We talk to our creative team, HOICK, about the process behind the digital stories they dream up for us. 

Imagination unleashed on the R.D 2007

R.D. is the term for Recently Disgorged, the traditional method of selecting an outstanding vintage and allowing it many years of maturation on the lees before disgorgement. The Krone R.D. 2007 is a rare vintage Cap Classique offering great concentration coupled with a delightful vibrancy.

The team

Concept and art direction: Hoick
Hoick consists of Dale Lawrence, Claire Johnson and Faith Shields, and who were joined this year by Adam Benjamin and Tiffany Schouw, the newest members of the studio, on assisting and behind the scenes documentation.

Styling: Ilana Swanepoel

Photography and video: Jonathan Kope

The preservation of possibilities, the moment before...

From where did you find your inspiration for this story?

Our influence for this story came from the method of making in R.D. We were drawn to the idea that after such a long period of aging, the disgorgement essentially releases the wine from its slumber and in that fleeting moment it is the embodiment of its aging on the lees, and the freshness that comes with its disgorgement. But its life span is finite, because of its exposure to oxygen in the disgorgement. The alchemy in the winemaking process is rich food for inspiration. We conceptualised the disgorgement as an unstoppable release, a floodgate opening, disrupting the quiet preservation of time, and animating the contents with energy and life. 

Further to that, all the stories are so creative and not the usual social media fodder. Your team pushes boundaries. What is the underlying thought process for all the concepts, what drives this spirit of experimentation?

The stories are always grounded in the strong conceptual base developed for each label a couple of years ago, over time these concepts have proved to be intuitive and infinitely interpretable. Each vintage can be seen through a new lens or style, but is always grounded on this concept that is underpinned by the winemaking process, the flavour profile and spirit of each label as well as the unique conceptual characteristics.

The experimental aspect is fundamental to the development and execution of the shoot – it’s why the stories escalate in the way they do. These experiments are driven by the energy and the experience of the creative team, and is made possible through the freedom that marketing director Abigail Rands and Krone gives us to create and explore each year.

The concept of Vintage-Only - how does this apply to this story?

Each year the team and the brand grows together to reach new conclusions, contextualised within the time the shoots are developed.

2019 was a year for the surreal and the otherworldly, 2020 was a year for the escapism and alternate realities, and 2021 is the year for reflection and introspection, for keeping things intimate and grounded. We like to hope that one can reflect back and be able to decipher the moments and times these stories were created, through the concepts embedded in both the visual, as well as the captions. For this R.D story, we mark the disgorgement, an irreversible moment in time, and celebrate the fleeting moment of energy and release from time.

Is there any hidden symbolism, like say the flowers used? 

The flowers for R.D have always symbolised transience, and the beauty of mortality, perishability and fragility.

Take us through the mechanics - how did you make it work?

We used a glass vessel, a glass 'lid' and lots of putty. The set was put together upside down, we filled the entire vessel with Cap Classique, and Ilana composed the flowers within it.

The bottle itself was emptied, and we used Pratley Putty to attach it to the lid, and then placed the lid over the open vessel, sealed that up with Pratley, and then held our breath as we flipped it over, waiting to see if that seal would hold or not - which it did. Jon shot in slow motion, and because of this we were able to fully capture the release of the Cap Classique after Dale wrenched the vessel off the lid. 

How many times did it take to get it right and any anecdotes to share?

We were very lucky that it was a one shot take, redoing the shot was not really an option because of the delicacy of the flowers. We had also used almost 30 bottles of Cap Classique to fill up the vessel, so we had very precious cargo and knew there was only one shot possible. This was our very last shot for the 2020 shoot, and it had been very intense, so this felt like a very symbolic and cathartic way to wrap.

Any challenges with this shoot and how did you overcome them?

The hardest thing was keeping the energy up after months in lockdown. I think everyone was so grateful to be together, and to be creating something tangible in real time, but it was certainly very surreal. Our pace had changed so much that it meant everything took just a bit longer to capture, but the team and our energy when working together is so motivating and supportive, and the camaraderie got us back into our normal flow very quickly. 

Any surprises in the process that actually worked well?

I think almost every story we have ever done has had an unforeseen result that almost defined the story. You can plan things out so many times in your mind, but so often the most well planned shot appears flat in reality, and there is always a serendipitous moment that offers itself up on the day that we run with. We have to allow for these moments to get beyond the threshold of what can be pre-planned, and we are so lucky that Abigail believes and trusts in those moments too.

Your idea of the perfect meal to go with the R.D 2007?

I love the duality of freshness and depth in the R.D. I imagine an earthy wild mushroom risotto, paired with freshly made ricotta and lemon zest.

What has been your favourite story so far, and why? 

It's impossible to say - it changes all of the time, but the shots that have been on location have been exhilarating. There have only been a few - and these have presented themselves to us as a whole - we only needed to arrive. That level of beauty can only really be found in nature, and by stumbling across the right place at the right time. The stoneyard story is one, which could never be constructed by man, the vivid character in the rocks, and the stories alluding to through centuries of time past.

And... you've recently just completed a new shoot, any hints of what our community can look forward to?  

This time round we have made a big shift and have focused on video for the majority of the content. We needed to figure out how to take things to the next level, and how to engage the viewer in a unique way, so we are really excited about a new chapter, working with a new medium that had infinite possibilities.

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