Behind the Label: Houyi Vineyard

December 2nd, 2020

The Name
Houyi Vineyard sits near the top of Pritchard Hill and is the source of our estate single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon of the same name. Realm acquired Houyi Vineyard from the Chang family in 2022.

The Label
There are two parts to this story: the message and the medium.

The Message: When you visit Houyi Vineyard the one thing you immediately notice is how much rock there is to contend with. Three feet under the top soil is a bed of solid rock, and planting a vineyard on this site is not for the faint of heart. When photographer Matt Morris visited Houyi, he was struck not only by the rock, but by the machinery used for its excavation. “I call it the bucket graveyard,” he says of the pile of rock and backhoe parts pictured on our Houyi Vineyard label. “It shows just how much effort goes into growing grapes here.”

The Medium: Matt used a Polaroid 180 Land Camera for his shot, one of those folding cameras from the 1960s that he found on eBay. Since there are no negatives with Polaroids, just a direct positive, there’s only one photo, which is in keeping with the spirit of Realm’s other “found object” labels. One of the interesting things about the Houyi label is that it’s on a 1:1 scale with the actual Polaroid photo that Matt took. Another interesting thing: shortly after Matt took this photo the film stock he uses with this camera (the only one available) was discontinued. Before that happened, fortunately, Matt managed to purchase 150 film packs, which now neatly line the back of his refrigerator.

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