Photo Contest Winner: Parley Lake Winery in Spring by Deb Zeller

Deb Zeller's photo takes first place in the City Landmarks category of our annual photo contest.

Victoria sculptor Deb Zeller is no stranger to the seasonal magic of Parley Lake Winery, which she owns with her husband and another couple. In the spring, she watches as life awakens with the grapes and apples in full bloom. Summer brings constant change with the development of the fruit. Fall is a canvas of harvest colors; the apple barn is open for the season and the grape-crushing process begins. Winter’s hoarfrost days and fresh snow transform the land into a peaceful wonderland. The Waconia winery, which opens to the public in late May, is one of her “absolute favorite places to take photos.”

Zeller often spends time on the winery grounds, admiring the rustic barn on site, which dates back to the 1880s. On the side of the barn is a colorful barn quilt called the Tree of Life. At the trunk of the geometric tree pattern are the signatures of Bonnie Deardoff, co-owner of the winery, and her four granddaughters, who chose and painted the pattern.

One spring day last May, as Zeller drove up to the winery, the view of the barn caught her attention. “This particular day, it was more stunning than ever with the ornamental crabapple trees in bloom along the roadside,” she says. An ardent admirer of “the incredible beauty in rustic nature,” Zeller immediately captured the scene with her Nikon D80.