Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring 2011 - 2nd Chapter

This is going to be a short chapter.  I am getting the telling of the worst news over with as quickly as I can.  This is the Grenache block.  Can't see anything?  Well, that is because there is nothing to see.  Not one alive Grenache vine.  No heroic tales of survival here. We will be planting the Grenache block over to Tempranillo.  I suppose you want to know how the Tempranillo is doing this spring.  That will be the next chapter in the Saga of the Hail Storm.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring 2011

This is my first blog about the vineyard in a while.  After last August's hail storm that severely damaged the vines, I haven't known what to say.  Now that spring is here, the truth of what did and what did not survive is unfolding.  What I am learning about farming is that it is not romantic and only sometimes fun. But it is life which at its best is beautiful and awesome.  At its worse, heart breaking.  Like all disasters, there is bad news in the vineyard.  And, like all disasters, there are some miracles of survival.  I will share with you the good and the bad as the truth of it becomes apparent.  I am choosing to start with the miracle of life.

There will be no Malvasia this year.  Every trunk and cordon is dead. However, since these vines were own-rooted, the roots are sending up new shoots, not every plant, but some. I will be able to train these for future fruit. I find that miraculous.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Welcome to our new website

Hot off the presses--er, server--is our fresh, redesigned website.

Click here to check it out. The idea was to keep it familiar and easy to navigate, but to give it a cleaner, more modern look.

What do you think? I'm curious for feedback. I've viewed it in different browsers and on the iPhone, but if anything looks funny to you let me know, and please tell me what browser/smartphone you're using. You can comment here or send me an email at Thanks!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wine Spectator - May 2011

The latest issue of Wine Spectator carries a nice travel article on Tucson, Arizona. Those of us who call this area home, know the geographic and climactic beauty of the area. We also love the southwestern cultural variety and the food and wine culture of our upscale cowboy town. Of course no trip to Tucson would be complete without a visit to the Sonoita/Elgin wine region. Wine Spectator reporter Tim Fish made a very quiet visit to the area a few months back. Subsequent rumors suggested that something might show up in the May 2011 issue. Would he would choose CHV&W as one of the featured wineries?

"Tim makes the wine from grapes grown by his wife, Joan" (p78).

Very cool and very exciting. Nice photo of the building too. If you are a member of you can read the entire article by following this link. Otherwise go fetch a copy from your favorite news stand.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What ever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see. . .

As we hummed our way through verses of "1399 bottles of wine on the wall", "the song that never ends" and other notables Adele, Nicole, Matt, Stef, Mike and Eve came together to form a human bottling line. 1007 L (plus/minus) of 2009 Syrah from the Willcox vineyard formerly known as Sweet Sunrise Vineyard were neatly packaged into familiar Canelo Hills wine bottles.

Nicole and Adele supervise quality control

Stef wrastles with the filler

Matt and Mike Shrink-em and label-em

Eve accepts the funnel challenge

This is a great Syrah, that will be ready for our Labor Day Red Wine release.

Come and get it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Website Launch next week

It's finally (almost) here! Our shiny new Canelo Hills website is all built, and after some further testing it will be online next week. Here's a preview of what it will look like:

I've had a lot of fun re-designing and building it again from scratch. It's hard to believe it's time to let my creation, which has been living on my computer for months, out into the world.

We'll send out an email next week announcing the launch of the site. Not on our email list? Click here to join.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Merlot Bottling

Hal Deb, Scott and Lisa were the bottling crew for our first ever bottling of our Merlot.  The fruit is from the 09 harvest from Rancho Rossa Vineyards.  They all took a Friday off to drive down from Phoenix and Tucson to help.  They got the job done early and had time to enjoy the results.  They all agree it will be a great wine when we release it this summer.  Thanks to you all.