Photo Contest Winner: Frost in the Vineyard by Deb Zeller

Deb Zeller captures a wintery winery.
This photo won first place in the Landmarks category of our 2012 photo contest.

A love of nature sparks Victoria resident Deb Zeller’s creativity—and easy access to its full bounty is a bonus. The professional artist works in sculpture, oil painting, and glass fusion by trade, but counts photography as one of her many hobbies.

Another of those diverse interests is a passion for wine, one which makes her role as part owner of Parley Lake Winery in Waconia a joy. And access to the vineyards means a constant source of inspiration for Zeller, who captured this scenic shot on a quintessential Minnesota winter morning, when the trees were dusted with a fresh coat of hoarfrost.

Zeller wandered the winery for hours that day, snapping photos of the snowy scene with her heavy Nikon D7000. This magical shot is the result of that work, when she stumbled upon a seemingly endless row of trees with tangled, crystal-encrusted branches.

“I can shoot until the hoarfrost starts to melt; that’s how much I love hoarfrost,” Zeller says. “I’m just so amazed by what Mother Nature can do with those crystals.”

With a little luck, winery visitors may be able to see this beauty for themselves: Parley Lake Winery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays until December 21.