Reintroducing Photographer George Rose

Starting today, I’ll have a new collaborator for bringing you a small moment of beauty every week as part of my feature called Vinography Images. I’ve really enjoyed sharing the body of work that photographer Jimmy Hayes produced over the last year, and hope you have too. For the next year or so, however, I’ll be bringing you images from photographer George Rose, a familiar name to those of you who are longtime readers. I’ve showcased George’s images on two or three previous occasions here on Vinography, and I always enjoy his artistic eye.

So look for images from George beginning today, and in the meantime, you can read a bit more about that young guy standing next to Ansel Adams (with the hat) up there.

George Rose began his long career as a photographer 50 years ago.  Throughout the years, he has traveled a long and winding road through the elite world of popular music, film, news, politics, and sports, eventually leading him to California’s Wine Country. During his prolific years as a Los Angeles-based photojournalist, Rose developed a remarkable and historic body of photographic work focused on popular culture.

In the 1970s and 80s, Rose served six years as a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times. His independent assignments, focused primarily on the entertainment industry, have been published in USA TodayTimeNewsweek and Rolling Stone. Images from this era are collected in the 2008 book entitled Hollywood, Beverly Hills & Other Perversities published by Ten Speed Press. Over 40 vintage prints of his are in the permanent collection of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

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 these images have been published in officially sanctioned NFL books, calendars, trading cards, and game programs.

Rose co-owned and co-published the Mendocino Grapevine, an award-winning Northern California weekly newspaper based in Ukiah, CA. 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 a newspaper, Rose maintained his close relationship with USA Today and a handful of other national publications throughout the 1980s.

In 1987, Rose won a 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. The Los Angeles Times twice nominated him (1979 and 1980) for a Pulitzer Prize. 

Rose took a 25-year detour as a wine industry executive communications director at four successful wine companies: Fetzer Vineyards, Allied Domecq Wines USA, Kendall-Jackson, and J Vineyards & Winery. During this time, he continued to pursue his passion of photography. Rose is the 2017 recipient of the “Louis Roederer International Wine Writer Award” for “Best Artistry” and was a 1st place winner in the “Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year” in 2018.

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.”  In 2014, the Wine Institute (California Wines) published his book, Down To Earth: A Seasonal Tour of Wine Sustainability in California, with author Janet Fletcher.  VINEYARD Sonoma County, his first large-format, coffee table-style book, was released in fall, 2017. His most recent coffee table book, WINE COUNTRY Santa Barbara County, was released on October 1, 2019. Rose, a contributing photographer with Getty Images and former board member at The Wildling Museum of Art & Nature, lives in Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley. Much of his time is devoted to documenting the natural environment as well as top vineyard estates up and down the coast of California.

Stay tuned for some beautiful slices of California wine country as captured by George Rose.