Cameraman Jonathan Yip makes some adjustments to his equipment prior to shooting the next scene in the Hallmark movie that was being shot on Main Street in Penticton Friday. Mark Brett/Western News

Lights, camera, Action

The 200-block of Main Street was the Napa Valley of the north for a time on Friday during the filming of a made-for-tv movie.

“It’s based on a series of books by Marina Adair and this one’s called Summer In the Vineyard and last year we shot a movie called Autumn in the Vineyard which was received very well on the Hallmark network,” said Vancouver-based producer Trevor McWhinney during a break in the action. “It’s based on a couple that grew up together and separated, went different ways, different directions in life and found that they had common interests and found themselves both participating in a vineyard.

“They basically fall back in love and they try to balance love and a business at the same time and obviously the trials and tribulations that go on with both of those instances.”

The leads are played by American Rachel Leigh Cook (Josie and the Pussycats and She’s All That) and Canadian actor Brendan Penny.

According to McWhinney, Penny is one of Hallmark’s top actors and currently has the lead in the popular series Chesapeake Shores.

“We’re very, very fortunate to have both of them in this movie, they’re a great combination and really wonderful people as well,” said the producer.

In the movie Penticton is actually the small town of St. Madeline Ca. near Napa city.

“The reason we’re in the Okanagan is this is wine country and you do wine very well. You guys also have a much better climate than we do in the Lower Mainland,” said McWhinney. “So this climate is very very close to what we would get there (Napa). We went to all of the small towns around here, Summerland, Peachland, Osoyoos, Oliver and Kelowna – we basically toured everywhere and this felt like the right place, the right match for the type of environment that we were trying to portray, the beautiful little town of St. Madeline.

“We were actually just watching the monitor and were saying this is such an amazing place to live. So you guys are very fortunate to have this amazing lifestyle.”

He described the local people as “wonderful to work with” including those at the many vineyards the crews have visited.

They will be back again Saturday for another shoot at the community and farmers’ markets before heading off to Naramata and Osoyoos in the coming weeks.


Movie producer Trevor McWhinney of Vancouver checks the set for the next take in the 200-block of Main Street Friday. Mark Brett/Western News