Not quite sure what I’m on about? Rest assured that you will most likely be very familiar with the Bliss image, once you scroll down a little…

Ah, that’s better

Windows XP Bliss Wallpaper Los Carneros, California, USA
Screenshot of the original Windows XP wallpaper. Used with permission from Microsoft.

Windows XP! But why would such an image be discussed here? Well, it turns out that the location where the photo was taken is not far off from most tourists’ route through the USA. In fact, it is right in beautiful California.

Charles O’Rear, an ex-National Geographic photographer and creator of the image, says that the image was, against common belief, never manipulated in any way. And above all, all was pure coincidence. O’Rear never intended to sell the photo to Microsoft. He just took it, sold it to a licensing agency called Corbis, which was by the way founded by Bill Gates, and Microsoft just happened to get interested a couple of years later.

But there is more to do than just taking a photo for family and friends. The ever so famous little green hill, the image of which Microsoft titled Bliss, is part of the Los Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA).

AVA’s are wine grape-growing locations in the USA which include, you guessed it, wineries!

So, if you’re on a road trip through California, Los Carneros AVA might make for a rather different stop.

Image: Simon Goldin – Goldin+Senneby

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