One good thing about wineries not opening until 10 or 11 A.M. is the chance it gives a photographer to explore and record them, empty and inviting, in all their morning glory.
Collaborating with food and wine writer Heidi Cusick, Richard Gillette has captured that ephemeral, pretourist moment in a lovely new guide to Sonoma wineries. The two have recreated the colors and composition of Sonoma, serving up a taste of magical places and providing a guide to help appreciate them.
Mendocino-based Cusick writes of Sonoma with the enthusiasm and insight of a native. It's a pleasure to follow her through the pitfalls ("watch out for poison oak") and the pleasantries of Sonoma winery touring ("Italian right down to the door hinges and the frescoes"). Her descriptions are so focused and colorful, the reader will soon begin to trust her opinions and look to her for guidance.
There's insider information along with a good mix of tourist trivia. Even the mundane details are conveyed in a fresh and versatile way, such as in the line "access, tastings, picnics and programs, enroute food and farms." Cusick puts her wineries and vintners into a larger, more robust context, which is all of Sonoma County.
Gillette's photos share Cusick's balance of detail with dreamscape; each shot carries its own natural order and beauty. Like Cusick, Gillette knows intuitively how to include in his frame just the right proportion of content to white space, cool shadow to bright blossom.
Rodney Stong's vital, caring introduction to the book says what needs to be said about Sonoma: "I will travel, but I will never leave. I am here. Join me." Heidi Cusick and Richard Gillette show us how.
[Heidi Cusick and Richard Gillette] have recreated the colors and composition of Sonoma, serving up a taste of magical places and providing a guide to help appreciate them. Appellation