THE REAL NAPA WINEMAKING EXPERIENCE // BYDAND CASE STUDY
I can’t say I ever drank a ton of wine on a regular basis. I love food and it comes naturally to pair the two, but living in Colorado I drink much more beer than anything else but that all changed last fall. For some time I had been meaning to sink my teeth into the world of wine so I was pumped when I got pinged for a job in wine country a few weeks before the harvest. My old friend Colin Gordon had me out to Napa and Sonoma valleys to shoot a bunch of content and branding photos for his first wine label, Bydand Wines, that he was launching with winemaker Tim Beranek. To do it I spent three days between four vineyards and a winery learning about their process, studying the differences in grapes and soils, watching incredible sunrises and sunsets, and learning a ton about the artistry of wine and winemaking.
Conceptually we wanted to relate the personal side of a small but high-end wine brand to potential customers, while showcasing that it was no amateur production. To accomplish this sort of goal I always start by looking for a narrative within a brand that strikes a chord with it’s people, the product, and every step in-between. Winemaking at this level is an inherently artisan practice from soil to bottle. It also happens to take place in a relaxed California farming community where the grapes are cared for better than some children; I wanted to make sure we spent a lot of time getting our hands dirty and showing the grapes the love and attention they get on a daily basis. The other half of the story is inside the winery where the production can take years until a bottle is finished and can feel more like an industrial laboratory inside. Ultimately, we walked away with a library of lifestyle and formal portraits, product images, landscapes, details, and action shots. Every one of these images is meant to stand alone on a social platform like instagram, but also to connect as a series or whole to produce a stronger story that will help outsiders understand the brand and the artistry behind it. Below is a collection of my personal favorites.
*On a personal note:* Bydand’s Pinot is phenomenal and I look forward to the next time I’m in Napa to hit Colin up for another house bottle.