Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 5
'VINTAGE 2014' brings a multi-sensory wine experience to Flying Goat Cellars
BY JOE PAYNE
Santa Barbara County’s beautiful rolling hills, finally green after much-needed rains, foster many kinds of vegetation, from grasses to lichen-draped oak trees. Most famously, as the film Sideways related, the area is home to many carefully tended grapevines and the wineries that raise them to prepare their famous wines.
A local producer is seeking to highlight the Santa Barbara County wine experience in an unprecedented way, by combining multiple media with the wine-tasting experience.
“Basically, we are following the viticulture aspect of the wine from when the grapes are grown to when they are picked,” said Wil Fernandez, producer of the “VINTAGE 2014” project. “We have a couple of photographers, videographers, writers, and we are collectively putting together several things.”
“VINTAGE 2014: The Stories Behind the Vines” is a traveling multimedia installation Fernandez created to get wine lovers closer to the vine. A tasting event at Flying Goat Cellars on April 13 will feature one of the first iterations of the project. The wine-tasting room, festooned with the actual vines involved in the product, will feature still photography as well as tablet computers displaying loops of time-lapse footage.
“The ‘bud break’ is when the buds come out of their dormant state,” Fernandez said. “It’s kind of trial and error, but we built a custom box in the vineyard and put a $3,000 camera in there to capture the bud breaking.”
Each installation will include a talk about the grapes used to make the wine along with the visual display. The project received support from the Santa Barbara County Vintners, Fernandez explained, but also from donors who contributed to his Kickstarter campaign.
“It’s kind of a new approach to a modern documentary, and this is one of the events that we will have locally and nationally, that are designed to get viewers in the vineyard,” he said.
The “VINTAGE 2014” project, which also enjoys the playful title “Dirt Don’t Lie,” is all over the Internet in various forms, Fernandez explained. An Instagram account details behind-the-scenes aspects of the project. A Twitter account will connect winemakers, vineyards, and viewers. There’s also a “Dirt Don’t Lie” podcast that will feature candid interviews with local viticulturists and winemakers.
“I’m really focused on the digital aspects: putting stuff online and seeing how people react to it,” Fernandez said. “It’s a really good representation of the whole county.”
Flying Goat Cellars got involved with the project, including the upcoming exhibit, because the winery sources its grapes from another vineyard. The tasting room, which already has space dedicated to an art gallery, is the perfect springboard. Fernandez has already hung vines, explained Flying Goat Cellars’ chief philosopher and proprietor Kate Griffith.
“The heritage vines are really old-growth vines, and yeah, you won’t believe it, they have enormous trunks,” Griffith said. “The multimedia aspect is definitely unique; his whole slogan is ‘Dirt Don’t Lie,’ and that is very much what we are all about; we actually have samples of dirt from each of the vineyards that we source from, and you’d be surprised how different they can be.”
“VINTAGE 2014: The Stories Behind the Vines” will include the reception event on April 13, but the installation will show at Flying Goat Cellars through the month.
Arts Editor Joe Payne is ready to sip, view, and enjoy. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.