Page Springs Cellars: 2014 Counoise

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I’ve been getting into Counoise lately thanks both to the little bit in the blend for the 2014 Supernova from Deep Sky Vineyard, as well as the excellent Rosé from oDDity I tasted at the Verde Valley Wine Festival (which will be getting its own entry later, as well as being one of the featured wines in the next issue of The Noise). I remembered I had this bottle of the 2014 Counoise I obtained after a day of bottling at Page Springs and decided to finally give it a taste.

2014 Counoise

The 2014 Counoise from Colibri, made by Page Springs Cellars. Note that pale color.

The Wine: The Page Springs Cellars 2014 Counoise is 100% Counoise, sourced from Colibri Vineyard in the Chiricahua Mountains, between the towns of Paradise and Portal.  I’ve talked a bit about this vineyard and it’s unique geological setting and terroir in the past. I’m not sure what this wine was aged in, but judging by the palate, I would have guessed new oak of some kind; more on that in a bit.  The wine was made by the PSC team at the cellar and production facility for PSC in Cornville, AZ.  It is a very rustic, pale, translucent rose-red color.

The Nose: Counoise, from what research I’ve done, is often described as a delicate grape. The biggest thing I get on the nose of this wine off the bat is an overwhelming (for such a delicate wine) aroma of cedar, which clouds much of the other scents in this wine. This is an aroma I normally associate with the use of new oak, which is something I feel should not have been done in this vintage–unless this is the typical white pepper aroma normal to Colibri taken up to an extreme. (Which I doubt because I seem to be getting entirely separate notes of white pepper, unless I really have no idea what white pepper is like.) Additional notes of forest floor, blueberry, rosemary, papaya, strawberry, and clove emerge from the glass when the wine is left to sit open for a few minutes. On day 2, the oak notes are more muted, allowing for the fruit to emerge.

The Palate: This light-bodied red has very high acidity–which apparently is the norm for Counoise. The wine opens with notes of cedar, sandalwood, and white pepper, with notes of cherry, boysenberry, mint, and dragonfruit.  The finish lasts for 1 minute and 3 seconds, with notes of blueberry, sour papaya, white pepper, clove, and cinnamon.  As the wine opens further, it gains a sort of juicy-fruit flavor bubble gum note that reminds me a lot of the Idiopinkracy.

The Pairing: I paired the 2014 Counoise with some cheeseburgers, which worked really well; the high acidity of this wine cut through the fat. You could also pair this wine with brisket or ribs, depending on the spices and sauces used.  For a vegetarian pairing, a stew or chili might work, as might gardenburgers.

Impressions: If this wine was aged in new oak, whether French, American, or Hungarian, I feel like it was a bad call.  My personal opinion is that a grape this delicate should probably be treated like a Pinot noir–but then so many American Pinot Noir vintages from California are also getting slammed with new oak.  Now, that being said, Colibri is known for having a unique spicy character, so it is possible that I’m misreading these characters differently in this 2014 Counoise because I’m more used to how this particular spice characteristic manifests in Syrah, Grenache, or Mourvedre coming from this site, and perhaps Counoise is affected differently.

That being said, there are some flavor notes in common with this vintage, the latest vintage of the Incanto Rosé (which has some Counoise), and the Idiopinkracy Rosé from oDDity Wine CollectiVe: a sort of bubblegum/passionfruit/papaya note on the palate and the nose. Furthermore, as much as I like the idea of Counoise as an alternative to Pinot Noir in Arizona over Grenache, my understanding (courtesy of Bryce Strickland of Deep Sky) is that it is really difficult to farm and doesn’t like the monsoons too much.

Personified, the 2014 Counoise makes me think of a renegade hipster chef, fond of fusion cuisine.  You might not always like what she’s offering up on any given day, but it’s always interesting, novel, and unique, and worthy of exploration.

In The Vineyard: Bryce Strickland, head of farming at the Deep Sky Vineyard (which I think has the largest planting of this grape in the state), has the following to say about farming this varietal: “It’s actually kind of a challenge to grow this varietal in the sense of when to pull the fruit off at the right brix. It just seems to kind of want to keep going and going…the monsoons seem to mess it up more than other variety. Soil type and irrigation regimes appear to make a big difference in quality. [It’s] Also very prone to fungus due to cluster density combined with big ass grape size.”

2014 Counoise

Another view, at sunset, you can see just how pale this wine is. This, from what I’ve heard, is normal for Counoise.

Podcast: Arizona Vigneron’s Alliance at the Verde Valley Wine Festival

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In this podcast, I hang out with the three founding members of the AVA (Arizona Vigneron’s Alliance): Kent Callaghan (Callaghan Vineyards), James Keenan (Caduceus Cellars/Merkin Vineyards), and Todd Bostock (Dos Cabezas). These men have set it upon themselves to unify the Arizona industry and glean some insight into what our future may hold. This Question and Answer session was held at the Gazebo at the Verde Valley wine festival. Take a listen!

(This was so much fun that the folks at the Verde Valley Wine Festival have asked me to moderate next year!)

arizona vigneron's alliance

Founding members of the Arizona Vigneron’s Alliance: Kent Callaghan, Todd Bostock, and James Keenan.

Laramita Cellars: 2016 Roussanne

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Laramita Cellars is a new wine label (relatively speaking) in Arizona, that just had its inaugural release party last month at AZ Wine Company in Willcox. While I wasn’t able to attend the release party, I did make it down to Phoenix the next day to get a bottle of his Rosé, and Greg Gonnerman, the owner, and producer, was kind enough to give me a bottle of his 2016 Roussanne as well. Readers may know Greg as the owner-grower of Chiricahua Ranch Vineyards also, though I don’t think I’ve reviewed anything that’s come from fruit he’s grown yet, other than the podcast I recorded with Amber Gates and the Sand-Reckoner Vermentino last fall.

The name of the winery connected to an obscure piece of Arizona history: the small town of Laramita was once the first port of entry into Arizona from Mexico. Eventually, the town went defunct, and now only exists as a concrete marker in the desert somewhere near Douglas. (Also, expressed in two words, it means “the twig.”)

2016 Roussanne

The 2016 Roussanne from Laramita Cellars, against a morning sky with gathering clouds.

The Wine: The grapes for the 2016 Roussanne were sourced from Greg Gonnerman’s vineyard, Chiricahua Ranch Vineyards. It is 100% Roussanne. The wine itself was made at the Sand-Reckoner Vineyards production site. Greg made the overarching decisions, while Rob Hammelman oversaw the daily winemaking tasks throughout fermentation and aging. I feel like this wine may have undergone a partial MLF but I could be wrong. The wine was fermented and aged in neutral French oak, and is a vibrant straw gold color.

EDIT: Greg Gonnerman reports the following: “The Roussanne was partially fermented in neutral oak and partially fermented in stainless. After fermentation everything went into stainless. Based on the fluctuations of pH post primary fermentation we believe that it went through a partial MLF before being sulfured.”  

The Nose: Apple and baking spices are the predominant opening notes to the nose of the 2016 Roussanne. These notes intermingle with honey, peach, Juan Canary melons, Meyer lemon, and floral notes of chamomile, and cliff rose. As the wine opens up, a scent like crushed flint emerges.

The Palate: This full-bodied white wine opens with explosive flavors of green apple and vanilla baking spices, which intermingle with starfruit, melon, crushed flint, chamomile, and white tea. There is a touch of thyme on the mid palate along with a creamy vanilla texture that I suspect owes more to the barrel fermentation than any sort of malolactic fermentation on the finish which fades into flint and flowers, lasting for 40 seconds. This wine has a medium acidity.

The Pairing: I want to pair the 2016 Roussanne with duck tacos, or fried fish tacos, but it will pair with a wide variety of foods.  I myself accidentally paired this wine with a slightly spicy orange sesame chicken and it worked very well.  For a vegetarian pairing, I would use jackfruit as a fake bbq dish.

Impressions: In the past, honestly, I’ve been kind of on the fence about Roussanne; wanting to like it, but usually finding it underwhelming.

To me, this vintage is the first vintage of this varietal that actually lives up to the hype of this grape. I don’t know whether it’s the quality of the fruit that this wine was made from (Greg Gonnerman does grow some beautiful grapes, from all accounts), or that I just prefer Rob Hammelman’s winemaking style over others who have made wines from this grape, but I dig it.  I’m looking really forward to drinking the Orange wine Rob made from grapes from the same vineyard, harvested the same day to see how it compares (and frankly, because I love Orange Wines).

Personified, the 2016 Roussanne would be a stellar photographer and photojournalist, who is down to earth and dabbles with fusion cuisine in their spare time.

 

Podcast: Mayhem with Gary, Cocktails Edition

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A month ago, I bought myself a bottle of the Three Wells distillery Gin, made with Arizona botanicals. I don’t know much about cocktails, but Gary does… so he made some with me and we proceeded…. okay, I proceeded… to get pretty schnockered. Here’s some instructions on cocktails, a little bit of history about the cocktails we selected, and us having fun, with an Arizona-made spirit.  It was a windy day, so I apologize for the bad audio. So… Welcome to mayhem with Gary, Cocktails Edition.

Deep Sky Vineyard: 2014 Supernova

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Deep Sky Vineyard just opened their tasting room in Sonoita. I haven’t been yet (I’ve been chained to the tasting room and unable to visit Sonoita so far this year), but I’ve encountered the Asmundsons and their wines at several festivals throughout the state. I picked up the 2014 Supernova at the Arizona Wine Grower’s Association gala and festival back in January when I dragged Bess with me.  In honor of their new tasting room, I decided to crack open my bottle, play around with my camera, and drink.

2014 Supernova

The 2014 Supernova is a rustic blend of Mourvedre and Counoise.

The Wine:  The 2014 Supernova is a blend of 84% Mourvedre, and 16% Counoise, sourced from the Deep Sky Vineyard in the Willcox AVA, specifically, the Willcox Bench.  This wine was made at the Aridus facility in Willcox, by Rob Hammelman. There is definitely some evidence on the palate of oak, so I would guess this wine saw a little bit of New French or Hungarian oak. If I had to guess, the Counoise in this blend is likely imparting additional acidity, but I’m not all that familiar with it as a varietal. I will probably be exploring Counoise next, or at least before May is out–with a bottle I have from PSC.

The Nose: The nose of the 2014 Supernova wine opens with notes of cherry, orange peel, plum, cavendish pipe tobacco, bay leaves, geraniums, boysenberry, and anise, along with those classic notes of Willcox dust.  Hints of sandalwood and vanilla indicate this wine was aged in oak. As the wine opens in the glass, additional notes of violets and rosemary emerge in the glass.

The Palate: The 2014 Supernova is a big and juicy medium-bodied red with notes of mulberry, cherry, orange peel, and burly tobacco on the opener, intermingling with black pepper, the classic dusty notes I associate with Willcox, a vibrant acidity, and leathery tannins. As the wine opens, additional floral notes of violets and lilac emerge, along with sandalwood. The finish lasts for 1 minute and 25 seconds, with notes of anise, dust, burly tobacco, and mulberry. This wine, to me at least, tastes pretty well balanced between fruit, tannins, and acidity, but also a little rustic.

The Pairing: My immediate desire is to have this wine with a venison or elk roast, with rosemary, prickly pear marinade, roasted potatoes, and squash.  A vegetarian or vegan pairing for this wine requires something equally savory; a dish of rice and wild mushrooms, with slow-roasted vegetables, sounds ideal…. but be sure you know what you’re doing and know your fungi.

Impressions: I really enjoy the rustic, earthy quality of Arizona Mourvedre, and this particular blend has a nice bit of extra acidity, imparted by the Counoise.  The Counoise also gives it a distinctly masculine character, versus so many other Mourvedre vintages I’ve imbibed from Arizona. Personified, this wine makes me think of a shepherd, watching the stars to tell the season, looking for the change between winter and spring.

Fun Facts about Mourvedre: Mourvedre is the same grape as Monastrell in Spain. The variety was possibly introduced to Catalonia by the Phoenicians around 500 BC, making it one of the oldest grapes in the Western Meditteranean. (Whether from North Africa or the Levant is another question entirely.)  It may also be related to–or the same grape as the Bulgarian grape Mavrud, but no genetic testing has been done to determine this.

Sierra Bonita Vineyards: 2014 Hacienda Blanca

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Rhone-style blends are, on average, the most common red you see in tasting rooms in Arizona.  Rhone-style White blends, though, are something I’ve found that I don’t see very much, as most people seem to prefer to leave their white vintages as single varietals. Sierra Bonita Vineyards, however, has two (or at least, had two in January) Rhone-style white blends that were very different, even though both blends were exactly the same year.  It’s a sign of just what a difference a year, and a bit of oak, can make. I’ll be examining the 2015 vintage in the future, most likely, but let’s look at the 2014 Hacienda Blanca first.

The 2014 Hacienda Blanca at Tonto Natural Bridge State park.

The Wine: The 2014 Hacienda Blanca (or “White Estate”) is a 50/50 blend of Marsanne and Grenache Blanc. The grapes were all sourced from the estate vineyard of Sierra Bonita Vineyards, located in the Willcox AVA. The wine was aged on 100% Stainless Steel. I acquired this bottle at the AWGA wine festival in January. The wine is a pale gold in color.

The Nose: This wine was described as a citrus bomb, and that’s no joke at all. Intense notes of Meyer lemon, lime, and citron form the opening of this wine, but there are additional subtle notes of apricot and red apple as well.  As the wine warms up from its original serving temperature, these citrus notes begin to fade, and the apricot and apple notes become more prominent.  Slight floral notes can be found: gardenia and orange blossom, specifically.

The Palate: The Citrus explosion continues on the palate, with bright notes of lime, and Meyer lemon.  As on the nose, additional notes of apple, pear, and apricot emerge as the wine warms, intermingling with peach, and Willcox dust. This is a fuller-bodied white blend compared to the average Malvasia, but not as full-bodied as most Arizona Viognier, with medium acidity.  The finish lasts for 34 seconds, filled with notes of peach, lemon, and limestone dust.

The Pairing: I would pair this wine with a greek-style chicken made with lemon and garlic, with a side of rice or Spanikopita. For a vegetarian pairing, I feel like this wine would go well with a medley of roasted zucchini and squash, dusted with a bit of sea salt and tarragon.

Impressions: I will admit I didn’t find this wine terribly complex, but, as I’ve stated countless times before, that’s not a bad thing. After all, these sorts of blends have been popular in the Rhone Valley for generations for good reason. It’s a good, simple white blend for a simple home-cooked meal, or on a warm day. That all being said, I feel that the red blends and varietals produced by Sierra Bonita Vineyard are a bit of a stronger presence, and I tend to like them a bit more because I like wines that make me think.

Personified, this wine is a quiet, easy-going gentleman in a Hawaiian shirt that likes to spend his time on the beach, reading a book, sipping margaritas under a parasol.

Flying Leap Vineyards and Distillery: 2014 Tannat

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I’ve had this bottle with its hauntingly apocalyptic label in my stash for a while, and I decided on the morning of April 5th that it would pair quite well with the vegan chili I had decided to make… and therefore, I had no choice. (For the recipe exploits, follow the series on Instagram. I tried to make it humorous. Hopefully, I succeeded.) After spending the day revisiting Verde Valley vintages of Tannat from the same year, with two glasses at D.A. Ranch, I then drank the Flying Leap 2014 Tannat bottle in the evening.

The real reason I did this, for the record, is because I wanted to see what particular flavors could be construed as artifacts of differing terroir within those regions, not just because I really felt like drinking most of my day off.  I felt that comparing the same grape from the same vintage might provide some definitive clues about what constitutes specific terroir within different regions of Arizona.  Not only that, Tannat is a fascinating grape, and decidedly among my favorites worldwide… let alone within Arizona. This particular vintage also recently won a gold medal at a wine competition in San Diego, so it’s been in the news lately.

2014 Tannat

The 2014 Tannat from Flying Leap, gains floral notes after decanting for a few hours.

The Wine: Sourced from Flying Leap’s Willcox block 2 Vineyard, the 2014 Tannat aged for 14 months in barrel, sleeping in a selection of mixed new, 1, and 2-year-old French Oak barrels. The label design, according to a conversation I had with Mark Beres a year ago, was purposely designed to be somewhat apocalyptic in appearance–and I really dig it. As I mentioned above, this Tannat won a gold medal at a recent competition in San Diego. This wine was made by Rolf Sasse and the Flying Leap team in their winery in Sonoita. Like most Arizona Tannat vintages, this wine is a dark, brooding violet in the glass.

The Nose: The nose opens with notes of dark fruit: cassis, pomegranate, dark cherry, plum, and the telltale scent of Willcox dust.  Hints of mint and petrichor also emerge from the glass, intermingling with subtle notes of lilac, vanilla, and violets.  As the wine opens up, additional notes of perique pipe tobacco, rosemary, black pepper, and cinnamon emerge, making for a rich sensory experience.

The Palate: The palate upon opening the bottle is rather tightly-wound. Notes of sour cherry, prickly pear, and cassis intermingle in the opening with star anise, elderberry, and pomegranate.  There are intense tannins that bind the wine together. It has a more abrupt midpalate just out of the bottle than the earlier two Tannat wines we’ve been examining.  The acidity of this wine is less prominent than the Verde Valley vintages as well.  The finish just out of the bottle lasts for exactly 1 minute, with notes of Willcox dust, prickly pear, and cassis with an intense tannic backbone. After decanting for two hours, this wine gains notes of cedar, and the fruit notes separate from the tight, leathery tannins, which are still present.  Floral notes also emerge on the palate at this time. The finish, after decanting, lasts for a minute and 10 seconds.

The Pairing: I paired this wine with the spicy vegan chili I made, which I will one day actually write down the recipe for… or probably write it down and post it in my friend’s vegan food blog… anyway, the point is, I more or less designed this recipe around what I remembered this wine to have tasted like, and it worked beautifully: the combination of spices and savory flavors meshed well with this wine, so that particular combination is what you should seek.  A carnivorous option would be lamb or steak… or a non-vegan chili with the same collection of spices: rosemary, chili, paprika, basil, and garlic.

Impressions: In the same way that I have been collecting Capra vintages from D.A. Ranch for a vertical tasting, I am planning on doing the same for Flying Leap Tannat vintages.  I still have one bottle left.  I have heard hints that the 2015 vintage tastes even better.  I may need a new wine fridge soon for all this research.  I digress.

I strongly recommend cellaring this vintage for another few years, or at least decanting for two hours if you’re going to drink this wine now.  The 2014 Tannat from Flying Leap will only get better with age.

Personified, this Tannat is lurking in between our other vintages in our research binge; more mature than the 2014 Capra, but less professorial than the reserve. Think part-time associate professor of history or literature, rather than a full-time tenured one.

2014 tannat

Beware the Tannat in the Tall Grass.

Thoughts about Arizona Tannat in General:  Overall, Tannat seems to be the one grape that does great in the three major wine regions of Arizona: the Verde, Sonoita AVA, and the Willcox AVA. I would be intrigued to see what this grape might do in Chino Valley, but due to the colder environs, I am unsure that this would be a wise course.  (Then again, since Tannat does tend to bud out later than some other varietals, it might pass through unscathed).  As for specific terroir, I’d argue that while Willcox Terroir can be decidedly parsed by the specific flavor and scent of the dust of the Willcox Bench, for the Verde Valley, it’s more of an impression of higher acidity. More research is required on my part.

Podcast: David Day of Canton Cooperage

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Apologies for the odd posting schedule this month; Holy Week and Lent seems to do this to me every year, and invariably always catches me off guard with posts… but now we seem to be back on track.  Ish.  Which means it’s time for another podcast, and this is a fun one for the super curious, the super geeky, or both.  This time around, I sat down with David Day of Canton Cooperage.  We talked oak aging and barrel construction whilst drinking the 2013 Rune Viogner, and the Marselan from Cellar 433.  Hang on tight, this podcast is a lot of fun!

oak aging

Ever wonder just what’s going on inside an oak barrel while wine is aging inside? This is a pretty nifty diagram that shows what’s going on. Oak aging is, as it turns out, an incredibly complicated process.

The chemistry of oak and compounds added into wine while in barrel which affects the wine while it’s aging.

oak aging

These were the wines we drank while recording this podcast: the 2013 Viogner from Rune and the 2014 Marselan from Cellar 433.

D.A. Ranch: 2014 Reserve Capra

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I had a very, very ambitious 5th of April. I had decided to make my special vegan chili recipe (it is lent, after all… or was, still, when I did this: lent is over now, thank goodness!), and decided I wanted to drink Tannat with it. I had chosen the 2014 Flying Leap Tannat to be the pairing, but I also wanted to compare it with the same vintage from right here in the Verde Valley. To that end, I went to Dancing Apache and revisited both the 2014 Capra and the Reserve 2014 Capra, side by side… before returning home and sipping on Tannat from Willcox.

The reserve vintage of the Capra has some key differences in palate and production, so I felt it was best suited for an entry of its own. Unlike the “regular” 2014 Capra, there’s plenty of bottles left, but you should still grab it while you can.

2014 Reserve Capra

The 2014 Reserve Capra against the backdrop of a small creek at D.A. Ranch

The Wine: Information has largely been lacking on how this wine was made versus the non-reserve. I know future vintages made at Chateau Tumbleweed are designated as Reserve vs. Regular based on the location of vines within the vineyard block, but for 2014, I suspect this Reserve Capra was made in the same way as some other reserves at D.A.: the first free-run juice from the press was siphoned off and fermented seperately.  The only fact I have here is that this wine was aged in barrel for 18 months.  There is also a definite influence of new oak here, either French or Hungarian; I’d guess at least 20% new oak.  The color of this vintage is slightly more reddish-orange than the non-reserve; possibly due to the nature of barrel aging. This vintage was made at the Stronghold production facility and bottled at Chateau Tumbleweed.

The Nose: The nose of this wine feels heavier and more subtle than the regular 2014. Notes of smoke, wet earth, and subtle prickly pear, cassis, and raspberry emerge through the heavy vanilla and sandalwood notes imparted by the oak.  Subtle hints of perique pipe tobacco and cherry round out the nose.

The Palate: The palate again has a heavy influence of sandalwood and vanilla, with hints of pomegranate and sour cherry.  Cassis, iris, prickly pear, espresso, and heavy, leathery tannins round out a slightly more acidic mid-palate than the 2014 regular Capra. There also seems to be a more pronounced smoky flavor in this wine, but that may be partly due to the oak influence intermingling with the smoke taint from the Slide Fire. The finish lasts for 1 minute and 26 seconds and is filled with notes of damp clay, smoke, anise, and prickly pear. The finish is, for lack of a better word, more rounded than the 2014 non-reserve.

The Pairing: I honestly want to pair this with a good pipe smoke, more than food: something with a heavy latakia or perique component. The heavy (for Arizona, anyway) oak also reminds me of that most traditional Napa cab pairing: Steak. Portobello mushrooms, slow-roasted, would work for a vegan pairing.

Impressions:  The Oak influence in this vintage is decidedly huge, which is the biggest difference between this vintage and the regular Capra.  This feels more like the few Maderian AOC Tannat vintages I’ve had over the years with that huge load of tannins and sandalwood.

If the 2014 Capra was hyper, the 2014 Reserve Capra is more subdued.  Personified, this is a wine that is indifferent to what others think.  I am reminded of the classic archetype of a British literature or a history professor, with a tweed coat, surrounded by a halo of heavy pipe smoke while pouring over maps and language conjugation charts, something akin to the classic image we have of J.R.R. Tolkien… but it’s not quite him.  It is a wine that is perhaps deceptively simple, and I feel it needs more age to come into its own character.

I would recommend decanting this wine for three or four hours if you plan on drinking this wine soon.  I strongly advise that if you have a bottle of this, you should really age this for another five years or so for the beginning of its full potential. I readily admit that in this stage of the game, I prefer the non-reserve vintage a bit more, but that is my palate–if you really dig heavy oak, this is a wine you will enjoy now.

 

The Wine Monk Abroad: Rhode Island and the New England AVA

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As many of you are aware, my postings have been more sporadic than usual of late, for which I apologize. Lent always gets to me, and trying to get back in the groove of writing after a vacation is always a challenge in and of itself. I went back east, to visit my girlfriend in Rhode Island in March, and I decided to visit a few local wineries to see what I could learn about wine culture and wine-making there. The hope I had was that I could apply what I learned there to colder viticultural regions in Arizona, such as the Mogollon Rim, Chino Valley, Seligman, and Williams.

new england AVA

Cheers? Cheers.

Rhode Island, incidentally, was one of the few places I drank wine from when I was living in New England, back in my Seminary days. I spent a summer living in Newport thanks to a close friend and tried one or two wines produced there which I found “good,” versus the super-sweet stuff I had tasted coming from Vermont and Massachusetts; these wines came from Newport Vineyard. I purposely did very little research before going, as I wanted to come in with no expectations.

I found, much to my surprise, that Rhode Island sits smack dab in the middle of an AVA (the New England AVA) and there’s a pretty popular wine trail through the area, known as the Coastal Wine Trail.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to all of the vineyards I wanted to see or heard about (I sadly missed Verde Vineyard–which I would have loved to visit for patently obvious reasons… next time around.)  The vineyards which I specifically visited Newport Vineyards, which is probably the largest vineyard in Rhode Island, Greenvale Vineyard, Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard, and Westport Rivers, just over the border of RI, in Massachusetts.  The next time I go, I hope to hit a few others.

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