Temecula wine country – world of wine event – california

The annual World of Wine event in Temecula wine country, hosted by the Temecula Wine Growers association included the participation of over 30 wineries! The weather was a perfect 80 degrees and we had a blast going on the self-guided tour taking pics and sampling food and wine.  Bummer there isn’t a compartment in my camera bag for a wine glass. Luckily I had my friend Tina there to help with my equipment and hold my glass of wine while I snapped pics.

We started our day in the cool barrel room at Ponte Winery. They had a fabulous pairing with Pinot Grigio and crab cakes with cilantro!

temecula wine country travel food and wine photos by heather van gaale of the wow event by the temecula wine growers association

Longshadow ranch (pictured above bottom row)  has a casual old-west vibe  with Belgian draft horses, a ranch style picnic area and a barn that is awesome for wedding and events. The bbq pork and potato salad paired well with the syrah and their country style atmosphere. I even spotted the first growth of the season on a young vine.

Down a quiet dirt road surrounded by citrus groves and vineyards, Lorimar Winery (pictured below) held open barrel tastings! The excitement & anticipation of their grand opening coming soon was in the air as everyone sported black mustaches in honor of the Tuscan style winery. We had a blast hanging out there and sampling their red wines straight from the barrels.

Pictured below right is co-owner Lawrie, with the stunning new Lorimar Winery in the distance.

temecula winery lorimar at the world of wine event by photographer heather van gaalelorimar winery photo by wine photographer heather van gaale at barrl tasting event wow


chef vulker lutz chef portrait for food and wine temecula photographer vangaale


We also enjoyed visting Wiens Family Cellars. It was fascinating watching  Chef Vulker Lutz  work his magic for the perfect pasta and red wine pairing. If any drops I’m using the five second rule!

Some wineries participated in the wine cork art contest.  Wiens vespa cork sculpture gave a super fun photo op for guests to enjoy! No drinking and driving Tina!!

live coach tina fin at wiens winery by temecula travel photographer heather van gaale

Pictured below is the always happening South Coast Winery Resort and Spa.They served Dutch Gouda from my family’s cheese farm The Winchester Cheese Company, along with a fig salsa and duck pruciotto. The food was presented perfectly and begged for a photo, I took a few but my camera was drawn to the chef! I love photographing chefs! I’m a sucker for a great cook. Especially cute ones with an official hat and tattoos.

chef with white hat and clean white background stock photo arranging food chef portrait

temecula event photographer travel food and wine photos

Wilson Creek Winery (pictured above) served an amazing duck taco with a mandarin salsa paired with peach champagne..oh my! They also had an incredible Lion sculpure meticulously crafted out of cork by Jeff who works at the winery. Rosie Wilson’s friend was chillin’ with his shades on happy to hear that pork wasn’t on today’s menu.

Temecula is like Disneyland for wine lovers, you need the three day pass!! It is impossible to get to all the wineries in one day. We only made it to 10 wineries. Fortunately WOW is a two day event.

By the time we got to De Portola wine trail the event was ending but the lighting was great. We pulled over and did an impromptu shoot in front of the super scenic and vibrant hot pink flowers at Leonesse until dusk.

scenic pic of temecula wine country by wine photographer heather van gaale


Non traditional wedding at Ponte Winery Temecula California

non traditional wedding with 55 chevy and retro bridesmaids dresses shot by artistic photographer heather van gaale temecula

                                                                                           Brian & Gina

As a vintage lover myself I seem to get a lot of vintage inspired weddings. Brides that have a love for vintage also love classic photography. Gina and I were a great match because I too prefer to stay away from current trends and special effects to keep the photos timeless and not dated. Wedding photos are unlike pictures in a magazine that are only seen for the current month; they are heirlooms that are viewed for generations. They can be classic but still portray a sense of place and beat bride has non traditional wedding

When I photographed Gina & Brian’s wedding I used a mix of film and digital cameras to achieve a classic and up-to-date coverage. I also shot a lot of black & white images to interpret the retro styling that was the theme of her wedding.

Gina wore a short cocktail length dress reminiscent of the 50’s by Dolly Couture. Dolly Couture specializes in vintage style gowns for the bride that wants to be unique. She paired it with a black sash,black velvet platforms  and a classic bird cage veil from Dolly Couture as well.

San Diego based makeup artist Tara Roller completed the look for all the girls with red lips,defined brows,and black liner. Not only did she have a true understanding of how to achieve an authentic 50s look, she was very professional,timely and an absolute doll.

wedding ideas groom attire with skinny ties and classic suits for a vintage reservoir dogs vibeFor Brian’s look to compliment Gina’s non traditional gown he wore a black suit with flat front trousers and a skinny tie as opposed to the traditional tux. I think they look fabulous. Brian pulls off the classic mobster look well!! The suits were from Friar Tux.

wedding photographer in temecula heather van gaale artistic photojournalism

non traditional wedding groomsmen ideas with suits and skinny tiesSeeing each other prior to the wedding can be memorable. Pictured above is Brian on the way to see his bride for the first time that day while she anxiously awaits out of his view.

wedding photographer temecula vintage

off beat bride has retro styling and wears mid length dress and black shoes The wedding colors were a timeless black & white with dramatic splashes of red. Wine country florist Fifi from Finicky Flowers designed a dramatic bouquet  with deep red roses. The roses where highlighted with crystals in the center and black ostrich feathers that added a modern flair.

Many California weddings go by so quickly that seeing each other prior gives the bride and groom more time to enjoy their day together along with friends and family.

non traditional wedding family photosNon traditional brides such as Gina understand that wedding planning doesn’t have rules, only traditions. The non traditional bride does what she believes suits her best and creates new traditions. Gina had her best friend/maid-of-honor  walk her down the isle. I love the bff energy and excitement on their faces.


wedding ceremony ideas

All the bridesmaids looked sexy and classic with their not-just-for-wedding mid length wiggle dresses from They were form fitting and super flattering making the wedding party photos so fun to shoot as each girl channeled her inner pin-up.

non traditional wedding with 55 chevy and retro bridesmaids dresses shot by artistic photographer heather van gaale temecularetro wedding ideas bridesmaids and pin up hairstyles ideasNo extra stretch limos here! A vintage style wedding calls for a red 55 chevy!!  Friends Laura and Todd Shobert that were in the wedding party brought theirs along for the day. We had a blast taking pictures with it! I behaved and didnt ask anyone to sit on the hood.

The wedding and reception was at the gorgeous Ponte Winery in Temecula, California. Ponte winery is super photogenic. Every corner provides a photo op. I love the cypress trees,hedges and rose gardens. The vine covered bridal room is also incredible for photos!!

The reception was held in the barrel room & coordinated by the fabulous DJ’s Steppin Out-In-Style. The DJ’s were a brides and photographers dream. I love DJ’s that keep the guests entertained and follow the pace  of the crowd all the while keeping me posted of important events!

The cake,which I crave when not shooting weddings, was from Jodees Bakery . It was a beautiful classic style with no adornment except a crisp black ribbon,red flowers and a sparkly monogram P on top.

non traditional wedding at winery in temecula california


Temecula Wine Country Photography

Temecula Wine Country lies only a few scenic miles from the studio. With September quickly approaching the grapes are ripening beautifully.  I love heading out to the wineries to take pictures of  the vines in all stages of growth. Presently, the vines are luscious and almost ready for harvest.  Its hard not to pluck a grape from the tempting vines. They look so sweet and juicy!

vineyard grape cluster ripening
vineyard with clusters of grapes ripening in the warmth of summer before harvest

Thank you to Lorimarwinery for having me roam their awesome vineyards and search for photos! It was peaceful and inspiring. Lovee

To view more wine photography check out