Monday, April 30, 2007


In spite of wind, rain, a sand storm and the electricity going out, everyone had a good time! The First Annual Wine and Farm Festival drew people from the greater Phoenix area, Tucson, Sierra Vista, Green Valley, Vail, and Sonoita and Patagonia. The inclement weather did not squash the four wineries' enthusiasm for pouring their wines even when chasing blowing paper and money around. They did, however, envy the vendors who were very comfortable inside the building selling their books, fiber goods, breads and cheese, herb jellies and teas, Native Seeds, jewelry, and fine art. So, thanks to all the people who braved the weather and showed up for our festival and to all the wineries and vendors who cooperated to make the event a smashing success!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


A lot of people helped to make this sign a reality, but the two who played central roles are Rhian Swierat and Chuck Waldo. Rhian did the original design work. Chuck suggested the idea of such a sign, put me in touch with someone who could take the jpg file and have a computerized router carve it, secured and glued up the native red oak that is the material, harvested the oak logs from trees in Pinetop, Arizona that form the supporting beam and posts and provided the advice and consultation to see the project through. I hope I've secured it well enough to withstand the wicked winds that blow down there.

Monday, April 23, 2007


The labels did come in the nick of time. Thank goodness. So this weekend we labeled 28 cases of Riesling. Actually Joan did most of it single handedly. I know I am in one of these pictures, but that was only for the first 10 cases. Joan is applying the front and back labels using the labeling jig she insisted on and I designed. I'm using a heat gun to shrink the plastic capsules on the top - hence the gloves. Emma is half watching behind my back. We are ready for the Festival. Bob Johnson from Colibri Vineyards is delivering wine tomorrow. Come on down this Saturday!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Oh, Deer!

This is one post I was hoping to avoid this year! This doe was in the vineyard yesterday morning feasting on my beautiful Syrah shoots! It sure brought back bad memories of last year. I thought we would not be seeing them this year because of the electric fence Tim spent weeks installing last year. Well, yesterday I found out an electric fence only works when power is charging through it. The problem turned out to be a non-functioning power box. Fortunately, we had a spare. So, the fence is working again and I truly hope not to see any sighs of the deer again this season!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


How can we sell wine without labels? Can't. So we expectantly await the overdue shipment. Once the labels arrive we'll frantically put them on. Until then the unlabled wine bottles (tasted just great last weekend) are called shiners. Visiting wineries and tasting wine from shiners has become a trendy thing, sort of like barrel tasting. But for the festival we want to show off our labels, designed by our son's girlfriend Rhian Swierat, and our wine.

Wine and Farm Festival, April28

I had a hard time working in the vineyard yesterday. There were many phone calls interrupting me. A reporter from Mesa called to interview me for an article, people called for information about the festival, and vendors called and e-mailed about the set-up. The festival is only one and one half weeks away! Everything is falling into place. Now I am wondering if we can count on the weather. That wind has been blowing hard these days!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bud Burst!

Last week I decided to stay out of the vineyard for a few days as the vines were still dormant. I thought I'd have a little breather before the growing season began. I have learned that once grape vines bud out I become very busy trying to keep up with their growth. Boy, was I surprised when I returned to the vineyard on Saturday! The vines have budded out! The season has begun. I find this time of year very exciting. So, I am starting my busy but happy time of year.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Alpacas are coming!

Yesterday, after a busy afternoon coordinating the upcoming Canelo Hills Wine and Farm Festival I sat down to read, "The Desert Leaf," a Tucson publication. After flipping through a few pages I ran into a cute alpaca staring at me and an article titled, "Living the Alpaca Lifestyle." Smack in the middle of the article was a section on Mike and Linda Wood and their Square Top Ranch. I was especially excited because I have been to the Square Top Ranch and met their alpacas nose to nose. Those very same alpacas will be attending our Festival with their owners. So come meet Mike and Linda Wood and their animals and see first hand the beautiful things alpaca fiber can create.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The sign is going up!

Tim worked hard this past week-end digging post holes, pouring cement, peeling bark off the posts and putting one post in. The other post will have to wait until we buy more cement. We ran out! After all these years of planning and working, seeing the sign up will be a great feeling of accomplishment.