Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Looking Back 5 Years: Kathryn's story

Gearing up for our 5th Anniversary Celebration in September, we’re asking each member of the Mueller family to remember back to 5 years ago and share their story.


Kathryn, 2012
Exactly five years ago, I was in New Mexico for the summer, singing with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. It was a wonderful summer of music and I got to share a house in the juniper-dotted hills with my dear friend and colleague Nathan (we call him Original Nathan – you’ll see why when you read on), but I was eagerly anticipating my return to Tucson to get ready for the Grand Opening of Canelo Hills.

Since I arrived in Tucson in 2004 for grad school at the U of A, I’d become more and more involved in Canelo Hills over the years: rounding up music student friends for volunteer planting days each spring (we were rewarded with lunch, beer and tractor rides), helping my mother in the vineyard, building our website, and doing publicity for our pre-opening Wine and Farm Festival and the Grand Opening. By August we had our first vintage in bottles, and we were ready for September 22.

Opera Tailgating in 2007
Tailgating at the Santa Fe Opera, I shared a bottle of Canelo Hills wine with my Chorale buddies. They were amazed, first of all that it was good (of course my parents’ wines are delicious and well-crafted!), and second that my parents were really going to do this winery thing, to live their dream. In the months leading up to opening it was fun to talk with friends, colleagues, and new acquaintances about this big adventure my family was about to have.

Opening Day: Sept. 22, 2007
And then the adventure arrived. For Grand Opening day I rounded up Original Nathan to help pour, and we shared my parents' wines from behind the thick mesquite slab of our brand-new tasting table. The varnish was about 95% dry. We were busy! Many friends came down to Sonoita to be a part of the excitement, and new customers wandered in to try our wines, which were a hit. At the end of the day the whole family was exhausted, but happy. It was the first of many exhausting but rewarding days at Canelo Hills.

I now live in Raleigh, NC with my husband Nathan (New Nathan, or now, just Nathan) and I still do marketing work for Canelo Hills remotely. I’m super excited to fly to Arizona for our 5th Anniversary Celebration in September. Please come visit us that weekend, and share your story of Canelo Hills!
Kathryn and New Nathan at Canelo Hills