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Thought I'd share a few pics from our exploration of a local abandoned winery yesterday. The winery (which shall remain unnamed, but if you'd like to read up, here's a link) dates back to the 1800's and has quite a colorful history. Long story short, in 1860 a guy formed a cult and built a huge compound on ~400 acres for his followers, which included this huge winery. He did all the usual cult leader things like claim immortality and swindle his followers out of their money, as well as practice a lot of free love in search of his "divine mate". Basically, it was like the 1960's, but 100 years earlier. :lol:

Anyways, this is what's left of the winery today, which is slowly decaying in the midst of modern business parks.

Old barn on the property. The winery buildings are visible behind the chain link fence in the background to the right in the photo.


West wall, upper level buildings


Lots of graffiti everywhere:


Inside the main upper level building








Door to the barrel room, also known as the "Abandon Hope" door (inscription says "All Hope Abandon Ye Who Enter Here")


Barrel room with HUGE wine casks. The roof collapsed some time ago, which accounts for all the debris on the floor.












View of the lower level buildings, which are in much worse condition due to fire damage and roof collapse. We didn't bother trying to access that part, maybe another time.




I'm not sure what these things were... possibly storage/fermentation tanks?




 

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If I were looking for a cult to join I'd sure be tempted to go for one with free wine rather than one of the abstaining variety!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, we just couldn't quite figure out how to sneak Subed through that hole in the chain link fence! :lol:
 

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Bring wire cutters.

You would have an amazing back drop for a calendar pic.
Seriously, the amazing backdrop would probably involve the red and blue lights of the cops that would be hauling us off to jail... :biggrin: It's not as remote as it looks, and the folks at Medtronics (who owns most of the property it sits on) have a prime view of the place from their corporate building. Here's an aerial view of the area that shows that it really is surrounded by busy streets, apartment buildings, and office parks.

I'd love to go back and do some night shooting with colored strobes, but I'm afraid even that would attract unwanted attention.
 

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I bet if you explained to the owners about wanting to do a calendar quality photo shoot they might give permission. Never hurts to ask.
The terrain isn't really that great for car photography there... most, if not all, of the areas that look cool in pictures would be inaccessible by vehicle, fence or not. It was actually more of a scouting trip for other photo ventures. My husband does a lot of model photography, so we were just checking this out for a possible shoot location.
 

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I bet if you explained to the owners about wanting to do a calendar quality photo shoot they might give permission. Never hurts to ask.
Hmm... if they know about you being on their property and they allow it, any injury will become their liability. Furthermore, if you go on their property without their consent and their property was not sufficiently barricaded to prevent injury, it is their liability. Reference "attractive nuissance."
 

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those are some serious oak barrels. they more than likely did full barrel fermentation and not just aging in there. as for the tanks, ill ask the winemaker here and see what he thinks. most fermentation tanks aren't on their side like those are they are more vertical
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The tanks used to be upright, you can see in the pics that they've been ripped off their foundations and knocked over. They just looked smallish for a 20k cases/year winery operation.
 
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