Monday, July 26, 2010

A Great Run - the Great AZ Grape Stomp

Saturday morning was the first 5K race in the Great Arizona Grape Stomp, a series of 4 races in Arizona Wine Country sponsored by the AWGA. It was a beautiful Sonoita morning and a fun, well-planned event full of good spirits. My father beat his predicted running time by 10 minutes, and my mother, Charlie, and I, well...we got in walking under an hour!

The Canelo Hill Raisers: (L-R) Joan, Tim, Kathryn, David, Staci, Sharon, Kevin, Jayson and Fran

We had an awesome team of Canelo Hill Raisers for the race. Old friends Linda, David, Staci, Sharon & Kevin ran and walked with us, and we met Fran and Jayson for the first time and were glad to have them on our team. The team hung out at the winery post-race for muffins and mimosas made with my father's Sparkling Nebbiolo Rosé, a well-deserved treat.

After the race, Todd Bostock of Dos Cabezas WineWorks came over - we were in competition for the best team time. Without even seeing the official race results, he and my father conceded to each other (is that possible?). A bottle of bubbly was at stake, so everyone won.

More photos from race day are below. We're looking forward to next year! And encourage you to register for one of the 3 races still left in this year's Great AZ Grape Stomp.

Todd, Kelly, and Griffin Bostock of Dos Cabezas before the race

Our teammate Linda Wood of Square Top Ranch Alpacas and Joan chat while walking

Canelo Hill Raisers Kevin and Sharon, who seriously improved our team time

Kelly Bostock and the AWGA's Executive Director Rhonni Moffitt

The race stretches long down Elgin Road on a beautiful summer morning

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ready to Run

Here's my father sporting his Canelo Hill Raisers t-shirt, ready to run tomorrow in the Great Arizona Grape Stomp 5K. It's a gorgeous evening in Sonoita tonight, and should be a lovely crisp morning for the run tomorrow. My mother and my dog Charlie and I will be walking. Looking forward to seeing some of you there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's Starting!

It's just amazing to watch the vines go from brown sticks to fully leafed out with fruit turning purple in only a few months. These, of course, are Tempranillo grapes, always the first to start the ripening process. These 3 year old vines are from our upper vineyard. 2010 will be their maiden voyage; picked, crushed, made into wine for the first time. That is a good thing as the older, lower vineyard was hit hard by the May 1st frost. We will have a harvest this year.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In the Can

Actually in the stainless steel tank. I combined all the barrels of the 2008 Tempranillo into this tank to settle and to do a little bulk aging. The aging in the oak barrels had reached a lovely spot so it was time to think about bottling the wine. It will need 4-6 months of bottle aging to show it's magnificence. This is a fully concentrated and complex Tempranillo. Estimated release? - New Year's 2011.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Congresswoman Giffords Visits Sonoita-Elgin Wine Country

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords visited Arizona's premier wine country this weekend. In her first visit to the Sonoita-Elgin area she got the chance to sample Arizona wines and we got the chance to discuss our opposition to HR5034 which would restrict our ability to send wine outside of Arizona. It was great to see her take an interest in the legislative issues that impact us.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Team Canelo Hills

July 24, 2010 in Sonoita will be the first leg of the very first AWGA Grape Stomp - a 5 kilometer fun run and walk. We are recruiting hardy souls to join the Canelo Hill Raisers (name suggested by our dear friend Jay Branegan in Washington DC) who will run (Tim) and walk (Joan and Kathryn) the distance basking in the cool, fragrant morning air and glorious sights of a Sonoita morning. We have received a challenge from Todd and Kelly of Dos Cabezas - the best team time gets a bottle of sparkly to celebrate. Best time? Hah, who cares? Competition? Now you're talking.

If you join our team you'll get a team t-shirt, coffee and OJ and coffee cake back at our winery after the event, no charge for wine tasting at CHV&W for that day, a team photo posted on this blog, bragging rights, unlimited use of our hose, and a fun time.

When you register (click here for link) be sure to indicate you want to join the Canelo Hills team.

Don't put it off. Do it! It'll be something to tell your great, grand children about or great, grand nieces and nephews, or doggies . . . .

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wine, Oregon-style

I'm in Oregon for three weeks to sing at the Oregon Bach Festival. Besides the music and the great colleagues that I'm with, I'm loving the weather, the berries at the farmer's market, and of course the wonderful local wine and beer. On a free day my boyfriend Nathan and I drove down to the Umpqua Valley to visit some wineries. The scenery was stunning and the wineries small and personal, like in Sonoita.

First we went to Girardet Wine Cellars. We headed there because I met their winemaker, Marc Girardet, at a wine event last summer, and I really loved his Baco Noir. It was as tasty as I remembered, and we also enjoyed their Estate Riesling which is just slightly sweet.

Vines at Girardet and the Oregon hills in the background

Being in vacation mode we'd gotten a late start, so we asked Cedar at Girardet what winery we should visit if we only had time for one more. She recommended HillCrest Vineyard which is Oregon's oldest vineyard and winery. Dyson and Susan Demara do all the work themselves, with the help of their children, and they sell only from their tasting room and online.

In the HillCrest barrel room with Susan

Susan gave us a tour of the winery works and showed off their concrete fermenting tanks. We also got to barrel-taste a couple of wines including a wonderful oaked Chardonnay (and I thought I didn't like oaky Chardonnay!) and a Tempranillo which was nice and interesting to compare to our Arizona-grown Canelo Hills Estate Tempranillo. The wines we ended up taking home were a fantastic Zinfandel and their Inside Out, which is a white Pinot Noir (yes, white) and a really delicious and unusual wine. Now we just have to drink all this wine with our singer friends before flying home next week...

Nathan and the HillCrest winery dogs