Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm in Love!

Ha! I knew that would get your attention. The vineyard is beautiful this summer. Until recently I was too busy tending the vines to stop and appreciate the beauty. The work is slower now so I have time to walk around with my camera instead of my focused vision looking for pests and other possible problems. There is still plenty time for problems to emerge but for now I am simply enjoying the fruits of my labor. Here are some photos for your enjoyment as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Slow Food dinner at Maynard's Kitchen

Wednesday night my mother and I attended a wonderful event at Maynard's Kitchen in downtown Tucson: a Slow Food and Wine event that was a collaboration among Slow Food Tucson, the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, Maynard's Market and Kitchen, and Canelo Hills and Dos Cabezas wineries. The event was sold out, with 51 people filling the charming dining space in the old train station.

Chef Addam paired two of our wines with his fantastic and creative small courses: our Sparkling Nebbiolo Rosé with a plate of delicate fruits, and our new 2008 Malvasia Dolce with the dessert, a delicious pistachio ice cream with a thin mesquite flour cookie. Almost all the ingredients were from Southern Arizona.

After I introduced our winery and described our Sparkling Nebbiolo Rosé at the beginning of the meal, my mother and I were able to relax and enjoy the evening as guests. The courses between fruit and dessert were paired with four of Todd Bostock's wines from Dos Cabezas Wineworks. We shared a table with Casey and Amber, who are great friends of Canelo Hills and have helped out as volunteers for bottling. It was fun to visit with them as we tasted such marvelous things as squash blossoms, filled with goat cheese, tempura-battered, and served over an heirloom tomato. Oh yum!

Chef Addam (middle) is applauded, along with the rest of the talented cooking staff

Todd and Kelly Bostock of Dos Cabezas with friends at their table

Monday, July 20, 2009

Barrel Tasting fun

Some of the nicest things about our winery business are our customers, many of whom have become friends over the past year and a half. Sixteen of these lovely people joined us Saturday night for our first summer barrel tasting.

Last year I was singing in Santa Fe during both of our barrel tasting evenings, and we scheduled last weekend's event to occur between my summer travels. I'm so glad I could be there! We tasted seven of the delicious 2008 Canelo Hills reds that are currently aging in barrels. They were all delicious. It was fun listening to my father talk about them and ask for opinions on the wines and whether he should do any blending. Our guests were very knowledgeable about wine, and gave us great feedback.

As my father served wine from the barrels with a winemaker's tool called a wine thief, people mingled and discussed the wines. Unfortunately for my mother, who urges my father to try some blending, most of our visitors appreciated the unique qualities of each varietal wine, and voted to keep them separate! Maybe next year...

We also gave our guests a sneak preview of our Yummy Zin dessert wine, which my parents just bottled but needs a few more months in the bottle before we're ready to label and sell it. This port-style wine is truly delicious, and despite my mother's efforts to keep it all for herself, you'll probably be able to purchase it for yourself sometime in the fall. Quite a few of our guest reserved bottles and are awaiting the email that tells them the Yummy Zin is available for pick-up.

I'll be in Indonesia for our sold-out August 8th barrel tasting, but I know it'll be another special evening at Canelo Hills.

There are even more photos from the event on our website. And if you were there, don't forget to share your photos with us on facebook!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What is Kathryn doing away from the winery?????

Alas, Kathryn is only part-time at Canelo Hills Vineyard and Winery as our marketing director. Her real identity is as a classical soprano singer. Today I got to see her perform with Nathan and Aryo who comprise the Swara Sonora Trio. It was their Tucson performance before they leave next Tuesday on their peace tour to Indonesia. In light of the recent bombings in Jakarta the trio feels strongly it is more important than ever to go. As a mother I say, "Yikes!" and "Bravo!" If you want to follow Swara Sonora Trio over the next few weeks go to their website,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nature's July Fourth Celebration!

What does a winery owner do on the Fourth of July? Work, again from sunup until sundown. Nature rewarded us with a spectacular show at sunrise and again at sunset. For me, it is much more meaningful to watch than the traditional fireworks.

Are you wondering what Tim is holding in that tiny, little bottle? That is what we spend our evening doing; bottling our desert wine, Yummy Zin. I did get to taste it as we were bottling. Tim asked when I thought we should put it out on the tasting table. I answered, "Maybe never!" If we put it out I will have to share it with others. I might not want to do that because it is, well, yummy!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Proud Author

After buying a copy of Joan’s book, “Drinking Wine Is Made Simple” Andy and Carmen asked Joan to sign it. I just can’t resist the opportunity to take her picture when she does. I haven’t checked lately but I wonder what a signed copy goes for on E-Bay.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One of our regulars

Jolie has been visiting our winery since she was in utero. Every few months she brings her parents back to visit our doggies (see blog October 16, 2008). This time she came by to check up on Emma and meet Lizzie for the first time. She and Lizzie were much too quick for me to memorialize by getting a picture, but the introductions went off very well. While Jolie visits with Emma and Lizzie, her parents manage to get in some wine tasting. It’ll be a while before she can join them.