Colorful sunset above a vineyard and grapevines near Naramata at Okanagan Lake, British Columbia
We were on assignment in the Okanagan Valley (Okanagan Country) in British Columbia, our main focus were pictures for tourism, from vineyards and winery around Okanagan Lake, Skaha Lake, Vaseux Lake and Osoyoos Lake to some generic travel photos.
Fortunately we had enough time for this trip, we needed to take it a little bit easier than usual because my wife was pregnant in the third month. She felt ok to come with me on this trip which was great because she is a big part of our productions, takes over all the information collecting, research about our photo locations and of course she is assisting me while shooting.
It was our first time in the Okanagan Country in fall and we were surprised that it rained the first 4 days of our production. Everybody told us it will be dry and hot, maybe even very hot. The rain did not really help but it gave us on the other side some extra time to explore the area better and make final decisions where and when we want to photograph what.
We have seen and experienced much more then we expected. We enjoyed the charm of some Okanagan cities and town like Kelowna, Penticton and Osoyoos just to mention a few. Fall also means pumpkin time in the Okanagan Country, especially in the southern part around Keremeos where we found many market stalls beside the road and very attractive displays, with a very wide variations of all kind of pumpkins and squashes. Honestly, I had no idea how many different variations were available. The scenery is unique around the lakes and we enjoyed the vineyards along the mountain slopes very much.
Vineyards and wineries were our main focus on this trip.
Goshhh, there are so many that it is impossible to count them all. We visited some of the most famous and large vineyards, you probably heard of some of them BUT I also want to stay honest here - some of them were very arrogant and everything but friendly, which gave us enough reasons to spend our time photographing the smaller vineyards, especially out on the country side. What a difference that made, basically every vineyard in the country we were more then welcome no matter if it was i.e. the Summerhill Pyramid Winery, a certified organic vineyard or our favorite winery in Summerland, the Bonitas Winery, right at the banks of Lake Okanagan.
I want to tell you more about the Bonitas Winery, it is a family owned vineyard with probably one of the most scenic views and a touch of the Mediterranean. Located on the west side of Okanagan Lake the grapevines give a beautiful colorful contrast to the deep blue lake. The staff were very friendly and helpful and I want to use this opportunity to send them a special "thank you" for all their help and openness. I wish we could have stayed a little bit longer to do more wine tasting, although more testing was not even needed, I found my bottle of red wine fast - the Bonitas Merlot - what a fine bottle that was, I wish I would have brought a couple barrels with us.
Other interesting winery we found near Vaseux Lake was Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars. Near Naramata on the east side of Okanagan Lake near Penticton we enjoyed another beautiful scenic view and sunset from the Lang Vineyards .
All in all…we had an amazing week in the Okanagan, to bad we "lost" the first few days due to weather but this is why travel photography is a challenge - you simply can't control the elements, especially not when most of the pictures are taken outside. The wine was great, the people friendly and the collection of images we shoot very satisfying.
The "lost time" during the rainy days made the photo shoot more stressful, we had a long list of shots we needed to get but at the end we were able to catch up and even finish the shoot in the Okanagan a day earlier then planned.
In the next blog I will tell what happened after we left the Okanagan Valley for a road trip via Monashee and Central Kootenay with destination Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta.
Blogs in this series:
Vineyards Wineries & Pumpkins in Okanagan Valley British Columbia
Road trip from Okanagan via Monashee Provincial Park to Central Kootenay
Winter wonderland in Waterton lakes National Park, southern Alberta
Animal elk hidden in winter mountain scenery
Scenic winter landscape mountains waterfall & wildlife