Mick Rock is a professional photographer whose work has appeared in many publications including books by Oz Clarke and Michael Schuster. For more than 20 years Mick has travelled the world photographing wine lands and the process of turning grapes into wine.
In what will be the first of a series Mick has produced a DVD showing a selection of his stunning images of France and commissioned a composer to produce a suitable sound track.
As requested, I played the DVD on my wide screen TV and sat back to watch. I had feared that a series of photographs would not hold my attention but, before I realised it, I was hooked.
The pace of the pictures changes, some staying on the screen longer than others before dissolving into the next. Some zoom in to a detail; others pan across or pull out to reveal a wider landscape. We visit cellars of world famous wineries including Chateaux Margaux, d’Yquem, Krug & Cristal, stand alongside grape pickers and shiver in snow covered fields as vines are pruned.
Mick has a real eye for landscapes. I feared that looking at different vineyards might get boring but each image has features that catch and draw the eye into finding more even detail. A winter view of gnarled old leafless bush vines has a beautiful tree covered in white blossom next to it; the bright green of vines in spring is emphasised by a neighbouring field of vivid yellow flowers or rows of violet lavender. I marvelled at the different skies that Mick captured and wondered how long he’d waited for dramatic cloud formations to form and a rainbow or crescent moon to appear in the correct position.
Music, by Andy Harsant, is just right; neither intrusive nor anodyne with the theme being refreshed by alternating between different instruments.
This is a DVD in which you can really lose yourself and I was surprised when it ended: had 24 minutes already passed? I felt calmed and relaxed and I selected play again and settled back.
This would make a terrific gift for any wine lover, and if you get stressed out just stick the DVD in your PC, put on your headphones and relax. There is an endless loop option.
Price is £8.99/$14.25 inc postage (pre Christmas price, reduced from £13.98/$22) from www.wine-odysseys.com
Production: Content: *****
The reviewer received a free copy of this DVD
Peter F May is the author of Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape: Odd Wines from Around the World which features more than 100 wine labels and the stories behind them, and PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa’s Own Wine which tells the story behind the Pinotage wine and grape.