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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

INTERVIEW: Hallmark's "Summer in the Vineyard" Screenwriter Julie Sherman Wolfe (*Plus, a Secret for #Hearties & Christmas Movie News, too!)

Throughout the years as I've reported on TV movies -- I have had the grand pleasure of interviewing actors, actresses, writers, and screen writers! Today I will be sharing my latest interview with one of Hallmark's excellent screen writers - Julie Sherman Wolfe! When Julie first reached out to me via e-mail to share news on her latest Hallmark movie project, I instantly felt her warmth and kindness. Julie is passionate about her work, and is such a joy to chat with! Her writing is energetic, yet touching and heartfelt... and if you watch Hallmark movies regularly, or even time to time, you are sure to instantly recognize her extensive work, which Julie shares in our interview below!

"Summer in the Vineyard" images via - Hallmark Crown Media Family Networks
Julie Sherman Wolfe - Photo by Renee Bowen Photography

The latest project for Julie Sherman Wolfe is a sequel to one of last year's "Fall Harvest" Hallmark Channel movies, "Autumn in the Vineyard." If you were wondering what happens next with Frankie Baldwin (portrayed by Rachael Leigh Cook) and Nate DeLuca (portrayed by "Chesapeake Shore's Brendan Penny), then you must see this follow up story, "Summer in the Vineyard," which takes place, of course, back in the vineyard, where the Baldwin and Deluca families have been at odds for years. Let's hope this summer - there will be a happy, peaceful resolution for both families! They definitely need a Hallmark Happy Ending... which Julie, I must say, has been an expert at giving us!

Brendan Penny and Rachael Leigh Cook
images via - Hallmark Crown Media Family Networks

I hope you enjoy our interview *chat* below - where Julie and I discuss "Summer in the Vineyard" and more of her upcoming projects! Including Christmas!!!!!


Screen Writer

"Summer in the Vineyard"


Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: Congratulations, Julie, on your Hallmark movie “Summer in the Vineyard!”

Before we dive into questions about your new movie, please share with us the other Hallmark movies you have written!

Julie Sherman Wolfe: Thank you! I’ve written a few over the last couple of years – my first movie for Hallmark was “Hello, It’s Me” starring Kellie Martin, then two wedding movies (“The Convenient Groom” and “Wedding Bells”) and “The Birthday Wish” from January. I also have “Marry Me at Christmas” and “Finding Santa” coming in December.

I am so proud to be writing for Hallmark – a wonderful, joyful, safe channel for everyone… not to mention, they’ve single-handedly saved the Rom-Com genre (which is my writing Happy Place.)

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: Hallmark is, indeed, a beautiful Happy Place!!!

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: What is the plot/story behind your new movie “Summer in the Vineyard?”

Julie Sherman Wolfe: This is a sequel to “Autumn in the Vineyard” – we revisit Nate and Frankie (now co-owning the Sorrento winery) as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of being in a relationship with someone who is also your business partner. They work on finding that balance while at the same time launching their first vintage together at “Taste of St. Madeleine” – the biggest event of the town’s annual “Summerfest.”

"Summer in the Vineyard" image via - Hallmark Crown Media Family Networks

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: Since “Summer in the Vineyard” is a sequel to Hallmark Channel’s 2016 Fall Harvest movie “Autumn in the Vineyard,” was it challenging or easier to carry on this story, with characters who had already been established?

Julie Sherman Wolfe: It’s both, actually! It’s always easier to find the “voice” of a character when you know who the actors are, and what their characters were like in the first film. The challenge, though, is to find enough “new” conflict to drive the sequel.

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: How thrilled were you to learn so many members of the original cast would be returning for the sequel… including: Rachael Leigh Cook, Brendan Penny, Jeremy Guilbaut, and Marcus Rosner! Did you visit the set and meet the cast?

Julie Sherman Wolfe: I was so happy to hear that so many amazing actors were coming back – they were all fantastic in Autumn, I couldn’t wait to write more for them.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to visit the set this time (my son’s school performance/awards ceremony won that battle!), but I knew Marcus from “The Birthday Wish” and was keeping up with his (and the other cast members’) Instagram feeds. I made a specific promise to Marcus after Birthday Wish and was happy that I was able to keep it – but I can’t say what it is until after the movie airs! I’ll be tweeting about it though 😊

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: Interesting! I won't spoil anything by sharing my guess, but I'm pretty sure all loyal Marcus Rosner fans, including #Hearties (who remember Marcus Rosner as Charles Kensington on "When Calls the Heart"), will know exactly what you mean!!!

"Summer in the Vineyard" image via - Hallmark Crown Media Family Networks

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: Do you, perhaps, have any favorite Hallmark movies? (Other than your own, of course!)

Julie Sherman Wolfe: I am a total sucker for the Christmas movies – actually it was one of my career goals to write a Christmas movie for Hallmark, and now I’ve written two! My long-time favorite is “The Christmas Card.” Makes me cry every time.

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: That's one of my all-time Christmas favorites, too, Julie! I've seen it many, many times... and yet, each time it repeats, I'm always drawn in once again. Wonderful choice!

Hallmark's "The Christmas Card" - image via: Hallmark Crown Media Family Networks

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: Where do you find inspiration for your stories/characters?

Julie Sherman Wolfe: Well, sometimes the characters come to me as books that I have to adapt to screen. “Summer in the Vineyard” is actually a wonderful book by Marina Adair – but in her book, she’s using all new characters – and Hallmark wanted Rachael and Brendan back of course… so I had to figure out a way to blend the two. It wasn’t easy but in the end I think it turned out great. I hope the audience agrees.

"Summer in the Vineyard" image via - Hallmark Crown Media Family Networks

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: Do you have any news on future TV movie projects, premiering on Hallmark or elsewhere that you can share with us?

Julie Sherman Wolfe: I’ve been happily ensconced in the Hallmark Bubble for the last couple of years, but I still have a couple things available online -- last year a sweet indie tween movie I wrote came out (iTunes, etc) called “Jessica Darling’s It List” (based on the novel) – a few of the leads have done very well since (Chloe East was a regular on Liv & Maddie and Ashley Liao is currently on Fuller House. They were great kids!)

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: That all sounds fun... plus, it's exciting to know, as you shared above, we can also look forward to TWO Hallmark Christmas Movies from you this year - “Marry Me at Christmas” and “Finding Santa”! That's incredible! And, these are your first Christmas movies for Hallmark... how exciting! I'm so happy for you!!!

On the set of “Marry Me at Christmas” starring Trevor Donovan and Rachel Skarsten.
Image via: Filmmaker Writer Producer Kevin Speckmaier - Instagram

Net, It’s a Wonderful Movie: What do you hope viewers will take away from watching “Summer in the Vineyard?”

Julie Sherman Wolfe: Well for starters, everyone is going to want to go to wine country in Vancouver because it is absolutely stunning! But as far as the story goes, my focus was that in love, you have to open yourself up and be vulnerable, and truly trust each other… which can be frightening for two people used to being in control. But if two people do open their hearts, and embrace that fear, there’s nothing they can’t handle as long as they do it together.

on set - "Summer in the Vineyard"
 Brendan Penny, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tegan Moss, and Marcus Rosner
image via: instagram


My sincere appreciation, Julie, for taking your time to share with us today! I truly enjoyed our conversation, and I look forward to seeing the continuation of this story. You have definitely sparked my interest and curiosity on where this sequel leads, especially with your promise to Marcus Rosner! (Love that tease!)

I must say... there's a warm familiarity with you, in knowing you enjoy and appreciate a good Hallmark romantic comedy movie- just as much as all of us viewers do!

Thank you for this wonderful interview, as I'm sure... we all look forward to "Summer in the Vineyard" and your upcoming Hallmark Christmas movies, too!!! Blessings to you!!!

*Readers - Want more? Be sure to connect with Julie Sherman Wolfe via Twitter and Facebook!

*For more details on Julie Sherman Wolfe's upcoming Christmas movies “Marry Me at Christmas” and “Finding Santa” - visit HERE!

*You can also check out more on "Summer in the Vineyard" - in my post HERE!

"Summer in the Vineyard" image via - Hallmark Crown Media Family Networks

See the Premiere of
Saturday August 12, 2017
at 9pm/8c. on the Hallmark Channel

"Summer in the Vineyard" image via - Hallmark Crown Media Family Networks


  1. I previously stated on this site that I don't know why they would make a Summer in the Vineyard when Autumn wasn't that good, but I WAS WRONG. I recently watched Autumn again, and I LOVE IT. It may have to do with Brendan Penny, I fell in love with him on CS and love all of his movies now and he has liked some of my tweets. And RLC, she has grown on me too. The actors/actresses really make or break the movies. RLC and BP's chemistry in this movie is off the chain. They are so good arguing, as friends, and as Boyfriend and girlfriend. I hope we get to see them become man and wife. I am super excited for this weekend.

    1. Appreciate you sharing that, Sabrina. I think it will definitely be interesting to see where the next chapter in this sequel takes Nate and Frankie, their families, and the vineyard business, of course!

      I'm sure there will be friction, at times, but in the end, I'm sure - a friendly resolution!

      Thanks for commenting and sharing your excitement!!! :)

  2. Thank you for the interview, Net! I cannot wait to watch this movie.


    1. Awww, that's so sweet! Thank you, Misty! I hope you enjoy watching it this weekend!!!

  3. Whenever Hallmark has a new movie I typically watch, but when Hallmark has a movie with a current or former When Calls the Heart cast member this Heartie is guaranteed to be there! I love the tease about our Charles, Marcus Rosner. (I think I get it, too, but mum's the word for me.)

    1. Thank you for sharing, WCTH fan! Glad you liked that tease, too, even if we just might know what it is, right???

      Enjoy!!! :)

  4. Great interview, Net! This really brought the story to life for me. I was rather blasΓ© about it before, but your interview with Julie Sherman Wolfe piqued my curiosity.

    1. Oh, I'm so glad our interview brought this story to life for you! Thank you for sharing!!! :)

  5. Great interview and questions, Net!! Julie's work speaks for itself and if "Summer in the Vineyard" is half as good as "Autumn in the Vineyard, she's got another hit on her hands!! Let's hope our Marcus is a little more visible this time around and I'll be waiting patiently to find out what "the promise" was. Can't wait for this one!!

    1. Thank you, Linda! Glad you enjoyed the Q&A! Julie Sherman Wolfe is super nice and sweet; therefore, this was one of my absolute favorite interviews!

      Just a little interesting note - the first movie, "Autumn in the Vineyard" - was written by Suzette Couture. She also recently wrote "Site Unseen: An Emma Fielding Mystery".

      With "Vineyard" - Julie certainly had some excellent characters to work with! I, too, am looking forward to seeing how their story continues...

    2. Woops....my mistake, Net!! I thought she wrote "Autumn". I loved it any way and I know I'll love this one too!! She seems sweet and I like her movie preferences.

    3. You are so right, Linda, she is very sweet, like you! I also loved her pick for favorite Hallmark movie - "The Christmas Card"! Forever a classic!

  6. Joyce in CarolinaTuesday, August 08, 2017

    Great interview Net! And she loves the Christmas Card! What more could you ask for! Smart & talented lady!

    1. Joyce, Thank you!!! I know just what you mean - anyone who loves the Hallmark movie "The Christmas Card" is great in my book, too! Just like you!!! :)

      Hope you enjoy the new movie, too!!!

      Thanks, as always, for sharing!!! :)

  7. This was a great interview, Net. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I had no idea she wrote Wedding Bells. That's incredible and not just because I love When Calls the Heart and Kavan Smith, but because it's really that good!

    I'm expecting greatness now with this movie. Thank you, Net, for the insider look with Julie Sherman Wolfe. I feel like I'm looking at this movie now from a whole different angle.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Anna! I'm also a big fan of WCTH, Kavan Smith and the movie "Wedding Bells"! It's all so good! So happy to hear how much you love them all, as well! And, I'm sure you're gonna love "Summer in the Vineyard," too!

      Thank you, also, for sharing how much you enjoyed our interview! It was such fun to bring this one to you all!

  8. Wonderful interview Net and Julie! I felt like I was eavesdropping on your conversation, and I must confess...I loved hearing all the gossip!! I'll be watching Sat. night along with all you guys!!

    1. Oh, that's so fun, I love it! But, no need to eavesdrop, we left a seat for you at the table to join in on the conversation and I'm so glad you did!!! :)

      Enjoy the movie!!!

  9. Enjoyed this interview, Net & Julie! Nice to hear from the creative department.

    1. I agree! It's always great to get their perspective, too!

  10. Nice interview here. This looks like a fair movie to carry on with the family disputes still in question, but I'm not sure I want to keep seeing these sequels. Sometimes you just want a story to end with a kiss and maybe, I love you.

    1. Yes, I think there is plenty of more story to tell with these characters in "Summer in the Vineyard" and their families!

      Glad you liked the interview! Thank you! :)

  11. Excellent interview! I'll be watching Saturday night for sure! Julie sounds just like one of us!

    xoxo, Em

    1. That's a great way to put it, Em! So agree, Julie seems very down to earth. Perhaps, that it is why so many of us connect with her writing!


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