KCRA—Nello Olivo Grape Harvest 2015
Anyone who’s read any of this site will know that I love vineyards and will look for any opportunity to do a wine story. There’s something so beautiful about the symmetry of the lines of the grapevines, and I can never get enough of shooting close-ups of blue or green grapes hanging in bunches from the vines.
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of my reporter-photographer stories—too long! Not for lack of trying. But it’s been a weird summer. I was out on medical leave for a couple weeks (nothing major, but music lovers can rest at ease—I’m told I’ll never play the violin again!), then with various staff shortages due to summer vacations, there simply hasn’t been an opportunity.
Then on Saturday I received a call from Nello Olivo, my old friend and highly successful boutique winemaker who I’ve done a number of news stories on and blogged about. I’d filmed his grape harvest in 2013 and he was calling to tell me that he was finishing his harvest on Tuesday morning if I wanted to come up and film. I immediately wanted to sign on to this, but I first had to justify that there were new news elements that I could cover that would warrant another story.
I asked about how the severe California drought had effected the harvest, whether the smoke from the Butte Fire—which I covered in the previous blog—had any residual effects, and about his decision to hold off three weeks later in harvesting the last of his grapes than any of the other vineyards had? And everything Nello had to tell me was just what I needed to hear to pitch a story to one of KCRA’s assignment managers.
Also, to the best of my knowledge we had not covered any grape harvests that I know of during this year’s harvest season—and to be a Northern California TV station and not cover a wine grape harvest in a season should qualify us for an FCC fine right there!!!!!
So Tuesday morning I set the alarm for 4:30 AM (although I was awake at 3:45 AM) in order to get into KCRA at 5 AM to get my gear & news car and be up at Nello Olivo’s vineyard in Cameron Park by 6 AM for the start of the harvest.
The first rows to be picked were Sangrantino, an extremely rare variety of grape that is mostly only grown on 1,631 acres in the Umbria region of Italy. Nello’s is one of only four vineyards in the entire United States that grows this grape!!!
The shooting went fast and smooth. Again, I LOVE FILMING IN VINEYARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, on most stories I try to talk to as many different people as possible. On a story like this, it’s a one-person-subject, so Nello’s the only person I talk to. But a fellow like Nello—that’s all you need!
I finished shooting around 8 or so and started back to the station, just in time for rush hour! It took me almost as long to get back the KCRA as it took for me to shoot the whole story!!!!!
The rest of my work day was allocated to logging, writing & editing.
The story ran in the 6PM newscast on Tuesday, September 22, 2015.
Please note: Next week I am putting together Common Ground, the monthly KCRA 30-minute news magazine program. I plan on expanding this story with another minute of footage. So Nello Olivo’s harvest 2015 with see double-duty!
(I will confess that I felt a little rusty in putting the package together. I got into the station at 5 AM and hoped to be leaving at 1 or 2 PM, but didn’t walk out the door until nearly 4 PM. Part of the last hour was going through the story and tightening up as much as I could to get the runtime down form 2:10 to 1:59. But the story also looked better & moved faster by being tighter. I honestly feel that it moves and feels more like a minute-and-a-half story rather than a two-minute story. So the extra time invested paid off.)
I would be happy to do reporter-photographer packages every day! It is like making little films.
(* Felt that was only appropriate for a wine story!!)