A Sense of Place:
Winemakers love to hear that their wines have a “sense of place”. To them, it means they’ve allowed the soil, the site, the climate and the growing season to shine through in their wine (as opposed to over-manipulating the wine with enzymes, additives and oak). Wines with a sense of place are a result of careful site selection, mindful farming, and a deft winemaking touch that lets the grape tell the story versus the hand of the winemaker.
In painter and winemaker James Frey’s new series A Sense of Place, he has conscientiously begun each piece without a pre-conceived notion of where the painting would finish (much like a winemaker’s approach to a new vintage). He allows the painting to develop quite organically as he tries to depict the intersecting influences of ancient soils both volcanic and oceanic in origin, wet earth, nourishing rain, warm sunshine, cooling wind and the many other elements unique to any one place and unique to any one particular vintage. The resulting work has a wonderful level of complexity, nuance and energy; while still being held together with a sense of cohesiveness, a sense of place.