Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Santa Fe Delights

Joan cataloged the cultural treats from our Christmas in Santa Fe, but the other half of the story is the food and wine. As the concierge in our restaurant told me - "we love to eat in Santa Fe". And so did we three - tapas with a Spanish-New Mexican twist, tamales, Chimayo red chile, Hatch green chile, Mexican wedding cakes, biscochitos, and more yum. I could not resist whipping out the camera during our meal at Coyote Cafe. This place had it's hey day about 10 years ago, but still manages to fill up every night and prepares exquisitely presented and "stops the conversation" good tasting food. What follows are shots of: Caesar salad with grilled polenta croutons, broiled salmon on grilled veggies with butter reduction and basil aioli, grilled sea bass on baby bok choy with wasabi mashed potatoes and soy sauce reduction, and grilled asparagus and Hatch green chile mac and cheese. Wines for the weekend tended toward Spanish varieties - Verdejo, Tempranillo, and Albarino, with some Barbera, Port and Tokai thrown in. Add in the company of the two women in my life and I echo Joan's magical sentiment.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


FnB (I had to ask it's restaurant lingo for Food and Beverage) is a new Scottsdale hot spot that features exciting cuisine and even more exciting wine. The entire wine list is comprised of wine made in Arizona from Arizona grapes. It's the only restaurant in the whole world that has our Sparkling Chardonnay and features wines from half dozen other Arizona wineries. The concept is risky and novel and the brain child of Pavle MIlic who is devoted to discovering and defining the local . The AZ Republic ran a recent story on the restaurant which is definitely worth visiting an supporting.

Christmas in Santa Fe

Tim and I had a great few days in Santa Fe over the Christmas holiday with Kathryn. It snowed all day the day we arrived which created a magical winter wonderland. The people of Santa Fe added their own magic with the Christmas lights and their traditional Canyon Road Christmas Eve Walk. There were bonfires, beautiful walls of luminarias and carolers everywhere. Kathryn's mesmerizing soprano voice during her concert topped off our magical few days in Santa Fe.

Lilly, here, is sporting an adorable example of a typical Santa Fe canine's winter attire.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sonoita Wine Maker's Gathering

The end of the year is a good time for us all to gather to celebrate with wine and food and to share our thoughts on the 2009 growing and wine making season and our plans for the next. It was also a time to thank Kelly and Todd Bostock for all they did to make the First Annual AWGA Festival at the Farm a success. The winemakers even poured their soon-to-be released wines for each others' opinions. But mainly it was just nice to spend some relaxing holiday time together.

Here's wishing you all a joyful holiday season and prosperous new year. Thanks for your enthusiasm for our wines. Tim and Kathryn and I look forward to your visiting our tasting room in 2010.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"She went up in one of those metal birds again!"

Yes, Charlie, Kathryn has performed in Vermont and Miami this month. She is now in Santa Fe.
What Charlie, Emma, and Lizzie don't know is that Tim and I will be flying to Santa Fe next week to join Kathryn. It's what parents have to do to spend the holidays with a performing family member. It's a tough life, hearing Kathryn's beautiful voice, spending a few days in lovely Santa Fe, eating well, shopping the plaza. I think we'll survive.

Tim and I will not be leaving until after the week-end. So come on in to say hi to us and the three dogs and to purchase some Christmas gifts and Sparkling wines for your New Years Eve celebration.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December Wreath-Making

Once again we all had a fun afternoon cutting vines and creating unique wreaths for the holidays. Many locals participated and our friend, Karla was there to help out.

I am always amazed at the different decorating ideas people have.

Karrie and Debra of Prairie Chicks Catering take the prize for the largest wreaths made so far. They are planning to decorate them with lights. They should be pretty and festive. Tim, Kathryn and I are already looking forward to next year's wreath-making events!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Festival at the Farm Photos

I've been so busy lately I forgot to put up our photos of the Nov. 22 Festival at the Farm. The weather was as perfect as possible and we all had a great time. Tim and I can't wait for next year's event. Maybe Kathryn will join us also. And, some of you.

Tim gets to keep this trophy for one year. Then he passes it on to the 2010 winner. What a fun tradition!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wreath Making Workshop

Last Saturday we had our first wreath making workshop of the season. People went out into the vineyard to cut their own vines.

They then twisted the vines into the shape they wanted and added their own creative decorations.

At the end of the day everyone happily went home with their unique creation to put up for all to see. Everyone said they had a great time and would return next year. We still have a few spaces available for the Dec. 5 workshop if you are interested.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Tim and I just returned from the Festival at the Farm at South Mountain in Phoenix. It was an exciting experience to be part of the largest gathering of AZ grape growers and wine makers ever. The most exciting thing was watching Tim receive the award for the best white wine in Arizona for his 2008 Malvasia. His wines also got three other awards. It was a thrill. More on the event later.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Bottling Machine

What a crew. Nicole, Matt, Caleb and Frank joined Joan and me to form this outstanding 6 person bottling line. It took 40-50 cases for everyone to find their natural place, work out the kinks and finally listen to Matt who is a whiz at system's engineering. At one point after lunch, rested, fueled and wined up we hit a rate of one case a minute. That's right. Bottles unpacked, filled with wine, corked, capsuled, heat shrunk, labeled, wiped clean, boxed and stacked. Eight cases in eight minutes. We couldn't sustain that pace due to the limits of the actual equipment, but we did manage to polish off 35 cases during one 60 minute period. Bring it on! Oh yes the wine - 2008 Sunrise, a blend of Nebbiolo and Syrah in about equal proportions. My first blend. It brings together the strengths of each of these individual wines to fill in complementary gaps. Like a successful marriage. Nice wine. Estimated release? February at the Art Show.

Monday, November 16, 2009

First Sparkling Wine Tasters of 2009

Stephanie and Shawn Brody were our first visitors Sunday and therefore, the first to try our Sparkling wines for this year. They were among the many new friends of our winery we saw this week-end. It was nice to see returning faces as well. Tim and I are looking forward to seeing many more of you as the holiday season gets closer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Winner Is......

Actually, there were two winners from our Facebook posting as well as Bob from the blog posting. Since this is the last 2009 quiz all three winners will receive their free tasting coupon. Congratulations to you all!

Those of you who guessed fermenting juice were close. However, the bubbles are from the juice dripping out of the press, not from fermentation. I love to watch the juice as it drips and listen to the splashes. The color is so beautiful and I get to daydream about the wonderful wine it will be after sitting a year in an oak barrel. Yum!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Last Quiz of 2009!

Here's your last chance to win a free tasting coupon in 2009. Who knows, maybe next year we'll change the rules so start guessing what this is a photo of. The correct guesses will all go into a hat and a winner drawn. Maybe we'll even select two winners as an end of year treat!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Save This Date!

The Arizona Wine Growers Association. has an exciting, fun filled day planned for all on November 22. Winemakers from all over the state will gather to pour their wines and you will get to be a judge! There will be music, lunch, seminars. In the evening there will be a dinner where the awards for the best wines will be presented. I hope to see you all there. Check it out at

Sunday, November 1, 2009


. . . . that's someone who only eats food that is locally grown - technically within a 100 mile radius. Thursday night Dove Mountain Grill hosted a wine dinner that paired our wine (Malvasia and Sweet Sunrise Syrah), Kent Callaghan's Rose and Caitlin's and Ann Roncone's Dessert Afterglow with a spectacular 5 course dinner. Executive chef Brett Vibber crafted the entire meal from local produce and sources. Master Sommelier Laura Williamson guided all the guests through the dinner and wine pairings and managed to provoke Kent and me to say a few words about our wine. It was a fabulous evening. I highly recommend a trip out to Dove Mountain Grill to experience their creative mastery of local produce and farm products.

Closing Time

Here are some shots I took while we were closing up the winery this evening. Breath-taking!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tim the Winemaker/Joan the Photo Taker

You can tell my vineyard work for the season has slowed to a crawl as I am now following Tim around with my camera trained on him and his tasks. Here are some photos I took while he was disgorging the sparkling wine on Saturday. I'm sure he will be glad when I get back to work but I am having fun.

Sparking Wines Are Almost Ready

Emma is guarding the soon-to-be released Sparkling Rose'. She isn't sure she wants to part with it any time soon. But in a couple of weeks she will have to. After all, the holidays are almost here!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The word is spreading

A few weeks ago Terry Tang, a reporter from the Associated Press Bureau in Phoenix, made a trip to Soniota as background for her article on Arizona Wine. Although the article mentioned the northern Arizona wine scene, it really primarily featured the Sonoita/Elgin area. We got a nice mention. The last time I googled, the article had been picked up and published in print and internet based media all over North America. Check it out. Do a google (or your favorite search engine) search containing the following words: Terry Tang Canelo Hills Winery. It's a gas to watch the story spread. Have fun!!

Cheese Making Demo Event

Everyone who came to the goat cheese making demonstration had a great time. It was fascinating to watch cheese evolve right before our eyes. Charlie was a great presenter and her passion in making the cheese was contagious.

Tim talked about his wines. It's always fun for me to watch his love of wine making and passion about wine expressed before a group. The event went well because of Tim and Charlie and Kathryn upfront and the help behind the scenes, our son, Ian and his girl-friend Rhian. Until next time, thank you all!