Welcome Back Photographer George Rose

Please join me in welcoming back photographer George Rose as a weekly collaborator for my Vinography Images posts.

For some of you photographer George Rose needs no introduction. You might be staring at his photos as your desktop background or screen saver already, since I’ve featured his images many times over the years years.

For those of you who haven’t met George, he’s an accomplished wine marketer in addition to a master behind the lens. Keep reading to learn more about his remarkable career.

Before we get to his resume, though, let’s talk about what we’re going to feature on Vinography. George has spent the last year or so deeply exploring Santa Barbara County and California’s Central Coast wine region, as seen in the image above of vineyards near Lompoc, CA. The result of that exploration is soon to be published in a book entitled, WINE COUNTRY: Santa Barbara County. In fact, it’s at the printer right now, and will soon be available for purchase at GeorgeRose.Com. So for the next year or so, I’ll be featuring images from that book weekly here on Vinography.

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Now, about this guy with the camera. 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.georgerose.jpg

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 (former 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 five 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 spent time as Communications Director at J Vineyards & Winery before returning to his work as a photographer.

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.

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. His most recent work is a book entitled Vineyard: Sonoma County, for which I wrote the foreward.

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