Ribera del Duero Wine photography - Bodegas Viña Mayor, Valladolid

 18/7/16 Almudena Alberca, Bodegas Viña Mayor, Quintanilla de Onésimo, Ribera de Duero, Valladolid, España. Foto de James Sturcke | www.sturcke.org

Ribera del Duero Wine Photography : Viña Mayor winery asked me to make some portraits of its recently arrived winemaker, Almudena Alberca. The brief was for elegant, reasonably minimalist images that showed Almudena at work in the Quintanilla de Onésimo (Valladolid) winery in the heart of Ribera del Duero. It also wanted portraits of Almudena at itand also its Rueda winery - Caserío de Duero - an hour away in Villaverde de Medina (Valladolid).

Almudena mentioned that one of her first Caserío de Duero wines - Verdejo Superior - had recently gone on sale. I was keen to get images that showed her pride and enjoyment in her new wine. Over the past years I’ve learnt that winemakers - like photographers - need to rely both on the left and right sides of the brain. The left to dominate the science of the process, the right to sprinkle on some creativity and personality that marks it out as their own.

A portrait photographer gets to know his subjects pretty fast and it quickly became clear that Almudena had a fun and energetic character so I made some shots in other areas of the winery that underlined that trait. And to make sure it didn’t look like we were having too much fun, I took some straight-laced images of Almudena inspecting her vines…