Thursday, May 27, 2010

Only the special get Malvasia

On Saturday we're going to give our 2009 Malvasia a very limited release. Our '08 Malvasia sold out within days of winning the AWGA Grower's Cup for Best White Wine in Arizona. The '09 vintage promises to be even better.

To prevent the Malvasia from selling out too quickly, we won't put it out on the tasting table for several more months. Except for Saturday! You can sample this remarkable dry but perfumey wine during a special pre-release on the day of our New White Wine Release event.

During normal tasting room hours (11:00-4:00) Saturday, May 29, you can taste the Malvasia as well as our new Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc, and you can take them all home with you. Also, Ken Jackson will be there signing copies of his book, and Joel Blumenthal will have her crafts, baked goods, and herbal products for sale. Join us!

Complete event details are on our website: click here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Preview for Saturday - watch the video

We're really excited that our old friend Ken Jackson will be joining us on Saturday, the day of our New White Wine Release. Ken will be there to sign copies of his book, Manifest West. We'll be pouring our delicious new '09 white wines: Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, and Malvasia.

Ken taped an interview for us about his book and about our history together. Here's a teaser. Click the link below the video to watch the entire interview on YouTube.

View the entire 2-minute interview on YouTube by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

After the Frost

These lovely grape vines are Cabernet Sauvignon. They survived the frost quite well as they bud out after the others. It'll be fun to harvest them this year. They are now 5 years old and should be able to support a pretty good crop.

The Malvasia are rising from dead. This is exciting to watch. Vines can send up shoots time and time again, especially when they are young. Maybe we will get a small crop next year.

The older Tempranillo and Syrah are not doing as well as the others. I don't think we will be getting much of a crop from them this year but I remain hopeful. Maybe they are just hiding a little longer to make sure no more frosts knock them down. Who knows? It's possible.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


That would be Winemaker's Dinner, a totally delightful affair this past Tuesday May 11 at FnB Restaurant in Scottsdale. I've blogged about this place before - the brainchild of Pavle Milic and Chef Charleen Badman, that features local Arizona grown produce and a totally Arizona wine list. Every Tuesday for the next several months an Arizona Winemaker is featured for a fix prix wine-food pairing. Joan and I (accompanied by Jim Wiskerchen of mywinehelper) kicked off the first event.

Sparkling Nebbiolo Rose started off the evening and prepared everyone's palate for the next three courses. 2008 Chardonnay was paired with goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms, lightly battered, quickly fried and placed in a puddle of lemon buerre blanc. Wow! That one worked. Fresh mixed sauteed mushrooms (I got morels and shitake and portobellos) on perfectly al dente garganelli with ramps and topped with lemon bread crumbs resonated with the 2007 Sangiovese Select. The profound earthiness of the mushrooms nailed the 22 month oak barrel aged wine.

The finale was quickly grilled squab dressed with zucchini, olive and almond relish for the carnivores and oven broasted halibut with toasted almonds in the same sauce for Joan and me. 2008 Estate Syrah was the wine match. Perfecto was the consensus. Chef Charleen tickled our palates with fresh peanut brittle and chocolate brownies as a finishing course. I can't wait until the next one.

And by the way be sure to check out the Arizona Republic news article that provides more of the back story of this unique restaurant and specifically mentions the 2008 Chardonnay.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Before and After

This is the life of a farmer. One day everything looks great. I walk around the vineyard and marvel at how well the vines are growing and thinking what a great harvest we will have-- if only the predicted frost doesn't happen that night---and the next day when I walk the vineyard all the green is gone. The whole vineyard is brown. It's hard to believe it is the same vineyard. But it is. All a farmer can do is hope the rest of the season is good and maybe, just maybe, there will be a secondary fruit set, at best much smaller but still, it is hope. That is the life of a farmer.