Photographer turns camera to stars of Burgundy

17th January, 2012 by Patrick Schmitt

London will host a high profile photographic exhibition of leading winemakers from Burgundy and Champagne in April.

Aubert de Villaine; Photo credit: Colin Hampden-White

A series of 21 portraits have been taken by Colin Hampden-White over the course of last year following the photographer’s success with The Greatest Winemakers, a show which comprised 20 pictures of Bordeaux’s top vintners.

Like Colin’s previous exhibition, held in December 2010, the upcoming one in springtime this year will be held at Rebecca Hossack gallery on Fitzroy Square, and will feature the personalities behind some of the wine world’s most iconic labels.

Speaking to the drinks business last week, Colin said the latest series would include characters such as Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger and Richard Geoffroy from Champagne, as well as Aubert de Villaine and Anne-Claude Leflaive from Burgundy.

Colin, who is a wine enthusiast and close friends with Henry Matson of Farr Vintners, explained that the chosen subjects (see lists below) were selected having collected suggestions from wine merchants and friends in London.

“The methodology is the same [as the last exhibition] – I got merchants, friends and a couple of wine writers to note down what were their top 20 and then I saw which names came up the most frequently.”

However, while Colin ended up with 10 winemakers in Burgundy, he will feature 11 from Champagne, due to the addition of Anselme Selosse.

“I had a core 10 that were obvious, but then his name kept coming up, and considering his maverick nature and different style of winemaking, I decided to include him and do 11 from Champagne.”

However, unlike his last exhibition, based on Bordeaux alone, he decided against running a full 20 portraits from either Champagne or Burgundy.

“The whole idea is the greatest winemakers in the world and every time I got beyond 15 I found that the notoriety was dwindling,” he explained, adding “but from a business point of view I probably should have done the regions separately.”

Lalou Bize-Leroy; Photo credit: Colin Hampden-White

Colin’s first series of winemaker portraits, a collection inspired after a few drinks with his friend at Farrs, Henry, was “a fantastic success,” he recalled.

“I tried to make the pictures as strong as possible so they would appeal to an art collector as well as someone from the wine world.”

And he recorded a mix of both types of buyers when it came to those who purchased the portraits, which came in two sizes, with three versions of every personality available in 1.6 metres squared for £3,000 each, and then a further three at 1.2m2 , priced at £1,750.

“There was one person, a banker in Japan, who bought an entire series, and he collects wines but also owns a contemporary art gallery,” recalled Colin.

When asked about the differences between the subjects in Bordeaux and Burgundy, Colin said, “I think the most noticeable thing was the dress sense – there were many more suits in Bordeaux, but as far as the characters go, in Bordeaux, they warmed up quickly and became themselves.”

In Burgundy however, he remarked of those he photographed, “They didn’t quite understand what I was doing and that’s because they don’t see themselves as winemaking superstars.

“For example, Aubert de Villaine said that he wasn’t the star [of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti], he has a hand in it, but it’s down to the land, and that’s why there is a photo of him holding the land in front of his face.”

Frédéric Rouzaud; Photo credit: Colin Hampden-White

Colin, who is originally from Edinburgh in Scotland, will later this month unveil his first solo show in New York, which will contain photographs of nine different Diageo distilleries and their surrounding landscapes.

He chose to concentrate on the Diageo portfolio in Scotland because of the company’s help in organising the shoots – “they were fantastic” – and because, he explained, “I was fascinated by being able to photograph possibly the oldest distillery in Lagavulin to the newest in Roseisle, which will release its first malt this year.”

The exhibition is being held at Rebecca Hossack’s New York gallery on Mott Street and opens on 23 January.

Below are the names of the winemakers from Champagne and Burgundy which will feature in Colin’s London exhibition in April:

Champagne:

Hubert de Billy – Pol Roger

Dominique Demarville – Veuve Clicquot

Didier Depond – Salon

Michel Fauconnet – Laurent Perrier

Richard Geoffroy – Dom Pérignon

Olivier Krug – Krug

Frédéric Panaiotis – Ruinart

Jérôme Philipon – Bollinger

Frédéric Rouzaud– Louis Roederer

Anselme Selosse – Jacques Selosse

Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger (with Vitalie, his daugher) – Taittinger

 

Burgundy:

Lalou Bize-Leroy – Domaine Leroy

Raphael Coche-Dury – Domaine Coche-Dury

Pierre-Henry Gagey – Maison Louis Jadot

Dominique Lafon – Domaine des Comtes Lafon

Anne-Claude Leflaive – Domaine Leflaive

François Millet – Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé

Laurent Ponsot – Domaine Ponsot

Christophe Roumier – Domaine Georges Roumier

Eric Rousseau – Domaine Armand Rousseau

Aubert de Villaine – Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

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