Wow, so pleased with this first book review from Louise Ward of Wardini Books in Havelock. Can’t wait to get the book on the ‘Photo book’ shelves at the front of her shop.
The first thing that strikes you about John Miles’ photographic book, ‘From Bud to Bottle,’ is the ‘Hawke’s Bay-ness’ of it. Every page is an homage to the rolling hills, glorious blue skies (sometimes shrouded in mist early on) and the rows of vines that make up so much of the Hawke’s Bay landscape. Moana Park makes a beautiful subject.
The book is broken down into seasons, the clarity of the photography vividly evoking the sights, sounds and smells of the life of a winery. It offers an inside view into something most of us only experience the finished result of. The vines and grapes play a major role but an added point of interest are the shots of the industrial side of wine production; machinery and the mechanics of wine making will satisfy those with a need to see how stuff works.
It’s a book of light, shadows, earth and dirt. There is sniffing, crushing, pruning, harvesting and a whole gamut of human industry. Winemaking is a labour of love, clearly shown by the ‘people shots’ – concentration, humour, camaraderie and sheer hard work. The journey from the naked branch, the first delicate buds, the fecund grapes, their harvest and ultimately their destruction – piles of grapes, the life gushing out of them – is documented beautifully. It’s an action book: John goes much further than still life photography – the life of the Winery is clearly depicted.
‘From Bud to Bottle,’ makes an excellent coffee table book – it’s about wine, of course, but also about seasons, weather, change, industry. If you’ve ever wondered about where your wine comes from, this book will intrigue you.
Louise Ward, Wardini Books – Havelock North, Hawkes Bay.