Fruit of the Vine

The St.Emilion region produces some of Bordeaux’s most famous red wines from the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. A group of us arrived here to spend a few days touring some chateaus, taste some fine wines, and sample the local cuisine. Photography was an option on this trip, nevertheless, all of us brought our cameras and attempt some picture taking at the ‘degustations’. For me, a total novice in wine tasting, it presented a great experience to understanding the complexities and methodology that went into the making of this red nectar so famous across the globe. I learned that the average root depth penetration is 11 to 17 metres deep for vines, that can be productive for over 50 years. Density of plant, soil structure, rainfall aren’t the only variables that go into the taste. Post harvest, there’s the masceration techniques, fermentation, and aging that will produce the ‘bouquets’, structure and body of the wine. Many chateaus are secretive about their recipes, and even the kind of oak barrels used too age the wines will produce different aromas.

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The St Emilion rolling hills filled with patchwork of vineyards differs greatly with the Left Bank area north of Bordeaux city, where the land is unimaginatively flat and unpicturesque. Nevertheless, this Medoc region produces some of the world’s most well-known fine wines from Chateaus Lafitte, La Tour and Rothschild, amongst others. The chateaus are themselves works of art, and so much history goes before these vintages.

Who’s up for a whisky tour of Scotland next?

Explorenation is 3 years old!

Dear Friends of Explorenation


To celebrate our 3rd year, some of us are heading down to Bordeaux this week for a long weekend of touring the wine country, and sampling its produce! There will also be some photography…

Thank you for another great year of inspiring photography workshops.  Over the last 21 months we have visited Rajasthan, Cuba, Istanbul, Bordeaux, the Isle of Wight, and have run several digital darkroom sessions, some introductory camera clinics, and a few short London workshops offering a taster of what we do. Have a look at our planned photography workshops for 2012 and the remainder of 2011 below.  As always, we will be offering an interactive and user-friendly format for all photography enthusiasts from beginner to advanced level, who want to improve their technique and explore their creativity.  We work with small groups, go to interesting places, and ensure a variety of photographic possibilities with a format that includes daily shoots, evening slide shows, personal camera clinics, and of course some downtime to develop your portfolio, practice your technique, or simply relax.

Consider joining us on any of the following workshops over the next 12 months:

  • Berlin Iconography November 10-13, 2011
  • Carnavale! Venice at Carnival February 16-19, 2012 (£375 + travel & accommodation)
  • Morocco Pathways March 17-25, 2012 (c. £1,000 incl. accommodation, meals & local travel)
  • Cuba Libre II June 6-17, 2012 (c. £1,500 incl. accommodation, meals & local travel)

For more details on content see the attached document, or visit  Some dates may vary depending on take-up.  We can also arrange specific tours for groups with a particular destination in mind.

All the best, and keep shooting!

Andy & Steven