My recent journey through the untamed beauty of Spain's Priorat region stirred something deep within my soul.
It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. The Priorat region unfolded before me in all its unfiltered magnificence—a land of unbridled beauty, where the raw contours of the earth intertwined with the grandeur of Montserrat Montsant Natural Park, all under the watchful gaze of the bold and intoxicating Spanish wine. Oh, that beautiful Spanish wine. It's a place that stands defiantly as one of the last unconquered frontiers in the world of winemaking, birthing some of the most extraordinary wines. What 40 years ago was considered a wasteland of vines that no one would waste the petrol to drive to now yields the sweetest fruit and the most profound wines, rivaling the world's finest. It was a reminder of the profound artistry required to extract every ounce of potential from the challenges life throws our way.
My friend and I were recently lucky enough to have Tignanello, Sassicaia and Clos Erasmus all in one weekend. The Clos Erasmus from Priorat was far superior to two of the most famous and sought after wines in the world. I even attempted to drive right through Prioriat as we had other plans. But something was pulling me. The decision to drive way out of the way and get lost there for a few days will be one I never regret. We entered another world, where time should still. A place where people have been surviving in harmony with the land since before the Romans. It’s a special place that one can only experience by becoming immersed in its charms, in its people, and in its food, wine and mountains.
The pictures I took don't do this region justice. I couldn't help but be inspired at every turn between the grapes struggling to survive a 3 year drought, the winter months taking its further toll on them and the world class wines being produced from pure slate and rock on the side of the beautiful and rugged terraces. The stress on them will ultimately result in stronger vines, deeper fruit and wines that will rival some of the best in the world. And it’s not just the wines, the olives and the glorious olive oil produced in ancient monasteries, the fruit and vegetables, the subtle flavors and hand-harvesting of the entire region is incredibly nuanced.
There is a subtle art from extracting everything they can from what they have to work with. It reminded me of our artists who relentlessly chase elusive light, defy insurmountable odds, and risk everything for that one perfect image, the image that touches their souls and justifies every sacrifice made. The kind of images that grace National Geographic magazine, world-class ads, or the walls of luxury boutique hotels.
From Paul Souders, who plunged into sub-freezing waters, feeling a thousand needles pierce his skin, just to immortalize polar bears, to Drew Doggett, who ventured into the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa, confronting lions and elephants to capture the essence of life itself, and to Garrett Suhrie, who perched on a lonely cliff in the frigid depths of night, accompanied by his faithful three-legged dog, to capture the ethereal northern lights—a sight to be shared through their lenses. These artists breathe life into their work through painstaking editing and the creation of museum-quality prints, allowing us to stand in their shoes, to feel the raw, unfiltered emotions they experienced in those moments of unbridled wonder and untamed amazement. Their journeys resonate with the essence of Priorat—where struggle and devotion conspire to birth the extraordinary, where every sacrifice finds its ultimate reward in the depths of the human experience.
When you shop PurePhoto’s online art gallery you are buying Fine Art Prints meticulously crafted, reflecting the artist's relentless dedication to bring a captivating single image to life, allowing others to share in the profound journey behind its creation.
This is why we do what we do. It goes far beyond just putting something beautiful on the wall. It's a narrative of a profound journey, one filled with passion and dedication And it is to be shared with others so they can feel that moment as well.