This photo was taken in a junkyard full of old wine barrels. There were so many bees flying around that I had to extend the legs on my tripod and slide it with my camera attached in between the wine barrels. I was stung once but it was worth getting this cool HDR photo. Also, I used the Topaz B&W Effects conversion tool for the B&W enhancement.
15mm, F/8, ISO 100
In early wine history, the amphora was the vessel of choice for the storage and transportation of wine. Due to the perishable nature of wood material it is difficult to trace the usage of barrels in history. The Greek historian Herodotus noted that ancient Mesopotamians used barrels made of palm wood to transport wine along the Euphrates. Palm is a difficult material to bend and fashion into barrels, however, and wine merchants in different regions experimented with different wood styles to find a better wood source. The use of oak has been prevalent in winemaking for at least two millennia, first coming into widespread use during the Roman empire. In time, winemakers discovered that beyond just storage convenience that wine kept in oak barrels took on properties that improved the wine by making it softer and in some cases better-tasting. Robert Mondavi is credited with expanding the knowledge of winemakers in the United States about the different types of oak and barrel styles through his experiments in the 1960s & 1970s.