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So life took a strange, unexpected turn last week, and things did not go nearly as well as I planned. As a result, I ended up in Willcox for the weekend, visiting a few friends, tasting a few wines, and also helping the winery I work for as my day job (Passion Cellars) get ready for our first grapes of the year.  Suffice to say, I needed to take my mind off a few things that went dreadfully, shockingly wrong.

Here are a few highlights; Wine reviews should resume next week.

Gary Kurtz, of Greater Than Wine, is doing an Orange Chardonnay this year; here’s a punchdown on said fruit.

Here, Gary is checking a hydrometer to measure residual sugar content, to see if the wine has finished fermenting. He plans to leave it on the skins for an additional two weeks after fermentation is complete.

Malvasia Bianca grapes and the 2016 Vintage at Bodega Pierce

A weekend in Willcox

Fearless and Fun Wine Folk on the Bench. From Left to Right: Gary Kurtz, Robert Carlson, Dan Pierce, and Jeff Hendricks.

Lisa Strid, of Aridus, running me through a barrel tasting.

A weekend in Willcox

Cleaning barrels and bins at Passion Cellars

A weekend in Willcox

Chardonnay grapes at Carlson Creek Vineyards

A weekend in Willcox

Vermentino at Chiricahua Ranch Vineyards

Jason lifting off a tote of Chardonnay, pressed and ready to begin fermentation soon, sourced from Carlson Creek

A weekend in Willcox

Dry Ice Clouds

A weekend in Willcox

A friend of mine came up and shared their bottle of the 2015 Colibri GSM Rosé, from Burning Tree Cellars. It is a blend of 37% Syrah, 35% Mourvedére, and 28% Grenache.