Chris Mazepink and the White Walnut Vineyard
This week I have been working with a new client and have particularly enjoyed documenting what he has been up to. Chris Mazepink, the former winemaker at Archery Summit, has a small (relatively) vineyard up NE Trunk Rd in the Dundee Hills. His vines form a triangle with Archery Summit and Domaine Drouhin. Chris is a small, independent grower producer right next door to a couple of albatross and his vineyards are noticeably different than his esteemed neighbors. The vines here are wilder, less manicured and are also home to far more biodiversity. He built bird stoops and nesting platforms among the rows, he does not use chemicals and is going to leave a cover crop as soon as the vine roots are deep enough to sustain themselves. Chris has a special affinity for the clones that produce the hens and chicks he believes produce complexity. Chris also loves a particular walnut tree with a swing and a pair of chairs underneath it. He day dreams about the memories he will make with his kids underneath this tree while we walk the rows.
I have visited Chris twice now. The first was to photograph the vineyard and and trees and to gather clusters from each of the different clonal selections he has at the site for a little morphological studio shoot. The second was to capture Chris field-loading a massive and gorgeous amphora.
From a creative standpoint, the concept here was to focus on black and white photography, except for the studio-lit clusters. Those shots are bringing the pop. Brian, my creative cohort, is doing the website and drone work and I took the shots below to help tell a bit of the story of Chris Mazepink and the White Walnut Vineyard.