Fargo. North Dakota. Ever been there? No? Well, why not? I know it's not exactly a hot destination! (Well, the summers can be a bit toasty in a non-humid sort of way.)
What do you think of when you hear "North Dakota?" Wheat? Snow? Bison? (Pronounced Bizon, if you must know.) How about Volkswagens and wine?
I was recently in Fargo for photography coverage of VWs in the Valley VW Show for VolksAmerica Magazine. While there, I had the opportunity to shoot Nick's '72 VW Bus "Blue" at 4E Winery in Mapleton, ND. The owners, Lisa and Greg, (Greg will forever be known as "Mark" in my mind…ask him about it when you stop in!) were kind enough to allow us use of their property for the session. What I thought would take an hour and a quick "thank you"
Turned into nearly a three hour visit.
Lisa and Greg are the most gracious of hosts! They felt like extended family. They allowed us to trample all over their humble prairie with the Bus! Their place is incredibly photogenic and the epitome of how I'd picture North Dakota. Fields of farmland, wheat, corn and grapevines, yes, grapevines. And this bee, that was thoroughly attracted to me! I couldn't shake him!
I have to confess, before I landed in Fargo and before I arrived at 4E Winery, I was feeling a bit of a creative slump. When we pulled in, Eureka! That slump lifted! I honestly could have shot there for days! So many ideas were running through my mind!!
After the shoot and some amazing conversation, we went inside and not only talked some more, but tasted the fine wines 4E has available. They have 12 varieties; I managed tasting 4-5 of them. Each incredibly delicious. A chemist by trade, Greg and Lisa decided to embark on this adventure two years ago. I, for one, am glad they did! Absolutely some of the finest wines I've tasted! That sweet rhubarb…incredible!! A must have!! And the Blue Pontoon….it was perfect!!!
I am so thankful to Joel Herman, president of the Red River VW Club and his wife, Jill, for arranging the location for the shoot! I feel like I've made friends for life and even possibly more important, I've got some new wines to add to my cabinet!!
If you're ever in the Fargo area, this is a not to be missed stop!!! I promise you won't be disappointed.
Now off to order my wine….