As I read the eloquent words from so many writers and friends in the wine industry whose lives were touched by Cole, I’m deeply touched. And I’m reminded of all the times Cole was always so eloquent with words when I was left speechless. When Cole wrote to me in this May to tell me the news of his unexpected diagnosis of an advanced case of pancreatic cancer I was stunned, but in typical Cole fashion he was the one to console me…
“Last week I received a diagnosis of advanced pancreatic cancer. Obviously, this has come as quite a shock to me. My prognosis is unclear, but I begin chemotherapy treatments tomorrow. This will interfere with my ability to get out and about in the wine world for some time, as my immune system will be compromised and I will be dealing with the side effects of the chemo….My attitude is positive and strong and I have every intention of beating this cancer back as much as possible . . . but I apologize that I may not be very good at keeping up contacts and friendships for awhile.”
In a follow up email a few weeks ago “I had a horrible time getting my chemo started, with a number of complications and reversals …. However, most all of those issues have been resolved and now that I am on a more full chemo regimen, the results are very positive. It will never cure my cancer, but will give me a better quality of remaining life . . . . and YEAH for that!!”
Now as I am stunned to hear the news of how quickly the cancer progressed during the past few weeks, I again search for words to express and find myself overwhelmed by emotion. Cole was one of the most thoughtful, thorough, and kind souls I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the wine industry – a tremendously talented journalist and close friend I was honored to know & will miss tremendously. Cole and the love of his life, his wife Andrea Danehower, were always incredibly supportive, gracious, and kind in sharing many lovely bottles of wine and lovingly prepared local feasts on their back deck for long, memorable summer dinners. They helped guide me on the storyline for the Noble Spirit, and dealing with the death of many close to me, and were always quick to support others but reluctant to accept help themselves – a rare combination of talent and humility.
I just haven’t been able to express the impact he had on my life adequately, so turned to photos to trigger the memories. I had to smile today as I prepared this selection of photographs and stumbled upon this unexpected gift. Cole was always the one to write the captions to my photos for projects we collaborated on together – for The Essential Wines and Wineries of the Pacific Northwest book, Northwest Palate Magazine, or in the dozens of stories we did for wine publications. Although we worked together on many projects for the past 8 years, we only had a chance to travel together once – to the wine country of Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada last September. When I couldn’t remember some of the details for the captions on the below selection of photos, I wondered what Cole would say – then in scrolling back through his twitter feed see that he’s already written the captions for me and is still somehow helping us all remember what is so great about our industry archived in the wonderful writing he has left behind in his books, articles, and in his Essential Northwest wines website http://essentialnorthwestwines.com.
Are you curious why 95% of New Zealand’s wineries are certified sustainable? We asked a selection of sustainable, organic and biodynamic winegrowers to share their personal inspirations. This short video is the beginning of our work creating a documentary film about the impact of sustainable practices in the world’s best winemaking regions.
Stay tuned for additional stories and photos from those interviewed. Here’s a few of my favorite quotes that we didn’t have space for in the shorter teaser video.
“It’s about intuition, imagination, and inspiration…” – James Milton
“Sustainability to me means approaching everything on a long term basis, looking into the future… the agriculture side, the winemaking side, the family side, the economic side” – Clive Patton, Ata Rangi
The bush block is very important, I know this because I can be overseas, in some of my favorite cities, and every day I’m thinking about the bush block, how many days will it be before I’m able to get back to the bush block, to be able to look after my trees and connect with the land……I need to be back in my own space looking after the things that might take 200 years to grow, … just to have this place that grounds you, keeps me sane. – Clive Patton, Ata Rangi
I’m regularly asked for tips by wineries, marketing folks, public relations firms, and wine associations how to create an effective image library. Specific needs include utilizing photos on websites to inspire consumers to visit, in press releases to gain more editorial exposure & in advertising campaigns to increase awareness for the region.
In Cole Danehower’s presentation “Optimizing your Brand’s story”, he moderated a panel of journalists & PR agencies for winery specific marketing tips. Here’s a summary of quotes on the importance of photography: “Those with the best pictures win, if you’re only going to do one thing this year for your marketing, invest in photography & partner with a photographer that understands your brand and their style reflects your story” “Images are the new headline. 90% of info transmitted into our brain are visual, visuals transmit 60,000x faster than text, and photos are so easy to share.”
I’ve spent the past fifteen years creating over 100 image libraries for wineries & tourism associations, where my background as a photojournalist has helped me craft an impactful story through imagery. Magazine editors & designers have given me the following guidelines for many of my assignments, I’ve consolidated these tips to four main points:
#1 request – Sense of place photos. What does this mean? A photo of a vineyard can look like any other vineyard around the world unless care is taken to focus on the land’s unique aspects in the best light. It’s very challenging to tell a compelling, unique story in just one photo, but with reduced editorial space and attention spans this can be the critical deciding factor if you get coverage.
Mt. Hood is an iconic backdrop to many of Oregon’s wine regions, and with people in the landscape it helps the viewer visualize creating this experience for themselves.
This aerial photo of Penner-Ash winery & estate vineyard has been on two magazine covers, the opening spread in the Wine Spectator Oregon story, and countless other stories and marketing collateral:
“Going Live: Certification program sets science-based standards for greener, greater good” I’ve spent more time in vineyards around the world than any other area of the wine industry and really resonate with the efforts of the wineries to not only reduce impact the environment but improve the land – a teaser to a future documentary film project