As you can see, the building is constructed by stacking stone on stone, without any kind of cement or mortar. This technique is called dry stone and it was popular in Catalonia. The only part of the building with a different structure is the wine vat itself: it was constructed to prevent leaks, so they used lime mortar and rounded ceramic tiles called ‘cairons’ to seal the interior.
The metal door is the entrance to the wine vat; they are usually cylindrical in shape and around three meters depth. The log seen in the back and the broken stone to the right-bottom were part of a press for the skins, stalks, and pips that remained after the alcohol fermentation. These were pressed to save as much wine as possible.
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Last light breaking through in Saint-Émilion, France.
This is a 8 shot panoramic (2×4 vertical rows). I spent the day exploring the region and tasting some amazing local reds from the vineyards before heading to this little town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saint-Émilion.
The Romans planted vineyards in what was to become Saint-Émilion as early as the 2nd century. The town was named after the monk Émilion, a travelling confessor, who settled in a hermitage carved into the rock there in the 8th century. It was the monks who followed him that started up the commercial wine production in the area.
The weather was back and forth throughout the day and I wasn’t sure if things would go my way as some thick cloud came in leading up to sunset. As with everything, you can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket so I headed up to a location I’d already spotted earlier. I originally had the idea of getting up in to the tower (King’s Tower) but it was closed well before sunset. There was a great viewpoint just behind it with a sweeping view over the town and even a little vineyard (bottom of the image) so I set up shop there and waited for the light. As sunset came, the clouds started to thin a little to give some texture to the sky and very luckily, break enough in the distance where there sun was setting. The last light was able to burst through and just clip the tops of the taller King’s Tower and Monolithic Church (in the distance) and as you can see, produced a extremely vibrant and fiery red glow to the brickwork!
I returned to this spot for sunrise the next morning as I knew the sun would rise directly between the tower and church so I’ll post up that panoramic when I’ve processed it 🙂