Introducing Photographer George Rose

It’s that time of year. When I introduce my newest photography collaborator here on Vinography, who will bring you stunning wine related images for the next 52 weeks. I’ve had George Rose’s images cycling through my desktop backgrounds for several weeks now, and I’m super excited about showing them to you here on Vinography.

I can’t exactly remember the first time I met George Rose, but I’m fairly certain he didn’t have a camera in his hand. Nor did he the second or third time we met, occasions where he remembered my name, and I embarrassingly had to search my memory for a name to attach to the bright smile and mischievous eyes that his face held. It took me a while to find out he was a photographer, in addition to his role as a marketer in the world of wine, but once I saw his images, I realized what his true calling was.

George and I have become friendly over the past few years, which makes me even more thrilled to be working with him here on Vinography.

As a photographer George Rose traveled a long and winding road through the elite world of popular music, film and sports — eventually leading him to Northern California’s Wine Country. During a prolific 17-year career as a photojournalist in Los Angeles in the ’70s and ’80s, Rose developed a remarkable and historic body of photographic work focused on popular culture.

In the late 1970s, Rose served six years as a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times. His independent assignments, focused primarily on the entertainment industry, were published in USA Today, Time, Newsweek and Rolling Stone. His images from this era are collected in the 2008 book entitled Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Other Perversities
published by Ten Speed Press.

From 1982 to 1996 Rose prowled the sidelines of the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders games as a photographer for the National Football League. Thousands of his images have been published in officially sanctioned NFL books, calendars, trading card and game day programs.

In the 1980s, Rose headed north to Ukiah, where he owned and published the Mendocino Grapevine, an award-winning Northern California weekly county newspaper. It was during this period that he became friendly with the Fetzer family (owners of Fetzer Vineyards), planting the seeds of a future career in wine. Despite the rigors of publishing, Rose maintained his close relationship with USA Today and a handful of other national publications throughout the 1980s.

For the past twenty years, Rose has held four high-level public relations positions in Northern California’s Wine Country. He began his wine journey — though some might call it a “career detour” — by becoming Director of Public Relations at Mendocino County’s Fetzer Vineyards in 1991. In 1998 he moved forty-five minutes down Highway 101 to Sonoma County, where he took on duties as Public Relations Director for Clos du Bois and its parent wine company, Allied Domecq Wines USA.

In 2003, the late Jess Jackson tapped Rose to become Vice President of Public Relations for Kendall-Jackson, America’s top premium wine producer. Rose was responsible for all Kendall-Jackson communications until his departure at the end of 2008. He is currently Communications Director at J Vineyards & Winery.

Rose is a recipient of a 1987 World Press Photo Award for news, and was named California “Newspaper Photographer of the Year” in 1976 by the University of Missouri, School of Journalism. He was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Los Angeles Times.

Somehow finding the energy and time to chase the light while holding down his day job, George continues to document the seasonal changes in California’s wine country and travels the world as a contributor to Getty Images. His vineyard photos have been used in numerous publications and calendars throughout the world of wine, and in 2007, Chronicle Books published a collection of those images in a book entitled The Art of Terroir.

Please join me in welcoming George to Vinography. I hope you enjoy his images as much as I do.