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Symmetry in the Vineyards: Weekly Photo Challenge

 “Symmetry, elegance, and grace – the qualities you find always in what the true artist captures.”

Frank Herbert

( 5 Photos)

VOLUPTUOUS VINES
VOLUPTUOUS VINES

There are few examples of symmetry more obvious than the beauty of a vineyard in bloom. Combining man’s efforts to create order with nature’s bounty results in some of the loveliest landscapes anywhere. Cheri’s challenge this week has offered an opportunity to highlight some of my favorite captures from a summer visit to Pinot Noir country in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

CHAIN GANG
CHAIN GANG

“Symmetry is an idea by which man has tried to comprehend and create order, beauty and perfection.”

Hermann Weyl

Those who know us are well aware of my husband’s love of fine wine. He finds elegance in the design of the bottle, the artistry of the label, the color and bouquet of the wine itself, and of course, most importantly, the taste of the vintner’s creation. Sadly for him, I am not nearly as enamored with the product of the winemaker’s efforts as I am with the beauty of the landscape from which it is extracted.

ROWS AND ROWS
ROWS AND ROWS

 “The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order symmetry and limitations; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful.”  

Aristotle

In the vineyard we find row after row of nearly-perfect symmetrical vines – whether in full bloom, newly planted, or recently harvested. One of the benefits of marriage to an oenophile is the opportunity to visit vineyards around the world. One of my fondest memories of our many travels is a remarkable hot-air balloon flight as the sun rose over the vineyards of Australia’s Yarra Valley. Of course, we laugh every time we talk about it, because of our rather abrupt landing in the middle of a farm full of very unhappy cows who were so frightened they probably refused to be milked for days afterwards!

PATH OF PLENTY
PATH OF PLENTY

 “A tree has both straight and crooked branches; the symmetry of the tree, however, is perfect.”

George Lamsa

When I recall visits to the vineyards of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California I always think of the amazing colors of the mustard flowers which grow inside the off-season vineyards. Each year, about 90 days after the first rains of autumn, mustard pushes through vineyard floor, filling the landscape with yellow gold.  The plants are used as a “cover crop” in vineyards to reduce erosion and improve the quality of the soil. Visits to the area offer delicious mustard and olive oil tastings in addition to their famous wine tours.

LINEAR
LINEAR

“Seeing all life in perfect symmetry. Perceiving each day with righteous clarity. Living each moment in purposed reality. Believing each day is the start of eternity.”

S. Tarr

We have visited vineyards in the foothills of the glorious Andes mountains of Argentina, in the beautiful landscapes of Provence, France, across Australia and New Zealand and of course in the western US. I have never been disappointed in the opportunities for photography, nor has my husband ever been disappointed in the availability of delicious wine varieties. We have both enjoyed sampling the amazing offerings of the local chefs who seem to pop up all around the vineyards, pairing their best offerings with those of the nearby vintners. When it comes to the symmetry of the vineyard, really – what’s not to love?!

To see the symmetrical shots of some other bloggers, click here.

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96 thoughts on “Symmetry in the Vineyards: Weekly Photo Challenge Leave a comment

  1. So wonderful that your love of photography and your husband’s love of fine wine come together in a beautiful way in your travels to these lovely vineyards, Tina! What glorious trips (I laughed at the hot air balloon), and thanks for the education about mustard – I had no idea about this practice. I’m going to pass that along to my hubby, who also loves to indulge in fine wines!

  2. A gallery I surely enjoyed, Tina! Must admit I share not only your appreciation of the landscape but also the elegance of the bottle, art of/on the label, and taste, of course. So, it is a little bit of everything that is always equally appreciated. 🙂 I think a glass of wine might be on place now… Cheers!

  3. Just brilliant…What a wonderful presentation. Indeed, symmetry is such a fundamental aspect of mathematics, we keep ignoring it in general, and we see it only in buildings and structures…and when it comes to nature we relate it with asymmetry…rarely we observe and relate symmetry with nature…but this is superbly captured and looking at the perfection it makes us feel great about the beauty of nature so well organized…
    Indeed an inspiration who loves nature and loves balance of life…
    😀

  4. During my last stay in US, I payed a visit to the beautiful Chateau Chantal. I think It would be pitty if this piece and other pieces (TV spot of Pauline) of heritage which have been cultivated by genneration fall in the hand of people with alcohol intolerance.
    Tchin tchin à la santé….

  5. I’ve only found your blog for the first time today, and I just want to say how much I like the way you bring so many perspectives together to create one cohesive whole. I see you (or your husband) haven’t sampled our English wines yet though! We might be the joke of Europe but actually they are getting better and better. And the landscape is wonderful of course 🙂

    • Thanks very much TWMS, for the lovely comment. My husband and I have traveled around England fairly extensively but I must admit we’ve not discovered (or even tried to find) any vineyards there. You are cursed with being so close to France I fear you may never get a fair shake on the subject of good wines! Our daughter-in-law is from England so it holds a very special place in our hearts!

  6. Gorgeous shots Tina – it’s amazing how they get the rows so straight. We go to Skyline Drive each fall and on the way home always make a stop at Carter’s Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville, VA. They are known for their apples – but have gorgeous vineyards and always have a wine tasting going on there. If you ever get a chance to go, you’re husband would enjoy the libations and there is plenty to photograph

  7. Great post Tina ~ and I may be biased because it comes from my side of the world (Oregon) and the beautiful Willamette Valley. My father is a huge wine lover, and there is nothing quite as nice as a great Pinot Noir…during my travels in Laos many years ago we found a bottle of an Oregon Pinot Noir in Vientiane ~ best bottle we’ve ever had 🙂 The symmetry of the vineyard is a great thing to capture, as it too influences the wine. Cheers!

    • Thanks Randall – must admit I forgot you’re from Oregon. Your dad and my husband would probably be very compatible!! Amazing story about finding the pinot in Laos. We saw quite a lot of California’s best while we were in China. And I’m sure you’re right, the vineyard symmetry must have an influence on the wine, otherwise why would they work so hard to make it so perfect!!!

  8. what a great take on the challenge – and enjoyed learning about the mustard cover crops – also -laughing at thinking about the cows being scared with your semi-crash landing. and whew – y’all have been to wineries all around the world – must be fun to compare so many places. I have a few that i want to see – and one things that still amazes me is how some of the smaller vineyards can make a great wine too. For example, in Niagara Falls we visited a cool vineyard along lake Niagara and the whole experience was so rich and exciting – well it showed me there was lots to see while we wait to make it some of the bigger boys… ahhh some day, some day – in the meantime I will have to enjoy posts like these. 🙂

    • Thanks Yvette – actually there were many wonderful places I DIDN’T talk about that we’ve visited as well – fodder for a later post I suppose. But you’re absolutely right, the smallest vineyards make some of the best wine. My husband is a master at getting the smallest and best among them to add him to their mailing list 😊

      • oh that is cool to be on the mailing lists – and my friend in CO is still on the sonoma county wine of the month list – and even during a job change for her spouse they said they had to keep that expense because it was so cherished to them – and that reminds me that I actually have a post to share about some of that wine. I will come back and let you know when I get to it.
        And I can only imagine the photos/stories you have from wineries and other places — meaty fodder indeed – but us readers will take what unfolds thru posts 🙂
        Peace

  9. Brilliant interpretation of symmetry, Tina. I don’t drink so rarely go to vineyards, but now after looking at your photos, I might just visit a few someday just to take in the scenery. I love the quote by Aristotle. I studied mathematics at university, never equated it as symmetrical. But it’s so true. Everything in maths add up 🙂

    • Thanks Mabel – I’m with you on the mathematics as symmetry but it does make perfect sense, doesn’t it. Of course, not much that Aristotle said DIDN’T make sense, right?!

  10. I love both the beauty of the vines and the beautiful taste of the finished product, Tina. 🙂 Lovely photos. I have some photos of old vines in Provence, thick as some tree trunks. Amazing.

    janet

  11. Lovely photographs, Tina. My husband and I have visited Napa and Sonoma Valley numerous times but have never been to Willamette Valley in Oregon. We are both wine enthusiasts, and share your love for the beauty of the vineyards in addition to the product. 🙂

    • A tough choice between Napa/Sonoma and Willamette. The wines are very different as is the feel of the places. Willamette is kind of what Sonoma was 10 years ago. We visited it 10 years earlier and were amazed at how much it’s developed, but ti’s still rural compared with California. Definitely a case of AND vs OR if you can 🙂

  12. Reblogged this on Roviond and commented:
    Co-incidence Or Telepathy?
    Yesterday I phoned my friend in Austria. He told me to phone later since he was watching a terrifiing documentary about the CHAIN GANG in Arizona. Of course, I tought on the spot about Tina and hopped that she places a new posting today. You can understand how happy I was when I read her posting.
    Today I phoned my friend again and asked him for yesterdays TV-Program.

    Co-incidence Or Telepathy?

  13. Hi T- Looks like we both have vineyards on our minds. Great shots of lush vines and quite a contrast to the winter vineyards I posted recently. Heading to Napa to shoot the mustard soon.

  14. “What’s not to love?” – so true Tina. Gorgeous post with wonderful photos. Our trip to Burgundy two years ago in October resulted in so many photos of similar rows of vines in red, yellow and orange. You should visit our BC wine country in the Okanagan. Your husband can enjoy the great BC wine and you can photograph some of BC’s most beautiful scenery. Best wishes, as always.

  15. Perfect post for the challenge, Tina 🙂

    Really enjoyed the way you have presented the images with beautiful narration and perfect quotes 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing and have a beautiful day…

  16. Beautiful shots! Yes vineyards are just lovely to look at. And their final results are just as lovely! Not sure if you have been – but the vineyards in the Tuscan region of Italy are beautiful as well and produce some really fabulous wines.

    • Oh yes indeed, we have also done Tuscan vineyards and wines. So gorgeous countryside to go with the incredible (and happily inexpensive) Italian reds. And BTW, Italian reds are actually my favorite wine.

  17. Amid the wonderful seriousness of wine, photography, travel, and symmetry–I so had to laugh at your line about the cows being so frightened, they probably refused to be milked for days. Brilliant juxtapose, Tina. The photos, though–stunning.

  18. Something for both of you! How lovely. I helped to bring in the 1982 vintage on a vinyard on the banks of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. I was just 17 and turned 18 on my return home, celebrating my birthday in Paris. A very memorable time and so I have a great fondness for vinyards. Sadly, Swiss wine is so good, they drink it all and it isn’t exported. Lovely photographs Tina! 🙂

    • Thanks Adrian – for the lovely comment as well as the story from your youth!! I can just picture the whole thing 😊 Interestingly, have never heard a word about Swiss wine. I guess they DO keep it a state secret!!

  19. I am no oenophile but I do enjoy a good glass of wine. And like you, I love the landscapes from which they spring. Which brings to me my question, why is South Africa not on your list? Another New World wine growing country it has some of the most delightful wines, IMO, in the world not to mention the most incredible landscapes. My favourite region? Has to be Franschhoek , though Constantia and Stellenbosch are no mean players. You can read about Franshhoek here, I am certain that both you and your wine loving hubby would love it: https://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/gourmet-capital/
    and once again I thank you for a beautiful post. I really look forward to your photos and quotes each week and I am never disappointed 🙂
    Jude xx

    • Thanks so much Jude, and yes, as you later discovered we toured the wine regions of Franshhoek and Stellenbosch AND Constantia and absolutely LOVED both the wine AND the food. So very beautiful there – we had two of our most memorable trips EVER as we explored them – a very very fond memory for both of us. Thanks for the reminder–can’t believe I didn’t mention it!!

  20. There is something infinitely soothing about the “symmetry” in a vineyard – something naturally perfect envisioned by the hands of man. You have caught that feeling here! 🙂

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