Field Trip: Cowhorn Vineyards in the Applegate Valley

No matter what, DO NOT tell anyone how beautiful it is in the Applegate Valley. I’m worried that if the word gets out, I won’t be able to afford to retire there. There is so much to admire about the burgeoning wine scene in Southern Oregon. We’ve been working on a broader photo project in Southern Oregon and a recent part of that adventure was a field trip to Cowhorn Vineyards near Jacksonville, Oregon. Deep in the Applegate Valley, Bill and Barbara Steele are cultivating about 25 acres of certified biodynamic grapes within a polyculture framework. They also have built the world’s first tasting room that meets the “Living Building Challenge”, which is the highest level certification for a LEEDS-type standard. It’s more technical that I can understand, but I understand it is the highest standard for net-zero energy use, free of toxins and materials that create pollution and has a reduced carbon footprint many times smaller than a conventional commercial building. Plus, it’s incredibly beautiful.

You can visit Cowhorn and see all this for yourself. But please, let’s keep this our little secret. 


High-Key and Backlit Bottle Shots for Loosen Bros. USA

Loosen Bros. USA is the sole U.S. importer of the wines of celebrated Riesling producer Ernst Loosen, including Dr. Loosen and Villa Wolf. We’ve been collaborating with Loosen Bros. USA on a distinctive style that helps telegraph the nature of their wine’s flavors. The lighting setup we designed for them minimizes reflections on the surface of the bottle while highlighting the delicate colors of the wine, or in some cases, the gem-like colors of the bottle itself. After Loosen Bros added a few new labels for distribution, we updated their website header image to show their entire portfolio of brands. We also styled and shot the image that would ultimately be used for case-cards and other POS materials. 

 


Eye Candy at Dancin Vineyards in Jacksonville

John and I have been working on a project that’s been taken us to Southern Oregon and a recent visit was to Dancin Vineyards. Because this project has a broad scope, we’ve been having loads of fun setting different objectives for each segment. One of those ideas was to make some photos that say: “I’m on a really nice picnic with some great wine.”  I was thinking something feminine, a little bit romantic, and super duper pretty. Upon arriving at Dancin and seeing their thematic labels and the Italianate architecture, it was clear this was our chance.

We brought glassware and picnic supplies, dishes and linens. Our hosts at Dancin were so incredibly agreeable, giving us full run of the picnic areas and supplying us with any and all bottles we wanted. I’m 100% delighted with how it all turned out.


Shaping a Brand Story with Photography: Boedecker Cellars

Athena Pappas and Stewart Boedecker are a winemaking team with differing ideas on Pinot Noir. Stewart likes his Pinot Noir delicate, Athena prefers a more powerful style. And therein lies one aspect of their unique brand story. In preparation for updating their website, Stewart and Athena collaborated with us on a set of photos intended to tell that story with subtlety and nuance. Additionally, Boedecker Cellars had expanding their tasting hours and wanted to showcase their added offerings to the public and wine club members. Here are a few of our favorites from the shoot. Both John and I are delighted with the photos of Athena and Stewart making tasting notes on their current wines–we think it’s the perfect expression of their partnership.


Website Updates with R Stuart & Co Wines

If you’ve ever been tasked with updating your winery’s website, you know what a hair-pulling, mind-bending, cat-hearding exercise it can be. Imagine if you could call your photographer and say, “Help me, please!” Well, this is exactly what we’re good at. With our years of experience in winery photography, we know what kind of photos are successful at promoting your brand. Furthermore, since we’re also fully versed in market positioning and visual communication, we know how to make photos that depict a brand exactly where they want to be in the market. We’ve been lucky enough to work with Rob and Maria and the team at R Stuart & Co over several years, seeing how their brand has evolved. This latest set of photos was designed to capture the various moods of their lines and update staff portraits. My favorite of this set is the high-key styled shot of the Love, Oregon wines. 


Southern Oregon Wineries

We’ve been exploring what’s going on in the growing wine business in Southern Oregon, and I’ve got to say it’s fab. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say, since for now, it feels like an undiscovered treat. It’s relaxed, unpretentious, knock-out beautiful and refreshingly friendly. While I was making one day’s itinerary, I noticed I written “So Oregon” for Southern Oregon. Now I think that could be a tag line–It’s so Oregon! 

 


Local Chefs Feature Food-Friendliness of Oregon Wine

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OWM-2017-case-card-Jason-RieslingEach year the Oregon Wine Board celebrates Oregon Wine Month with a richly detailed promotional campaign. This year’s campaign highlights the food-friendliness of Oregon wines. We were excited to be a part, capturing photos of some of our favorite chefs in photos that play off food and wine pairings. Besides being just being generally awesome, all these chefs are at restaurants from the Oregon Wine A-List Awards, which recognizes restaurants around the world enthusiastic about Oregon wine.

Our creative partners at the Oregon Wine Board were as much fun and enthusiastic as our chef subjects. It was our joint assignment to figure out to how to share the essence of the personalities along with the environment. I think the passion comes across, too. And of course, we got to dig in to all the lovely dishes at the end of each session.


Truffle Fest 2017

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Each year, Oregon hosts a Truffle Festival at which guests learn about, eat and enjoy Oregon-grown truffles in all kinds of preparations. By far, my favorite part is the truffle hunting dogs. This year we photographed the panel discussions and celebration dinner at Youngberg Hill. Last year, Angela Estate hosted this group for the truffle hunt in the woods near their vineyards.


Winery Photography: L’angolo Estate

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night view of L'Angolo Estate Winery tasting room

Last Summer, we worked with the team at L’Angolo Estate on photos of their gorgeous new tasting room. Savvy Andrew Henschied of Pine Black Consulting oversaw the art direction and website project which you can see at their website https://www.langoloestate.com/. We spent one very long day, getting up in time to catch the sunrise. The project covered vineyard views, shots in the production areas, portraits, lifestyle images with models and portraits of the winemaker, Chase Renton.