Friday, September 24, 2010

The Morning After

the rain, that is.  Wednesday it rained all day, maybe our last monsoon storm.  Thursday morning everything was glistening.  It made for a great photo shoot!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Love-Hate Relationship with Syrah Continues

All I can say now is, "Thank goodness for the Syrah!" The top picture shows how most of the vineyard is struggling to recover from the hail storm. The bottom picture is the Syrah. I spend a great deal of my summer wrestling with these vines, trying to tame and control their growth. For someone of my size, it is back-breaking work. And it seems no matter how hard I try, I cannot get them trained on the wires the way I want. I am usually not very happy with these plants until harvest, when they make a simply delicious wine for our customers. But this year is different. The vines are oblivious to the trauma they experienced. They are doing what they do best and are sprouting leaves as fast as they can. Hopefully, they will do the same with grape buds in the spring. Syrah, you just gottta love 'em!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon!

Chris Hamilton, owner of Rancho Rossa Vineyards, delivered a mighty nice load of Cab grapes to us on Sunday. Beautiful fruit!

It is now crushed and happily fermenting away. That is happy news. Thank you, Chris and Sarah!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Very Yummy Yummy Zin

What do you get when you blend together Arizona grown Zinfandel from three vintages (one of which was the 2007 late harvest crop)? You got it - very, very, yummy, Yummy Zin. We have been waiting a long time for this wine. The 2007 vintage dessert Zinfandel was tasty to the extreme and very popular. It was a small experimental batch that convinced me of the compelling power of Arizona fortified dessert wine. This past Saturday Mike and Stephanie (and their doggie Ella) and Matt and Nicole pitched in and bottled 140 cases of small bottles of this wine. Being a mixture of three vintages it is a "Non Vintage" wine and will be on the tasting room the first weekend in October.

Did I mention Adele? What a sweetie. The last time she helped bottle some wine it was the 2008 Sunrise and she was in utero. Matt and Nicole are understandably proud parents and Adele is about the most mellow, easy tempered and gentle soul I have met in the form of a 10 week old child.

Thanks Mike, Stephanie, Matt and Nicole!

ET - 08

The day before The Storm - Amber, Katelyn, Dave and Casey put in a full day's work bottling the 2008 Estate Tempranillo. Although Katelyn is new to the task, the others are old hands and within a case or two the group was humming like a well oiled 4-person powered machine. Seventy cases of absolutely scrumptious wine was bottled. As I was originally composing this blog the next night, The Storm blew in, the power went out and Joan and I were worried but (for the moment) oblivious to the vineyard damage that ensued. I haven't had the heart to get back to it until now, but thanks to the efforts and good wishes of these four and hundreds of other friends, fans and well-wishers, Joan and I are back on track. Another one of life's lessons learned. Mother Nature is has a mind and desire all of her own. The '08 Estate Tempranillo needs some serious bottle time - huge, dark, rich, oaky wine flavors of a classic Sonoita AVA wine. Look for it to be on the tasting table around New Year 2011. Amber by the way is working on a new member of the Polivchak family - due to arrive in 2011. There is always room for one more on the bottling line.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Canelo Hills gets a makeover

If you came down to Canelo Hills last weekend for our '08 Estate Syrah release, you might have seen our newly spruced-up front corral. Or maybe you followed the work in progress last month on our facebook page (scroll to August 18-23 for videos).

Here are a few photos of the completed winery park that Ian and Rhian designed and built to transform our empty front corral. We think it looks great! Come on down and see for yourself.

Click here to visit our website and view more photos of the new winery park.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Why I Love Grape Vines

Tim and I have been in communication with grape growing consultants around the country. They can't believe the damage that was done to our vines during the hail storm a couple of weeks ago. They have never seen damage this extensive. Yet, the vines don't seem to be paying attention. No matter what happens to them, they just keep on trucking. Time and time again, they send out new leaves in hope of renewal. I think that is a good lesson for all of us. That is why I love tending my vines.