My first photo client, and fortunately still is for me, is Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant. It’s run by Paul Landeck and a wonderful place for the wine and restaurant. Our relationship dates back to 2005 when he asked if I would like to photograph images of his restaurant, the wine and the food. Interestingly, from that connection came my other major photo client, Lake Michigan Shore magazine, which I have free-lanced for since their first issue in 2006.

The chef is J.P. and the item most ordered on their menu is raspberry chicken. Though I may sound sexiest, if you ever ask a woman what she had for dinner at Tabor Hill, it will more than likely be raspberry chicken. Even a dear friend, a vegetarian, ordered it for dinner. It is best with a bottle of Tabor Hill’s number-one seller, Demi-Sec. One recent Saturday night, raspberry chicken accounted for 25% of the entrees served. Demi-Sec, accounts for more than half the wine sold from Tabor Hill.

The images I have taken for Tabor Hill over the years have been for brochures, their web site, and other networking vehicles like Facebook. Some of the most difficult images I have photographed through the years are wine bottles. In shooting glass, you deal with reflections, background images through the bottle, the light source reflecting in the bottle, all sorts of problems. I love a challenge and bottle of Tabor Hill wine provide it for me.

One of the newer products is their Cranberry wine. Have you ever tried to find real cranberries out-of-season??? You can’t regardless of searching the web, going to the Wisconsin (the #1 cranberry source) or growing them yourself, it is impossible to find cranberries in February when this image was taken. Cranberries are in season in the last quarter of the year and after that, you’re out of luck. So given the assignment to create an image for cranberry wine in February provided a challenge. The “berries” in the image were found at Hobby Lobby and I bought all the “fake” cranberries I could find. I cut them off the plastic rod and “dressed them” around the bottle and glasses and added a fake rose. It was all set up and photographed in the love-of-my-life’s white kitchen, which made a beautiful background. In fact, she is the one who created the layout that you see.

The images below are the restaurant as seen from the vineyard. The middle image is the main dining room. There are two at Tabor Hill with seating also in the bar and the image on the right is the patio, a great place to have a glass (or a bottle) of wine. Tabor Hill Winery is a bit difficult to find on your first visit but worth the trouble. Their web site is

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About rizzophotos

Photographer of weddings and events, people, places and things. Based in St. Joseph, MI and travel regularly from Chicago to Grand Rapids and all places in-between.

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