Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Winning Haiku

March's haiku winner was written by Donna from Tucson. Here it is:

Tawny yellow grass
Kisses upon the grape's skin
Celebrate the soil!

Very pretty, don't you think? Thanks, Donna.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dog-Friendly Wine Tasting

Our first attempt at a dog-friendly wine tasting party was last weekend, and it was a big success! We started the party after-hours on Saturday, and our guests and their dogs mingled over wine and snacks. Prairie Chicks, a new catering company in Sonoita, provided fantastic munchies for both humans and dogs.

Tim led a winery tour and then he and all our guests headed out the vineyard to talk about grape growing and let the dogs run around off their leashes. I don't know if the tour lasted so long because people had many questions about the grapes, or because the dogs were having so much fun.

There are even more photos of the event on our website. And we'll be sure to repeat this with another dog-friendly event in the fall, so keep your eyes peeled or join our email list to be the first to find out.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Have I ever mentioned that much of winery life is not romantic? I suppose every winemaker and wine grape grower has a most dreaded task. For me that would be irrigation repair. For the high desert vineyard, water is life. A broken irrigation system is a lethal threat. A few weeks ago Joan mentioned there was a lake in the upper vineyard. I was not pleased. Three years ago it was an irrigation leak and puddle that attracted the deer to our vineyard and nearly wiped out the 2006 harvest. I hate digging in muddy dirt (actually goopy-stick-to-everything clay around here), fiddling with plastic pipe, cold wind blowing, nothing actually fitting, not having exactly the right pieces, plastic cement setting up too quickly, hoping, praying. I left the hole exposed to be sure the repair would work. So far so good. Another disaster averted. Have I ever mentioned that a lot of winery life is not romantic?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Our Youngest Visitor

Richard and I work together at the VA hospital in Tucson and it’s always a treat when he and Cindy come in to visit. They both like to taste wine, I like to talk about it and they both give me honest opinions of what I make. About 12 months ago Cindy and Richard stopped coming, announcing that #3 was on the way. This past weekend 2 month old Lauren made her first visit. Joan and I decided that Lauren was our youngest visitor to date. Needless to say she stuck to the white stuff that comes in a plastic bottle and was completely content with that. Congratulations Cindy and Richard!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Good Neighbors

The Mueller clan is busily preparing for our April 18th Wine and Farm Festival which is going to be a very exciting time with five winemakers, many local vendors and even some animals. In all our planning Tim, Kathryn, and I were neglecting a very important part, the grass needed to be mowed. Our neighbor, John Fink, volunteered to do the chore. What a job he did. The place has never looked as nice. As Debra, his wife said, "It's what neighbors in the country do for each other." It's the truth. We are very fortunate with all the people we have gotten to know in Sonoita. You will be able to meet many of them the day of our festival. Debra Fink will be selling her beautiful wine gift baskets. See you all then!

Monday, March 2, 2009

On Tumbleweeds and Coyotes

If you are looking for the post referenced in our latest newsletter, this is it. To answer the question of what tumbleweeds and coyotes have in common at Canelo Hills Vineyard and Winery it is that after almost 6 years of doing battle they continue to outsmart me.

Every summer I think I am close to eradicating the tumbleweeds. Then each winter I walk to the fence at the end of the vineyard and there they are, stacked high, mocking me in my attempt to vanish them. They know they each have already deposited all 200,000 of their seeds as they tumbled their way to the fence.

As for the coyotes, last summer, in our third attempt to keep them out, Tim filled their entrance hole with boulders and rebar. They were not only capable of moving the boulders out of the way but also pushed the rebar to the sides. I'll tell you, that hole and pathway are getting deeper and deeper. We will try something else soon but somehow, I don't think I am going to win this war.

February Winning Haiku

Kelly wrote this winning haiku. I have to say, the content didn't bias the judging team at all!

The wine superb. Nice.
The family, friendlier.
Simply Canelo.

Thanks, Kelly.