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  • Writer's pictureMarina Spironetti

Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year: first place it is!

As many of you know, I am an aficionada of the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Awards. As a good part of my editorial shots revolve around food and wine photography, entering this competition represents a great chance to assess my work, year after year.

After winning the Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers last year, I must admit I felt a bit hesitant about taking part. The quality of the photographs entered in this competition is incredible, and I felt I had to keep last year's high standards. You can imagine my joy when I found out my "Architecture and Wine" image won the Places category of the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year.

Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year – Places Winner | "Architecture and Wine": Man, architecture and vineyards – a perfect combination. The photo was taken at the Antinori nel Chianti Classico winery in Tuscany, Italy

This image was taken last February during an impromptu visit to the Antinori nel Chianti Classico winery. My partner and I had meant to visit their estate for a long time and that day we happened to drive past it and decided to stop for a quick wine tasting and lunch. Apart from the outstanding wines that have made the Antinori family world-wide famous, this place is also well-known for its spectacular architecture. Designed by Marco Casamonti, founding partner of Archea Associati and engeneering firm Hydea, this winery was conceived to have a low environmental impact and maximum energy savings. A spectacular structure, to say the least.

The light was perfect on the day I visited. After two days of solid rain, the sun was finally out and the air was crystal clear – I could not help taking a few shots before heading for lunch, if only with my iPhone (the best camera is always the one we have close at hand, isn't it?). While I was busy snapping away, my partner went up the impressive spiral staircase – undoubtedly the most impressive feature of the winery. Suddenly his shadow was projected on the opposite wall, adding a very welcome extra element to the image. I felt it was the perfect moment for a good picture – his shadow symbolising the "encounter" of nature and design through the wit and cleverness of man. I liked this shot so much that I said to myself it could be a good image for the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Award and I entered it there and then – it was actually on the very last day of the competition, so just in time!

Another image made the final cut this year; "Like a King", my portrait of chef Enrico Crippa and his crew was highly recommended in the Production Paradise Previously Published category. This group portrait was used as the double-page spread of a feature about the Langhe region I did for Food and Travel magazine last autumn.

Production Paradise Previously Published – Highly recommended | "Like a King": Chef Enrico Crippa (upper balcony, centre) and his team at three-Michelin-starred restaurant Piazza Duomo in Alba, Italy.

The idea behind this shot was to show the culinary excellence of Enrico Crippa's team – taking them away from the kitchen and representing the whole crew as an ideal "culinary court".

An exhibition of the 2022 winning images will be shown at The Royal Photographic Society, one of the world's oldest photographic societies, in Bristol, England. It will run from November 19 to December 12, 2022. Meanwhile, you can view the virtual exhibition here.

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