Vines on film: Reformation takes to the Okanagan with Sandhill Wines + Red Rooster Winery


Amanda Haines Lazeski

Sharla Pike Red Rooster Sandhill Wines 20 Year Anniversary Okanagan

Credit: Sharla Pike Photography

Monday to Friday, you can usually find us getting the job done from behind our laptops, phone in one hand, coffee in the other. But when the opportunity arises to step out from behind the screen and bring our client’s stories to life, we’re all over it. It’s even better when it’s all caught on camera.

Our Senior Account Lead Mallory recently had the chance to spend a week in the Okanagan working on two very special film projects alongside our clients Sandhill Wines and Red Rooster Winery, who are both celebrating their 20th anniversaries this year.

Sharla Pike Photography Sandhill Red Rooster Okanagan

Credit: Sharla Pike Photography

The two 20th anniversary films have been months in the planning and in just three action-packed days, working hand-in-hand with the talented Tim of Limelight Studios, we worked to encapsulate on film the stories, memories, moments, awards and most notably, the people who’ve made Sandhill and Red Rooster what they are today. Both brands have their own unique stories, and it was our aim to tell those compelling stories and highlight the teams of hard-working people behind each bottle of wine – from winemakers to growers and beyond.

We also enlisted the help of amazing local photographers Sharla Pike and Boketto Photography to capture all the action and some unexpected, heartwarming moments along the way.

The filming journey began at Sandhill at their stylish Urban Winery in downtown Kelowna, where Mallory had the chance to sit down with Sandhill’s legendary, retired Master Winemaker Howard Soon. After 37 consecutive vintages, Howard has retired this year as Canada’s longest serving winemaker. As a true pioneer of the BC wine industry, with countless tales, awards and accolades to share in his interview, it was Howard’s charisma, humility and true passion for wine that was most striking. We could’ve spent the entire day chatting with him.

Sharla Pike Sandhill Wines Howard Soon Retirement Reformation Okanagan

Credit: Sharla Pike Photography

Howard firmly believes that Sandhill’s award-winning wines are made in the vineyards, and that the dedication of the growers is paramount to their success. With that, Mallory set out with the team to interview the growers at each of Sandhill’s six distinct vineyard sites, travelling from Osoyoos to Oliver to the Similkameen Valley and back toward Penticton.

At each family-run vineyard, the growers recalled the generations of work that had gone into the making of each spectacular site. Each grower proudly shared their connection to their family, recounting candid stories and describing the hard work, heart and soul that goes into nurturing the highest quality BC VQA grapes year after year.

Sharla Pike Sandhill Wines Howard Soon Retirement Reformation Okanagan

Credit: Sharla Pike Photography

On the final day of filming, Mallory spent the day at Red Rooster’s breathtaking winery on the Naramata Bench. Not a bad office for the day, right?

Boketto Red Rooster 20 Year Anniversary Reformation Okanagan

Credit: Boketto Photography

With Okanagan Lake glimmering in the background and their Malbec grapes ripening under the late summer sun, Mallory sat down with Red Rooster’s award-winning winemaker Karen Gillis and the team to explore Red Rooster’s past, present and future.

Boketto Red Rooster 20 Year Anniversary Reformation Okanagan

Credit: Bokette Photography

It was highly inspiring to see a female winemaker’s work making a big splash not only in Canada, but internationally. Karen and her team have earned some major wine awards throughout the years, including six highly-coveted Lieutenant Governors awards. Karen’s humble attitude and hard work shines through in Red Rooster’s bold, delicious wines.

Needless to say, Mallory’s whirlwind week in the Okanagan was unforgettable. We can’t wait to share the results from Limelight Studios soon!

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