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Harvest Updates from Arizona

We recently came across the following article  that talks about a great harvest success in Arizona. For the full article please see: http://tucsoncitizen.com/pour-me-some-grapes/2012/10/17/celebrating-a-hearty-2012-wine-harvest-in-arizona/

Celebrating a Hearty 2012 Wine Harvest in Arizona

by on Oct. 17, 2012, under Arizona wines, EVENTS, new wines, Sonoita/Elgin region, Willcox Region, Wine people, Wine Tasting

Pillsbury Wines Mouvedre harvest 2012“Picking the Mourvedre grapes in the Pillsbury vineyards, Willcox, AZ

After two years of weather-beaten crops, 2012 is turning out to be one of the best grape harvests on record for Arizona vineyards. Better than usual rainfall, fewer hail storms, and generally all-around good farming has resulted in some of the nicest grapes and highest yields for Arizona winemaking in years.

As the 2012 grape harvesting season nears its end, I must say that Arizona winemakers are certainly acting much happier than they did during the past two growing seasons. Faces are beaming and most of them appear to be quite busy with all the work that tons and tons of freshly picked grapes create. Winemaker Sam Pillsbury recorded a running blow-by-blow of his winery’s harvesting on facebook beginning in early September:

Big heat spike in the last month had pushed the grapes a bit fast; we’re trying to slow things down so they reach their peak before we pick.

It’s always something at harvest though…

The 2-ton Friday Shiraz test pick pressed out beautifully; looks like we’ll be pickin’ more Shiraz tomorrow. Unless it pours.

‎14 Tons of Shiraz to go. Picked Grenache and Viognier already; still waiting for Mourvedre and Petite Sirah.

It’s still in process… We’re picking the last of our grapes tomorrow—Mourvedre… and it’s never tasted so deeply satisfying on the vine.

When I asked him to describe the harvest overall later in September, he responded:

We’ve really learned some things about getting richness and complexity from the grapes without just going for simple over-ripeness. And in that endeavor we picked a small amount of one grape earlier than we will next year, although we can use that wine to balance another pick that was too high in pH and alcohol to balance it out.

We are on a huge learning curve with our unique terroir and I really am hugely optimistic that our wines will continue to get better!

Better Pillsbury wines? Have you tried Pillsbury’s DIVA, or Wild Child White (and Red) yet? And the Pillsbury Symphony… oh my!

Curt Dunham of  Lawrence Dunham Vineyards described in his newsletter:

“We are literally up to our elbows in deep purple must, and have been scrambling to try to find places to not only ferment the grapes but to store the finished wine after pressing. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of new barrels and some temporary storage tanks. We were totally taken by surprise by the volume of fruit we picked from the entire vineyard. To put this year in perspective, we picked a total of 9 tons last year; 2012 yielded over 32 tons.”

Rod Keeling of Keeling Schaefer Vineyards summed it all up in a facebook posting:

87.76 tons of estate grown fruit harvested. Thankful for this great harvest of renewal.”

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