I’ve never been called a morning person before but more and more often I’m waking up for early morning shoots. Actually, there is something special about these early morning filming opportunities and yesterday our alarm clocks woke us up before 2am for a trip to Tassel Ridge Winery.
The owner, Bob Wersen, and his staff have been incredibly patient and helpful as we’ve tried to coordinate our two schedules. Grapes are ready to harvest when they are ripe and have no consideration for our busy schedules, but fortunately, yesterday, the grapes were perfectly ripe and schedules were open. So, it was with a bowl of cereal in our bellies that we left Benton County and drove for nearly two hours to reach the Meadowcreek Vineyard of Tassel Ridge Winery. Located just north of Oskaloosa, Iowa (south east of Des Moines) the vineyard takes up more than 9 acres of land surrounding Mr. Wersen’s Interpower business.
A bright moonlit night sky welcomed us to the vineyard and the crew was already busy harvesting. Tassel Ridge Winery has one of only a few mechanical harvesters in the region and we had amazing access to their operation. We set up our cameras and began shooting night time footage of the harvest, bright lights of the harvester and the following tractor with trailer containing three macro bins and two sorters. These two hardy souls, bent over sorting out leaves and stems and other detritus from the delicious grapes, were giving their detailed attention to this pre-wine.
Warm, friendly and accommodating staff provided us with unparalleled access and, as a result, we obtained some amazing footage. We left the vineyard for the winery (located 15 minutes away) by 7:30 and interviewed Bob and some of his team. Great interviews! Later in the morning we shot some additional, crazy-awesome, footage in the vineyard.
Here are a few of behind-the-scenes photos. If you support our film, please follow us here, like us on Facebook (you can see our full Tassel Ridge photo album), and tell your friends about Wine Diamonds: Iowa Uncorked.