Painted Wine Barrels @ Cité de Carcassonne

Tourism and Cinema in the heart of Aude

The Oenovideo film festival chose the Medieval  Cite of Carcassonne and the Hotel de la Cite to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

The OenoVideo Festival was hosted by the Syndicat du Cru Minervois in the heart of it’s vineyards and in the walls of Carcassonne from 30 May to 2 June 2013. Oenovidéo found one of the best possible places to stage its international scope. For twenty years, Oenovidéo international showed that it is possible to unite the seventh art and wine.

It was four long days for the Grand Jury but the Minervois region treated the Jurors to many excursions hi-lighting the beauty of the Carcassonne area.

The Festival started by a meet and greet luncheon for the members of the jury at the restaurant Saskia. and that was only the beginning!
The gala was held at La Barbacane, the Hotel de la Cité Michelin starred restaurant located in the Midieval Cite of Carcassonne.

Œnovideo 2013 Grand Jury

Grand Jury Président
Christophe Barratier. Director – Writer – French Producer

Grand Jury Members
Fabrizio Bucella. Doctor of Science University of Brussels. Sommelier – Columnist

Corinne Destombes. Executive Producer – Studios Folimage

Pascal Frissant. Winemaker – Château Coupe-Roses

Daniel Hernandez. CNRS physicist. writer

Patrick Masbatin. Master Sommelier – film Buff

Bernard Nauer. Fiction and documentary filmmaker

Joe O’Connell. Vineyard owner-winemaker. Historian, University of Massachusetts. Domain O’Vineyards, Carcassonne

Marc Olivier. Journalist – Journalist – Honorary Director ANEV

2013 Awards

awards from the Festival Grand Jury chaired by Christophe Barratier

  • Grand Jury Special prize to the full length film   :
      Pelican's watch. Greece. Lea Binzer production.
  • Best full length Film is awarded to two films:
      Red Obsession Australia. David Roach et Warwick production
      À la poursuite de Mme Li France. Anne-Marie Avouac production.
  •  Best short film is awarded to :
      Vendanges d'hiver France.  Guilhem Connac production.
  • Price for best picture goes to feature film :
      Boom Varietal - The rise of Argentine Malbec USA. Sky Pinnick production
  • Award for best screenplay and staging is presented in short film:
      Le vin, culture universelle Spain. Jorge Mazo production
  • Best Picture “Promotion” is given to the short film:
      Do Rias Baixas - A year of wine. Spain. Ramses Rivera production
  • Best film for professionals in feature film :
      La vente en primeur des vins grands crus classés bordelais. France. Production Hervé Remaud, Mylène Jaillette, Christophe Villain.

Special Mention

  • Special Mention of the Grand Jury for the feature film :
      Like the old vine. Croatia.  Milka Barisic procduction

Audience Award

  •   A year in Burgundy. USA. David Kennard production.
  •   Lafleur. Germany.  Mathieu Charrière production.

Partners awards

  • Landscape and Environment Prize awarded by Bayer CropScience :
      Do Rias Baixas - A year of wine Spain. Ramses Rivera production
  • Imaginarium Prize awarded by  Imaginarium  :
      Le vin, culture universelle Spain.  Jorge Mazo production
  • Best work of general interest Prize awarded by ANEV :
       UJVR, Union des jeunes viticulteurs récoltants France Florent et rémy Gaillard production
  • Revue des Œnologues Prize awarded by la Revue des Œnologues :
      Zucco, le vin du fils du Roi des Français Italy.  Lidia Rizzo production
  • Wine – Health – Pleasure of Life Prize awarded from VSPV :
      No wine left behind USA.  Kevin Gordon production

cork-qr-code

update: after hearing that the qr code didn’t scan properly on all phones, I made a black and white version that should be easier to scan!  second update: most people are reporting that it works with certain QR code readers (presumably those with better error correction)

I made a QR code out of wine corks.  I painstakingly placed the 25×25 grid (and then added a frame) so that the QR code uses over 625 corks.  Each of them placed by hand wine side up or wine side down to represent the black or white of the QR code.  Yes, pruning is so boring that I’d rather sit in and play an overly complicated game of wine cork dominos.  :)

What is this?  Why did I make a qr code out of wine corks?

A QR Code is like a two dimensional bar code.  Most smartphones have applications that can scan these and interpret the data.  Frequently, as in the case of this QR code, it will be a link to a website.  In this case, it links you to the website where iPhone users can download an app called Wine Demon.

Normally QR codes look sort of boring.  This is the original QR code that I decided to replicate:  Scan Me

I’ve been working on doing artistic designs and patterns with corks for a while and this seemed like a perfect application for it.

Why link to Wine Demon?

I thought about making a QR code that linked to this very website or my other blog, Love That Languedoc, but on a whim I decided to link to Wine Demon.  Actually, I’ve been meaning to announce some big news on the blog.  I’m taking a sabbatical from O’Vineyards to continue my wine education  and hunt out new business opportunities in California.  This is a surprising move and a lot of people are harrassing me for details, but I cannot say yet.  However, this QR code is a small hint.

That said, even if I had second thoughts about what to link to… it took me two hours to line up the 600+ corks and I don’t feel like redoing it any time soon. :)

Attribution – Creative Commons – Share alike

Please please please share this image and this idea with all of your friends.  But please also mention me.  If you use this particular QR code or if you decide to make your own QR code out of wine corks, I would greatly appreciate a small attribution for the concept.  Just link to ovineyards.com and you will make my day. :)

Making the wine cork QR code

Basically, this QR code is a 25×25 grid where each square is either white or black.  I drew out the grid on paper and then used a single cork for each square in the grid.

It turns out that the squares in the corners are the most important part.  When a smart phone scans those corners successfully, it knows it’s looking at a QR code and then it can make a lot of assumptions to correct for errors.  But if it doesn’t get those corner squares, then it won’t know to run the error-correcting calculations.  So make sure the squares are perfect.  Also, I ended up putting a frame of white corks around the whole thing, mostly to make the squares stand out more for the phone reader.  This made a big difference and I recommend it to anybody trying to replicate this project.

Here are some photos of the process.

 

I keep finding beer containers positioned on top of my vines in the first row of the Merlot parcel closest to the village.  I figure a simple “Don’t litter, you idiot” would fall on deaf ears.  That message is already everywhere and I’m clearly dealing with an exceptional individual here…. so here’s an open letter to the person who keeps throwing their beer away in my vines.

Dear artistically-minded litterbug,

Stop leaving empty beer containers on my vines.  I’m not sure of your name (yet) but I know that there will be no confusion when you read this letter.  While many people litter, you are the only one who specifically places your empties on top of my vines rather than just throwing them on the ground.

Obviously, I admire your ambition.  You’ve taken littering to the next level.  Most of the slobs who throw their rubbish on the ground do it wherever they happen to be standing.  Presumably because it would take too much of their valuable time to find a trash bin somewhere.  But you don’t do it for the sake of convenience.  On the contrary!  You seem to go very far out of your way to litter in a specific row of my vineyard and with such style (dare I say panache).

beer bottle on merlot vine

"symbol of the intoxicating penetration of today's globalized consumer"

I see that you’re not simply dumping out empty beer bottles.  Rather, you’re creating artistic installations that speak to the deepest problems troubling me in this day and age.  In the photo above, I hope to have captured the courson inserted into the oversized beer bottle, symbol of the intoxicating penetration of today’s globalized consumerism.

Simple photos can’t display the emotional significance of your work.  After all, a photo is only two dimensions and your art works knows no limits.  Your pieces are at once sculpture and performance art, evolving over decades, polluting the environment around the installation as time erodes the label and glass, and as the bottle itself hampers the growth of the vine underneath.

empty beer can in the vineyard

"a subtle nod to the Danube School"

Even the choice of beer brands was inspired in this week’s installation. Switching from a domestic brew like Jenlain in the first week to a foreign beer like Bavaria 8.6 was the perfect way to bring attention to contemporary worries about European economics and the balance of power within the EU.  The way the can is crushed and wrapped around the vine’s supporting wire, as if to strangle it and replace its natural fruit with the product of foreign alcohol, acts as a powerful reminder of the commoditization of French culture.

And the choice of the “Bavaria” brand was also a clever wink to the Danube School and the deterioration of the European landscape immortalized in the work of those Bavarian-commissioned painters like Huber and Hirschvogel.

Indeed, your work can be seen as the new marriage of landscape and street art.  As street artists gain credibility in the contemporary art community, their work is no longer unsanctioned.  Even as museums and art galleries are desanctified and toppled as monolithic authorities on beauty, the new temple of art is the natural world.  You won’t stand for this sort of unfettered “official” narrative of beauty.  You will tear it down and show nature that it doesn’t know the first thing about beauty.

And suffice it to say that the irony of leaving beer containers in a place where we make wine has not escaped me.  You are a wit, sir.

But I’m not writing simply to commend you.  Sadly, I have to ask you to stop your art.  Because it’s simply too powerful.  Too moving.  I know I’m just a peasant, a simple farmer growing grapes.  My work is not as romantic or as important as yours.  But my family’s simple efforts won’t raise any commotion.  Your life-altering master pieces are a potential threat to the way people function in that they will incite people toward revolution.  And so I hope that the humanitarian in you can overcome the artistic urge to desecrate my vines with empty beer containers.

Humbly,

Ryan.

wine corks sorted by saturation and hue

For all the O’CD O’Vineyards-fans, I’m posting some pictures of a cork project I have in the works.

After seeing somebody make a beautiful portrait out of corks, I started tinkering with the idea of doing small framed panoramas of the Cité de Carcassonne with O’Vineyards corks.

Here’s the original video that I saw where somebody makes a portrait out of wine corks:

The first step seemed to be to collect and organize the corks. I decided to sort them by color in a box. Well, they’re all red-hued, so it might be more accurate to say that I organized them by level of saturation. Anyway, the box looked pretty cool when I was done classifying them all.

corks sorted by color

This is 120 corks which turned out to be way too few to make a meaningful image.  I struggled for about an hour to make something aesthetically pleasing with about twice this number of corks.  It was just not happening.  I did find an alternative though so we do have a pretty new project after I take some nice photos.

But even if this turned out to be something of a waste of time, the process of sorting the corks was fun.  And I figured somebody would appreciate the first step of this project on its own obsessive compulsive merits.

:)

o'vineyards corks sorted by color

My friend completed a painting and it’s gorgeous.  It’s called Kombucha World or Kombucha Symbiotic Colony: of bacteria and feast.

Click to view the full painting

Here is a detail that includes some symbolic representations of my friends and me.  There are surely a million ways to interpret this painting, but the artist uploaded the detail to facebook and tagged a couple of friends indicitating some of these forms… so that’s enough for me.  I’m the shifty dude behind the reeds/plants.

painting by Luke Quinn Kombucha World

Honored to maybe be part of the subconcious inspiration for this wildly beautiful depiction of the living systems that ferment and digest the world we live in.

Puech Haut‘s collection of painted barrels (some of which are a tiny bit more sophisticated than my painted barrels ;D ) has sent a small piece of the collection to the French Pavillion in Shanghai.

barrels from puech haut

I guess I’m supposed to wax poetic about the awesome artisitic implications of painting barrels.  Or the marketing benefits.  Honestly, I just like painting on wood.  And sometimes, you have barrels to spare.  So a big high five to Gérard Bru for getting artists to paint some barrels and then shipping them around the world to show everybody how the Languedoc rolls.

This story came via the Chef Pourcel’s blog.  Famous twin blogging chefs from Agde with continued ties to the Languedoc .

Looking at pictures from harvests all over the northern hemisphere can really show you how naturally beautiful vineyards are.  There’s no need for trickery.  You can get a lot of mileage out of some relatively cheap amateur photography.  You don’t have to touch up or photoshop your pictures later on.  Vines are just pretty.  And wine is just beautiful.

Clos des Fées, 2010

Trick Photography in Food

This strikes me as important, especially after reading Good Grape’s review of Food Styling.  The book is written by Delores Custer, a prominent food photographer, and it’s got a lot revelatory insights about advertising photos you might take for granted.  How do photographers get cereal to float perfectly on top of the milk? (It’s not milk; it’s Elmer’s Glue.)   How is that beer bottle always dappled in the perfect amount of dew?  (Again, not dew.)  And the truly gross tool known as a T-28 which makes fresh cooked meat look steamy… (Just read Good Grape’s review for this one).

All in all, there is a lot of deception in food marketing.  And on the whole, I’m really happy to work in a field where taking beautiful pictures is pretty effortless.  I mean, there are parts that are less pretty.  And some professional equipment will definitely make your press photos stronger.  But artisanal winemakers don’t have to lie.  Even the least romantic parts of the job (assembly line work like sorting tables and bottling lines) look pretty good without any effort.  The picture to the left is a perfect example from a bit south of here at Domaine Gayda where even the boring jobs look great.

I should mention that Food Styling does contain some wine trickery.  If there’s no wine on hand, the photographer can fake it by diluting Kitchen Bouquet with water.  You might wonder why a photographer would happen to have Kitchen Bouquet around but not a bottle of wine.  Well, they also use this brown thickening sauce to fake coffee, to dye poultry, etc.  It’s a part of their tool box.

Dolores Custer and her colleagues are masters of food forgery in a way.  And I’m sort of glad I don’t need to use their services.  While much of the food and beverage industries are driven to advertise that one fleeting moment where a product looks perfect, wine tends toward a more long-lived appreciation.  Maybe that’s why we’re more candid?

Anticipating a moment vs. Enjoying The Moment

There’s a time lapse video I saw on Edible Geography:

It’s a clever conceit, but also — I imagine — functioned as a visceral reminder that our obsession with only buying flawless fruit and vegetables over-prioritises a single, freeze-framed moment in an organic cycle.

–Edible Geography

By recreating a 17th Century still life painting in reality and watching that still life die and live and die again, Grahame Weinbren sort of calls into question our fascination with immortalizing short moments of food porn.  Really, a lot of the things we consume are still alive.  This is especially true about wine.

Wine is alive and changing all the time and it can be enjoyed at almost any moment.  You’re not obligated to wait for some fetishized, fleeting seconds when the wine will be perfect.  You can drink young wine to appreciate certain characteristics of youth or you can wait and drink older wines that feature more aged characteristics.  Whenever you open it, there it is, waiting for you.

But maybe some of you think I’m getting too philosophical here.

And heck, some people might even think I’m dead wrong about wine photography.  After all, it’s hard to flip through a wine magazine without finding three pictures of wine being poured.  Is that our obsession?  The moment it comes out of the bottle?  Are there photographers who pour Kitchen Bouquet into the bottle so the wine will look thicker as it streams out in front of the camera?  Not at O’Vineyards.

One of our best customers is La Barbacane, the Michelin-starred restaurant in l’Hotel de la Cité in Carcassonne.  I was delighted to hear that they’ll also be serving one of our wines in Le Jardin de l’Evêque, the outdoor garden area across from the hotel.

And on top of this great news, they commissioned a painted wine barrel for the special waiting area they’re installing where patrons can enjoy an apperitif and some olives before being seated in the garden.

painted barrel o'vineyards

For those of you who don’t know, I like to paint. I’m more into engravings and prints, but I enjoy picking up a brush from time to time.  So it was a pleasure to do some simple castle landscapes on one of my old barrels.

Now, I think the Jardin asked a few other winemakers for barrels.  I’ll let you know once they’ve all been installed so we can see who made the prettiest barrel. :)

jardin de l'eveque carcassonne

How to find us

Domaine O’Vineyards is just a few kilometres north of Carcassonne. GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387

Domaine O’Vineyards
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910

  1. Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou until the D118 (the last straight road) and the Dyneff gas station on the roundabout.
  2. Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
  3. Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which goes up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire.
  4. At the last juction, bear left at the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
  5. After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.