Possibility to return something. Every year I see with my own eyes how the landscape around us changes. Water is diminishing, pests are invading trees, nature is suffering. My greatest fear begins and ends with what I do in my life will never affect the world around me.
In the spring, I had an idea I wanted to give back at least a little of what I take from it. Soil gives us the opportunity to grow crops, feeds us. And we just take, we don't give back. It occurred to me to reach out to people close to the soil. Wine makers. These people work with the soil every day and are directly dependent on it. At the same time they have their supporters, fans, so they can influence their actions. Thanks to this we can start the cycle of things and influence many people.
Together with 12 winemakers of South Moravia we created a project, a calendar. Its sales will go to help nature, specialy the strategic planting of trees, which is associated with maintaining water in the landscape and restoring life to the soil.
Right from the beginning I met with enthusiasm of winemakers and when you already have one on the list, it is easier to join others. Our friends helped us with the list. They understand wine more than I do. The main attribute of the choice was consideration for nature as such. We chose winemakers who do not use violent methods and who, as Jaroslav Osička later mentioned, do not "rape" vines.
It is possible to help good wine by natural procedures, where we take care of the vine, support its defenses, or forcibly dope it and destroy the pest by chemical spraying. For a downstream business, it is important for many to sell a fixed product that customers are used to, but at a price that will be too high in the future. Or, as Dominika Černohorská from the Plenér winery said, do not try to create "catalog wines" at all costs, but wines that go hand in hand with conditions.
But these wines are sometimes different. Just like any winemaker. I tried to capture the character of every winemaker. Whether it was Jaromir Gala and his sheep or that he made his own manure. Or perhaps modern architecture at Sonberk, deep cellars at Špalek winery or hard work of an individual at Loigi.
The shooting itself was not always simple and the organization wasn't smooth. Many times in the morning I got up in the deep darkness to catch the first rays of the sun. Some photoshoots have moved several times.
Usually, nature itself served us quite well. I was mainly interested in capturing the natural environment and character of the winery. And shooting in the first and last two hours of the day was crucial. Occasionally we helped ourselves with practical visual effects to support the atmosphere, but most of the time the sun played the main role as backlight.
The realization itself, printing calendars, is also a chapter for itself. I wanted my few months of effort to turn into a real product so that we could actually sell calendars. We didn't want to spend too much money on one calendar just to get the most out of the project. We have done quite well and perhaps we regret only the financial laws of the Czech Republic, which forces us to pay value added tax from the charity calendar. Or the relatively poor approach of some media, for which profit is more important than promoting good things.
After the sale, Nadace Partnerstvi will take care of the money, and the strategic planting in its large project "Plant the future".
I will continue to follow the project, document it and make sure I can change that little bit of the world around me.
Once a month you will explore original stories, look behind the scenes and probably learn something new.
© 2023 Marek Dvorak / Photography