Girl After Emptying a Tank at the End of the Fermentation’.
The photograph, which also won the People category, captures a woman resting after the arduous task of emptying a vat of grapes in a winery in Burgundy, France.
“This beautifully lit and framed image encapsulates the dedication, the sheer physical hard work involved in making wine. No glamour here,” says Caroline Kenyon, founder of the awards. “There’s so much character in the subject’s face – weary but triumphant, she knows it’s a tough job well done.”

After ageing on lees…

Adrian Chitty_The Eye
Adrian Chitty won the Produce subcategory with ‘The Eye’, an intriguing image capturing Chardonnay lees forming a striking pattern at the bottom of a stainless-steel tank.

Enjoying the finished product

Jonas Borg_Dinner King and Queen
Swedish photographer Jonas Borg won the Champagne Taittinger Food for Celebration category with ‘Dinner with the King and Queen of Sweden’. The image was taken at the Sverigemiddagen (‘Dinner of Sweden’), an annual event held at the Royal Castle in Stockholm, celebrating individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to their local communities.

Isabelle Hattink During Dinner
The winner of the Champagne Taittinger Wedding Food Photographer category is Isabelle Hattnik of the Netherlands with ‘Stories During Dinner’. Hattnik won the category last year too!

Phil Turnbull, CEO of APAL, owner of the competition’s main sponsor, Pink Lady, commented: “Every year, the incredible winning images act as witness to the centrality of food in every culture in every people across the globe.”
An exhibition of the 2023 finalists’ work is at The Royal Photographic Society in Bristol, England, until June 11.
To view the online gallery of all the 2023 finalists, click here.

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