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One Day Story – Jacob Holman

I spent a day with Les Bourgeois wine maker Jacob Holman during the winery’s “off season” in February of 2012. During the day he transferred Pink Fox into a new tank and prepared trials of Traminette for a tasting the following day.

Jacob Holman is the wine maker at Les Bourgeois winery, a career path he didn't envision leaving college. "I have a biology degree," he said. "But I always thought that I would end up laying in a field counting geese or something."

Holman directs Gary Paxton as the two prepare to transfer the current vintage of Pink Fox into new tanks at Les bourgeois' new production facility. Pink Fox is Les Bourgeois' blush wine, made from Catawba grapes.

Holman moves along the production facility's catwalk during the transfer of Pink Fox to its new tanks.

Holman monitors the level of the wine as it fills the tank. He is watching a "tank tape" that hangs into the tank and marks the proper fill level of the Pink Fox. Later in the process, Holman will fill the excess space with sugar to help give the wine its characteristic sweetness.

Holman moves a pile of hoses in Les Bourgeois' new production facility. The multi-million dollar facility which houses the winery's storage, bottling and manufacturing operations opened in 2011.

Holman heads out to pick up ice for his work in the laboratory. The only ice maker is a half mile away at the Blufftop Bistro, the winery's restaurant.

Vials filled with Traminette are lined up in Les Bourgeois' laboratory. Holman is preparing several different variations of the wine for a blind taste test the next day with other members of Les Bourgeois' staff. The results of that test will determine the consistency of the wine for this year's vintage.

Holman has a cigarette with head wine maker Cory Bomgaars outside of Les Bourgeois' tasting room. The building which once used to be a diner, housed the entire wine making operation until the opening of the new production facility last year.

Speaking of Les Bourgeois… Who won an award from SABEW today?

This kid.

The last time I went out to cover a story at Les Bourgeois was last summer for the Missourian. Marty Steffens, a professor at MU saw it and entered it into the SABEW (Society for American Business Editors and Writers) Best in Business contest for 2011. Turns out it won an honorable mention in the student category. Which I am assured is very similar to 2nd place.

They announced their winners today (click here) – and the professional winners are pretty heady, with the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and LA Times pretty well represented. Anyway, my name is clear at the bottom. Thanks to both my mother, Jeanne Abbott,  and Katherine Reed for helping to edit the story prior to publication.

One Day Story – Back to Les Bourgeois

For my one day story I spent a day with the Jacob Holman, the wine maker at the Les Bourgeois vineyard in Rocheport, Mo.

On this day, Jacob spent time preparing wine for tasting in his lab. He then went over to the new production facility to switch the 2011 vintage of Pink Fox – made from Catawba grapes – from one tank to another.

Stadium and Rollins

Injury accident around the corner from my house, thought I would take some pictures.

Interview with Alison Hays

Alison went to school at Truman State University where she began playing rugby. Now, she lives and works in Columbia, but still plays on a club team – The Black Sheep.

Peter Essick

Having National Geographic photographer Peter Essick talk to the class was nice. He showcased a lot of his environmental photographic stories, starting from his earlier days with the publication up to recent projects he is currently working on.

I like the idea of doing landscape, outdoor, environmental photography – as it lends itself to the type of places I enjoy being. I also found it inspirational, making me think of trying to tackle more ambitious projects, like delving into the environment and people of Alaska – my rarely visited birthplace. Like Essick himself said though, “it’s hard to know where to start.”