The amount of work required to produce the highest quality grapes remains unknown to most wine drinkers. Here a crew removes leaves in the morning fog at the Vine Hill Vineyard in Forestville, Sonoma County. “Leafing,” as it is called, involves removing individual leaves and stray vine shoots to optimize the amount of sunlight and shade in the “fruit zone” where the grapes sit. It’s a tricky process and usually done by hand in California’s top vineyards. Too much leafing and grapes can get sunburn. Too little, and you might get uneven ripening or mildew as leaves trap moisture and prevent airflow.
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The work of photographer Jimmy Hayes can be further appreciated in his forthcoming monograph, Veritas, which will be published in 2021 by Abrams Books / Cameron + Company. Pre-order the book from the Abrams web site.
Fine art prints of this image and others are available from Jimmy Hayes Photography.
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