Episode 32: Photography & Wine Maven Alan Campbell

Heather Newman:  Hello everyone. Here we are again with a another episode of Mavens Do It Better where we interview extraordinary experts who bring a light to our world. I am thrilled today to bring you a wonderful friend who I've known a long time now, Mr. Alan Campbell. Alan, say hi to everybody.

Alan Campbell:  Hello everybody.

Heather Newman:  Awesome. So Alan and I, gosh, it's been, I don't know about, is it 10 years maybe? I don't know. I think so. Something like that.

Alan Campbell:  Think so. I think we met in 2006 actually, 2006, yeah.

Heather Newman:  Absolutely. Yeah.

Alan Campbell:  It's been a long 12 years almost 13.

Heather Newman:  Yes, 12 years. That's awesome. Yeah. So everyone, Alan, is a beautiful, beautiful photographer and we used to live in the same neighborhood, in the same city. In Graton, California, in Sonoma County, Sebastopol, Graton. And so we knew each other in the neighborhood and not only is he a photographer, but he owns a winery. And we, you know, happen to go to some events out in the desert together and all of those things.

Alan Campbell:  A serendipitous meeting in the sand.

Heather Newman:  Yes. Oh, very nice. I like that. That's fantastic. So I guess tell everybody, like, I'm definitely going to make sure that everybody can see all your beautiful photography on the show notes and all of that. But, how long have you been shooting and where did you get your start in photography because you're just, it's just so just yummy what you do. So tell everybody about that will you?

Alan Campbell:  Well, it's kind of a roundabout. I did, I went to school in San Jose at San Jose State for, I started out in business school and I hated filling out scantrons, you know, that's all we did. So, I changed over to an art major, which much to the chagrin of my father. And then I was doing graphic design. I started doing photography and I kind of switched. I really liked photography when I was younger and, you know, I just kind of leaned into it in college and then I took a trip and did a semester down in Mexico City and I happened to have a camera. And I went around to the markets and to places and I fell in love with, you know, that kind of imagery. And that really kind of started it for me. And I moved back and continued school and I got my degree in art, emphasis was photography. I started working in the commercial world down there and it was more like, we called it chips and toast, but they were, you know, high tech, everything was high tech. We were doing clean room stuff, we were doing machinery and things of that nature. No food whatsoever. But I assisted for several people down there and then also in the city. And then I took a leap and I came home and said, well, I'm going to put my shingle out start. So I got some help from the parental units, which was fantastic. And I lived at home and I started shooting for clients out of my sister's bedroom. And I actually brought people to the bedrooms.

Heather Newman:  Wow, you're a bedroom-ista of a garage-ista, right?

Alan Campbell:  Yes, I am. That is right. From there it just took off. I, you know, I did some high tech up here when there was high tech up here. There's, there's not, and that started me in the mode of doing professional work. And that was in 1990 little late 90', early 91'. The high tech kind of started to dry up and change and I started to shoot more winery kind of profile stuff, a lot of portraits, a lot of winemakers. Started doing more bottle work and that led me into more complex things, you know, all across the whole wine industry. And I started doing food with wine and that led me into more food. And that's kind of where I ended up today is doing a lot of food and wine and you know, lifestyle stuff involving people, food and wine.

Heather Newman:  It just keeps evolving. Yeah, yeah. I mean the food, so shots your Instagram account. I mean, I just, I can't, it's hard to look at sometimes because it makes me so hungry. It's so gorgeous.

Alan Campbell:  Thank you very much for the kind words. For many years, you know, I was shooting the winemakers and shooting that and had interest in wine. I moved to where I currently live, which happens to be a half mile from where I grew up. And I moved there 20 years ago and a portion of my property was, basically I had, I was letting it out to some people who had horses. And so they, I went down to check on the horses one day and they were gone. People were gone, everything was gone. They just up and left and didn't pay me the rent. It was no big deal. It's just, you know, it wasn't any large thing. But at that time, which was 2006, I, that same year I met you, I just was putting in my vineyard. And so I put in four acres of Pinot Noir and it's been a journey, I'll have to say. A labor of love, that's for sure.

Heather Newman:  The wine is delicious though. So, I mean,

Alan Campbell:  Thank you. It's a very, very nice product. I partnered with a friend of mine who I'd known for quite a few years in 2012 and we put our first vintage out in 2013. So when I put the grapes in 2006, I had designed the vineyard to be one bottle of wine, but I sold the grapes for a number of years and I still do sell a portion. Now, we finally in 2013 we were able to, you know, make that bottle of wine and we've continued on each year. You know, it's been, it's very nice. It's nice to see something complete. Now the tough part, like they say, they all say it's easy to make the wine it's hard to sell it.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Right. And tell everybody the name of it.

Alan Campbell:  The name of the winery is a mash between myself and my winemaker, Craig Strehlow and Campbell, Alan Campbell. So, it's called Camlow Cellars. So that's the name of the winery, Camlow Cellars. So we have two products right now that we currently make. One's our estate Pinot Noir, and we call it The Big Pig, Magna Porcum because it has a crest on it. That's my family crest, and it's a boar.

Heather Newman:  It's the year of the boar.

Alan Campbell:  And then we make another. Yeah, the year of the boar. That's correct. And the other one we have it's called the Sus Volans, which is flying pig. And it's a rose that is made from the, you know, the same grapes. But they're usually, what happens when you're making wine is you go through and you kind of cull out grapes that aren't ripening and to let the other ones that are farther along ripen. It's a pretty common practice, but they just throw the grapes on the ground and I'm looking at it going, hey there's tons grapes on the ground. So I said, why don't you just pick them and press them? We just take them right to the press and press it and we get this just beautiful, awesome Rose. So that's been a fun project to bring around. That's our second, third year of doing that this year. It's really been exciting.

Heather Newman:  That's right. Oh my, that's so funny that that's the, it's kind of like the throwaway grapes, if you will.

Alan Campbell:  It is. And we're actually taking stuff that we would normally just throw on the ground and we're making this fantastic wine out of it. It's really cool. We're going to get you some so you can sip with some of your friends.

Heather Newman:  Yes, yes. Alan and I have been talking about how we, we'll look into having some wine from his cellar for some of our Creative Maven maybe guests and myself of course. So that sounds wonderful.

Alan Campbell:  Indeed, indeed. That's the way you do it.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. That's awesome. So that makes, that's, that's cool. I mean that must obviously keep you, I mean I know it keeps you busy between the photography and then the, gosh, the winery and I mean winery work is every day, right? Like, cause not everybody knows that, I guess. Or is it, like is it you're out there every day? Tell people about like day in the life of a winemaker.

Alan Campbell:  I'm not really the winemaker per se. I do help during harvest time. But Craig, he's the winemaker and so he has his other day job is a winemaker. So he's making wine doing stuff all the time. But I mean with our production level, you don't have to be working on it every day. You know, you hurry up and wait. The current can wait is what we call it. You know, you'll get stuff done and it sits around in a barrel or a tank or a bottle and you're waiting for it to be ready. I probably spend more time I have to deal with the vineyard. That's what I do, I'm the grower. And so I'm out in the vineyard, you know, taking care of the tractor work, mowing, helping, you know, do some of the pruning, helping do some of the, you know, leafing, things like that. Of course, I have other fellows, guys who have been with me for quite a while now who help me out in that aspect.

Heather Newman:  Right, right. So in winery terminology to be correct about it, you are the grower, you deal with the vineyard and Craig is the winemaker. I got it. Okay. That makes sense.

Alan Campbell:  Yeah, that is correct.

Heather Newman:  Okay. That's cool. Wow. And so, and how long, so it was 2006 and then when was your first bottle?

Alan Campbell:  Well, the first time we made wine was in 2013. But I sold my grapes to some other, you know, very well known a Pinot people. And we kind of said, well, let's, uh, maybe we should be foolish and try this ourselves. So,

Heather Newman:  Well, it's foolish then it paid off, for sure.

Alan Campbell:  The first thing they tell you, they said, they tell you that the only way to make it in the wine industry is that you got to start out with, you know, with a fortune. You don't get the fortune from being in the wine industry.

Heather Newman:  Right. Yeah. And that, and that's pretty typical, isn't it Alan? Of like this, and you know, I mean, I lived in Sonoma county for almost 10 years and, in Sebastopol there, so, and that's, is it green? Is it the Green Valley?

Alan Campbell:  Yeah, we're very, we're a little bit unique. We have a special kind of a classification for the Russia River. The Russian River Valley appellation is huge. It covers the whole Santa Rosa plain, a little north and south, and also goes toward the West where Graton is, where you know. Then we start to get into some rolling hills, and we start to get into different microclimates of elevation and exposure to whatever direction you're facing. And so this area is considered the Green Valley. It's called the Green Valley portion of the Russian River Valley. So we can't call it Green Valley because there's another growing region that's called Green Valley as well. So it's kind of smashed in between and kind of overlaps the Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast appellations. So it's, but it's one of the prime places in the world to grow Pinot Noir.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, Sonoma County is so great. I mean, and then you've got Dry Creek up there and you've got, I mean, just, it's like I love it going to restaurants all over the world and I'm always like, I know where that is. They were my neighbor at one time. That's super fun. That's so cool.

Alan Campbell:  It's definitely a blessing to live here. And, you know, I've been fortunate to grow up here. I've seen it change a lot, but you know, that's part of, that's part of existence change is inevitable.

Heather Newman:  I mean it's, and just also the fires and the flooding that just happened. I mean, it's just that area, I mean, y'all have had, just watching all of that has been so ugh, you know? But it's like everybody is so resilient and amazing there. That's the thing too,

Alan Campbell:  Yeah. We got, we got our butt kicked by Mother Nature a couple of times and fortunately people here are resilient. It's unfortunate that it's not, the quality of recovery is not across the board. So there are a lots of friends in mind that they just gave up and left, just got out or they, you know, they're struggling so much to get their houses back to where they were. But because of costs tripling by the time, you know, you're insurance is not covering everything. So it's, it's been a very difficult process for a lot of people, but people will always want to live here. It's a, the weather's beautiful. The place is beautiful and

Heather Newman:  Yeah, it's paradise in so many ways. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And you make it, like the things that come out from the winery and then your photography make it, I just am like, who wouldn't want to live there with what you're showing?

Alan Campbell:  It is, and I travel as well, and I know it's definitely neat to call a place like this home. That’s for sure.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I loved calling it home for a while as well. So yeah. And so with, you've got some cool new things coming out. So will you talk about the cookbook a little bit and tell people about that?

Alan Campbell:  Yeah. Well, we just completed a cookbook. It was kind of something that had been toying around with the Justin Wangler and his team at Kendall Jackson Wine Company. So, we for years have been taking pictures for him and he talked about a cookbook and we talked about it cookbook. And finally all the pieces fell together last year. And we did a book called Season and it's, it's pretty monumental. I would have to say it's really, really cool. It is a four season cookbook and it has over 300 recipes. And it's got this awesome photography that covers, you know, not just that I did it, but just, it covers all aspects of season and of different foods, different, you know, stuff about ingredients, garden, people sharing. It's a really, really fun, was a fun project to be a part. Yeah, that's out now. It's, I think it's on Amazon. It's called Season, hold on one second, where's my? Hold on one second, please hold.

Heather Newman:  We'll put it in the show notes, for sure. But yeah, I had been talking about it and I was like, that sounds unbelievable. I love Kendall Jackson wine. Their, what is their one? It's like the estate or the vintner? Oh, Vintners Reserve. I love their Vintners Reserve across the board. When I'm, especially at like a party for like a lot of people when I have a few bottles of wine around for like not a high price point. Fantastic. Like I love their stuff.

Alan Campbell:  They've been making a solid product for years. I started shooting with them back in like the late nineties. I've done projects with them off and on for years. So they're, you know, it's a different organization now that Jess has passed away, but they make great wines there. They’re fun people, it was a great project working with the chef, Justin and Tracy and their pastry chef Robert Yaddo of Buttercup. And the foods were just, it was awesome. They were just fantastic stuff.

Heather Newman:  So when you're shooting and you're making these, I have your photography page up and I'm like now getting like wicked hungry, but like, do you, obviously people are making food and do you all eat it afterwards or do you like, like what's, what happens with this? Like tell us about that. Like setting up a food shot, you know?

Alan Campbell:  You know more and more that type of style of shooting, yes, the food is edible. There are other times when we're doing stuff that's much more technical where we're doing things to the food where you don't want to eat it or it's been sitting there for a long time, it's just not, not a good idea. Yeah. All the stuff that you see we ate a lot of it for lunch, you know, that was our lunch. You know, we got to take home stuff. So they were just great. There's a recipe in the book, these fried chicken tenders. Oh my God. Yeah, it was just fantastic. I'll have to send you down, when I send you some wine, I'll send you a book.

Heather Newman:  Yes please. That sounds wonderful. Yeah, no, I just, cause I was like, you've got to eat this stuff cause this just looks so good. And yeah, I was curious about like what's, cause it all looks very real. You know, like you've just served it and you know, it's got that look of like I just took this out of the oven or I just tossed this and here it is. Right?

Alan Campbell:  And that's, that's the intent. You want it to look really, you want to make it feel appetizing rather than, you know, too kind of perfect. Yeah. Some people require that though, depending on what the shoot you're doing. And you know, if you're doing something for packaging, you know, a lot of times the dishes, you know, it's much different. Half of it's filled with plastic and you know, you put the meat on top of the plastic and then you melt the cheese and it's not an edible dish. So that it's just a different type of thing depending on what your result is.

Heather Newman:  Right. I got ya. Cool. And with the photos, you also I know are doing a,, like content for folks like becoming a content provider. So will you tell everybody about that because that's super cool too. Cause it's like you can you like get Alan's wonderful shots of different things because you don't do just photography because you do video too. Tell everybody about that because it's awesome.

Alan Campbell:  Yeah, we do a lot of video now. You know, everything's gone to video. Much more video is being shot for social media, for, you know, for small ad campaigns, for website stuff, for different things of that nature. You can see it on your phone all the time on your Google everywhere. And so what we do is we formed a company up here called Big Match Media. And what Big Match does is they are a visual content creator. So you need a video of your, you know, your juice being poured into a glass. We can do that. You need stills of that, we could do that as well too. But so we're reaching out to people, you know, all over the west coast at this point to, you know, who need content creation. Because people need, this is a giant monster that needs to be fed and 15 second videos for Instagram, you know, they're just, you know, we create those, all aspects of content creation. So if you need basic little stuff, we do that as well as real complex things. I mean we just finished a whole series of recipes for a pickle company called Bubbies Pickles and 24 recipes that are all broken down into, you know, less than a minute and you take a, then we do a little highlights where those are less than 15 seconds. So all that, you know, we put it together, we do a lot of it right here in the studio and we also go out and do creations on location for different corporate stuff. And it's, yeah, it's a fun aspect. I've got a couple of the young guys working with me now. Um, they're fantastic and excited, energetic. It's, it's good to have young people around to whip you into shape.

Heather Newman:  That's for sure. Yeah. And I think, you know, from a marketing, putting my marketing hat on and, you know, yeah. I think people maybe don't realize that, you know, all those like little teeny videos and all that, or like a sequence of videos and all of that. You know, somebody does have to shoot them no matter what they are and where they are and how they are. Right. And you know, there is, I think there's the do it yourselfer kind of look and feel, but I just, you know, there's nothing like something that's done well with professionals that's in a studio, you know what I mean, with the right lighting and like,

Alan Campbell:  It's a difference. We get a lot of people who, you know, use their phone and they, uh, you know, the phone takes really cool pictures. It's great, it takes great. But a lot of times, you know, what professional, you know, kind of imagery brings to the party is the fact that it's lit well, it's thought out and in its process. It says, it tells a story that the brand, you know, the way the branding people want it to go. So you can go and use a lot of, you know, tricks and snaps and stuff like that. But, you know, when it's a well thought out campaign or, you know, executed photo shoot or video shoot, you can see the difference. The production value is there. Unfortunately, you know, having production value will cost money and you know, but you're getting a product that's going to be, hopefully better for you.

Heather Newman:  Totally worth it, I think. Yeah, absolutely. No, I believe in that and yeah, I mean, I think we have seen the shifts with, you know, YouTube and iPhones and you know, Instagram and all of that stuff. But it's kind of like, I equate it a little bit to how content, just content in general has changed, right? And what content costs and what it's worth. And all of that. And I feel like even with books, like we had this whole moment of, everybody was like, we don't buy books anymore. Everything's on the Kindle and the e-reader and everybody Audible. I feel like I've seen more people buy more books lately or they buy the book, the Kindle and the Audible edition. So they're buying three times as many things.

Alan Campbell:  Right. Depending on how people read too. I mean, for a traveler like yourself, having a Kindle is a great deal. Having an Audible, listening to podcasts. I mean all of this information that you can gather and you know, but having a book in front of you being able to sit down and read is, you know, it's still an escape.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And I feel that way about video and photography, I think as well, you know, I think there's been like, you can do things yourself, you know, and you can, you know, the phones are getting better and all of that kind of thing. But I do feel like I've been watching the industry and I feel like that, like, I don’t know, professional stuff is back, like, or you know what I mean? Like not that it was gone, but I just feel like people are doing more of that because they want to, like they're putting more money and time into their brands. You know?

Alan Campbell:  I think they're looking at it differently. I mean, I have seen this swath from, I started out in film and I, you know, I trudged through the whole aspect of film into the new digital age. And you know, that was a painful process, truthfully, because the quality that you got with film for years and years and years was, you know, was the peak. And then it took a while for the digital, you know, capture systems to catch up . Now that they're so convenient for people, you know, you get a lot of what we call throwaway photography and throwaway, you know, videos where people really don't care because, you know, they could just keep doing it. And so, it comes back to the fact of, you know, do you want to buy, you know, a Yugo or do you want to buy a BMW and

Heather Newman:  You just dated yourself because lots of people don't even know what Yugo is. I'll put it in the show notes.

Alan Campbell:  Note: What is a Yugo? We're just finding they'll tend to go to people who are, you know, cheaper we'll say, less expensive to get things done. But the level of quality, it can be very apparent. So we just try to steer people in a direction, say what's good for you and your budget and what is it that you want to say? And we try to give them the best, you know, guidance on how to get what they want for their money. It's a lifelong challenge. There's always going to be somebody who's, you know, in a different price range than you, or a different level of experience and you just want to make sure that it ultimately that you provide, you know, quality that does its job. So I really like to see my images working. And it's fun when you're, you know, you're doing something and you're driving down a freeway or I was flying into Dallas and I'm looking out the plane and there's one of my images on a billboard, you know. I'm like, I go, that looks pretty cool. I'm kind of happy about that. And then I fly out of Dallas and I fly into Houston a couple of days later and hey, there's another one. So it was, that's the most gratifying thing is actually getting to see your work do stuff. Because a lot of times as photographers we don't get to see the end result. We'll just kind of stumble across it. You'll walk in a store and, oh, that's.

Heather Newman:  Right, you're like, that's my photo.

Alan Campbell:  Yeah. So it's, and it's good to see that content being used in the way it's supposed to, You know, it's an ever changing adaptation. We're probably shooting, I would say, more video than ever. So that aspect has grown. And, you know, I'm still doing lots of stills, like I just completed a small campaign for a winery. And, but the fact that like we're putting out these small snippet tasting notes. 14.2 seconds long because that's the Instagram way, but what it does is it introduces you to the wine with a bottle and then you see it poured and then you see the label and then you're hearing that very small snippet within that 14 seconds about this wine and you know where to get it. And it's basically a virtual tasting note that we create, you know, just video itself and then using a voice over. So, so yeah, it's kind of a new thing that people are doing and we're just trying to make as much we can, pushing people to do good stuff , do it well, so you can hear it. You can see it.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. It's about value, you know, and like you said, like having an image work with the brand and do what they're looking for and telling a story. I mean everything we do, especially, I mean, in the marketing world and, and all of us, it's all about telling stories. Right? And if you can tell it beautiful visuals and images than like win, you know, so that's great. And I know that, so 2016 vintage is releasing, is that right?

Alan Campbell:  Correct. Yeah, we are coming up and I think it's going to be in early May or no, late April is when we're going to be releasing it. I don't have the date, but I will make sure that you get some, prior to the date so you can, you know, pop a cork and enjoy.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I think maybe we should do some sort of a, I don't know. We'll do something around when we launch this podcast to celebrate that for sure. I have to figure it out, but yeah, that'd be fun. Yeah, no, that's awesome. And you know, I want to, so Mexico City, you were saying with your camera, was there, I'd love to know what that moment or the spark, like, can you pinpoint that moment with photography or camera, like the one photo or the one thing that was in it or something that you were like, yes. You know, like you were, it really made you go, this is what I want to do.

Alan Campbell:  There was, after I was finished in school, down there, I traveled, I went around and I took a bus and, you know, traveled down to Chiapas that area. And I was in a very small town called Palenque. And we were going there to see some ruins and waterfalls and stuff like that. And they had a market that was a Sunday market. And, we got there on Saturday night. We got up in the morning and I went to go look for, you know, just stuff and took my camera and wandered around the markets. I had been at all the other markets up in Mexico City, which is, there's a huge, beautiful market there. And I mean, just everything you could think of, you know, just in front of your eyes and the smells, the encounters, the textures, the colors. But I was sitting there and I was watching this lady on a blanket who was selling, she was just selling tomatoes and you know, she had all these beautiful tomatoes stacked up and, you know, they were sitting there and I started talking to her and, you know, asked if I could take her picture. And she finally agreed and then I just started taking pictures of, you know, her little stall. I just, you know, I sat there, as I was walking back there, I said, you know, this would be kind of interesting to be able to do all the time. And, you know, I spent the rest of my trip shooting, you know, tons of pictures of the ruins and just textures and things that, you know, compositionally I liked. And after getting back from that trip, you know, I had, you know, boxes of film, I started digging through them slowly and I saw that, you know, that I really, I liked what they, how they made me feel. I think that's ultimately when I'm doing stuff now. I look at the food and I look at the composition and I want to feel something from it, whether it's a still life that you can look at and you can interpret two to three different ways. And the light wraps around the, you know, the piece of glass and let's light go through it and it shows a sparkle and the shadow is casted and it leaves, as the shadow falls off the frame, it leaves to the imagination of where is it going. And you know, if you look at dishes, you know like food dishes where you know, you want to know how it was fixed because it has texture, it has feeling. And that's kind of what I try to evoke in my imagery. And I kind of got that from that, you know, that experience. That's where it started for me at least when I would, when I got back and I really was looking at that imagery and I was like, wow, this, I like this. I like that.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, I definitely, thank you, that was gorgeous. And yeah, I think also, you know, sometimes people gloss over food or, like you know, food porn or that kind of thing. You're photography really makes me ask two questions when I see it. One, I want to, like you just said, I want to know who fixed it. Like I'm like, who made this? Like I'm so I, I don't know why, but I always want to know, I'm like, who made this? And then I'm also like, who is going to eat this? Or where is this party? You know what I mean, like I'm kind of like,

Alan Campbell:  I'll have to give one big shout out to the stylists that I work with and they, you know, I don't prepare all the food. I work a lot with the composition aspect and I work closely with them, but the stylists prepare the food and you know, they make things, you know, we obviously light them and make them look more dramatic or, and change the way the feel is through our composition and our lighting. But you know, they bring the food out and you know, they set it up a lot of times, 90% of the time and it looks, it just looks awesome. So, you know, stylists that I work with are, you know, they're top notch. It's really great

Heather Newman:  And it's cool, I mean like people, I think photography also sometimes can be seen as like a solo thing, right? Like people, a photographer, you know, and they think of like just one person with one camera. And you know, I think that

Alan Campbell:  No way, it takes a team effort and you know, I mean, I've got assistances and digital assistances and stylists and producers and prop people. All those people, it all that all comes into factor. You know, I may be the one who ends up clicking the shutter and making, you know, that portion of the decision. But there's a lot of other stuff that goes on behind it.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, yeah. Well it's like any good art, there's all kinds of pieces that come together to make it awesome. Right? So, yeah, that's super cool. And then for the winery, I know, you know, came home with the land and the horses left and, you know, those people took off on the rent and it's like. I guess similar question as far as the winery goes, was it like, I mean, I know there's probably been moments when you were like, oh my God, I can't believe I did this. But, um,

Alan Campbell:  Every day. No, let's see, I have to say, for me there's no one bottle of wine that, you know, lit my world up and at least not prior to too putting in the vineyard. I liked the aspect of making wine. So I started making wines on my own with my father in law when he was alive in 92' and I made wines up until, you know, I think our last time we made some homemade stuff was in 2012. So we made a lot of wine, you know, you have to drink a lot of beer to make good wine. So I just, I was in a position where I was around a lot of people who were making wine, who were growing, they're all my friends. And, my friends tend to be the ones who are guys that are, you know, doing stuff they're outside or they're making wine. And so I started thinking that, well, I'm in a place, one of the places that is best for growing Pinot Noir in the whole world. The Green Valley section is one of the best. And so I said, well, I have this opportunity. I could do a small vineyard. And I decided that, well, I'll give it a try. So, I went around, and I talked to different vintners and different growers about clones and about, you know, different aspects of doing the vineyard, and picked clones that were not super popular at that time. But, my whole goal was to make a bottle of wine from the vineyard. So I comprised four clones, which are very, clones, for those who don't know, so it's just like, you know, you have a grape varietal, but a clone is an adaptation of that varietal. They're the same grape, it's Pinot Noir, but one is, you know, adapted to a different area and it's from you know, it's from like the Pommard section. So Pommard is a clone. There's one that was brought to California and it's called Mount Eden, that somebody could develop that in a different area. So that's known as the Mountain Eden clone. Different people developed different clones. So I picked four of those that I had available to me. And so that was more of the thing is how to get the vineyard up and running and how to, you know, grow it. And, wanting to make a bottle of wine myself came a little bit later. I started hanging out with some people who had good wine. They had really good wines and I had the opportunity to taste some, you know, very, very nice wine. Limited selection and stuff that, you know, kind of brought me to the point of saying, well, you know, my grapes are good enough to do this. And that was the whole idea in the beginning, so let's give that a go. But, so that's kind of where that came from. Just started as more of a project of something to hopefully bring some income in because, you know, the grapes that are out here are fairly expensive, but it also takes it, you know, you really don't realize how much time and energy it takes to, you know, take care of the vineyard. It's a lot of work. So, and I think my, I'm really surprised my wife hasn't killed me yet because not only do I have to, I have to do the vineyard, but then I took on the, you know, making the wine too. And that's been a, that's been a double headed monster and then put my business on top of that. Oh boy, let's get on the rollercoaster.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, no kidding. Well, I mean I think you, we have many different passions and that's, and they kind of, they blend in ways, you know, of course. So, I think it's super cool. I mean obviously you're a maker, you know what I mean? You make things, you are an artist, you're a creative. And so it all sort of, I mean, I understand it. I mean

Alan Campbell:  Some people can't, you know, they're so linear and, nothing against that. They have one thing they do really well then they don't, I'm kind of, I like to try a lot of things and do different stuff because I get bored easily. And so it's just, you know, it's been, it's been an interesting to try to, you know, to keep the passion up and, you know, especially when it's, when you're struggling with certain aspects of it. But, we're always ever changing and trying. Ultimately it's a fun project. It's been a very enlightening project.

Heather Newman:  Cool. Well that's super cool Alan. Yay. I just, I've always, Alan and I, we've, I've had wine with him over at my house when I lived in Sonoma County and it's always a pleasure to be around your positivity and just your gorgeous brain and just the way you look at the world. So I really, thank you for being on the podcast. Oh, say all the things again. So, the cellars are called?

Alan Campbell:  Our winery is Camlow Cellars and you can find us actually at Camlowcellers.com. So that's where we're located. My photography is Alan Campbell Photography and that's also AlanCampbellPhotography.com. You can find that there. And Big Match Media. The website is not working right now, but it's Big Match Media will be live very soon. It's going to be bigmatchmedia.com.

Heather Newman:  Match, like light the match.

Alan Campbell:  Exactly. And those are, you know, right now the three little things that are going on.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. That's awesome. Well, really I appreciate you being on and telling everybody about this. It's just a cool, like shooting food and just all of it. I love the sort of behind the scenes bird's eye view of these things. Cause you know, not everybody does this, you know, and I really have enjoyed having you teach me and listen about sort of how you do things and what you do. So I really appreciate that education it's cool.

Alan Campbell:  Well, I really appreciate the opportunity to come on and, you know, chat about my world. And, you know, what's brewing over here. It's a very neat thing to be able to tell your story. And often, you know, I don't get to do that cause I'm always making somebody else's story.

Heather Newman:  Well, awesome. Yay. Thank you so much Alan. So, and everybody, we will put show notes up and make sure you can find Alan and his beautiful photography and his delicious wine and all the good things around that. And you can find Mavens Do It Better up on iTunes, on Stitcher, on Spotify, up on our mavensdoitbetter.com website and subscribe and on Instagram and Twitter at Mavensdoitbetta. B E T T A. Alan, thank you again for being on.

Alan Campbell:  Thank you very much Heather. It's great to chat with you and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Heather Newman:  I know, I hope that, yes, yes, please. Yes, we have to do that. So, all right, everybody

Alan Campbell:  Safe travels.

Heather Newman:  Thank you. Everyone, here's to another episode and another beautiful big beautiful day on this spinning blue sphere. Thank you.

Heather Newman

Heather Newman is an award-winning marketing maven, technology entrepreneur and an epic connector that brings many worlds together. She has extensive experience marketing products and services for Enterprise businesses, startups and emerging markets. Heather builds plans and processes that are nimble, human and different. She is an adept storyteller and is passionate about growth for both employees and the corporate bottom-line. Heather hails from the arts and the bulk of her career has been working with the largest technology companies in the world (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, NetApp, Hewlett Packard, and Dell). Her nineteen years of experience working at technology companies and building global high-tech marketing strategy has driven millions of dollars of revenue and multiple award-winning campaigns. She has led global marketing teams for many technology companies including AvePoint, IT Unity & KnowledgeLake. Heather was a part of the original Microsoft SharePoint Marketing team. During her tenure, she helped launch multiple versions of the product, build the SharePoint Partner Ecosystem and conceived of and produced the first three Microsoft SharePoint Conferences. Creative Maven has produced thousands of global marketing campaigns and events. Currently CM is focusing on go to market strategies for Microsoft and its partners as well as a new site sister site launching in 2015 called Marketingfixer.com. Heather also serves as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda, an innovative technology startup looking to actively disrupt how content is delivered inside software.