Tag Archives: winemaker

Aridus Wine Company winemaker Lisa Strid is ready for 2018 harvest.

The summer months are a busy time of year for wineries and their winemakers and Arizona’s Aridus Wine Company is no different. With the growing season in full bloom winemakers and employees will be getting ready in the next few months to pick the grapes to make wine. At Aridus there is great anticipation for this years harvest as winemaker Lisa Strid spent the “off-season” in Australia working harvest in the Clare Valley.

Lisa has always been interested in Australian wine making so when the opportunity presented itself she jumped at the opportunity to spend 3 months learning techniques down under.

Lisa’s time in Australia

With Australia being in the southern hemisphere they have the opposite growing season and harvest than we do in Arizona. It’s not un-common for winemakers from up north to travel below the equator to work harvest and learn something new and build new relationships. Upon her return from Australia, Lisa answered questions about her trip and what she learned.

Why were you intrigued to go do a harvest in Australia?

I mostly wanted to learn.  The more you expose yourself to different ways of doing things, at different wineries in different regions, the more you learn.  Since I jumped right into full-time, year-round winemaking right out of school, I never had the experience of a harvest-hopping endless summer.  I’d definitely been itching to make it to the southern hemisphere for a harvest, but the timing hadn’t been right until this year.

What are Kirrihill’s specialties?

Kirrihill is the second largest winery in the Clare Valley, so they produce a whole range of wines, but they’re mostly focused on Riesling (which the region is known for), Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.  They do make a few small batch wines – my favorite amongst them being a Nero D’Avola made from fruit sourced from McLaren Vale.  Their Peacemaker Shiraz is very nice as well.

What practices were different?

Simply being at a larger scale in a region that’s well established meant that there were a lot of differences to how things are done in Arizona.  Nearly all of the grapes brought in were machine harvested.  So that means no whole cluster pressing of whites, and no stem inclusion on red fermentation.

They had a number of different cap management strategies for the reds – both open and closed top fermenters with automatic pumpovers that could be very easily adjusted and customized on the fly, fermenters with pulsed air systems and rotary fermenters.  Because of the sheer volume moving through the winery, it was necessary to get things through fermentation and stabilized as soon as possible, so there weren’t many cold soaks or extended macerations.

By the time I left, the regional Riesling we’d made early in the harvest season was ready for bottling. Also, everything’s measured in a different scale there – not just metric, but also sugars were measured in Baume rather than Brix. So I was doing a lot of mental conversion, especially at first.

What was the most fun while you were there?

I liked getting to know everyone.  It was a crew from all corners of the globe, and everyone had such great attitudes.

Do they have harvest customs food-wise?

Not really, but The Sevenhill Pub did a harvest worker special every Wednesday evening – burger and a pint for $20.  That’s about $14 USD.

What would Americans be surprised to learn from your ‘immersion’ there?

I didn’t even realize how great the rodeos are here in the US until I went to one there.  The Aussies have us beat hands down in things like education, public safety, health care, and quality of life, but our rodeos are way better.

There are also a ton of vehicles with massive bullbars on them, and at first I thought it was because Aussies are all just really into looking like bad asses, but it’s actually functional. It’s so common for kangaroos to jump out into the road, seemingly from nowhere, that it helps to have a bullbar so as not to destroy your car if you can’t avoid hitting one.

Did you have a favorite food?

Fresh passionfruit.

Were there kangaroos on the crush pad?!

Not on the crush pad, but pretty much everywhere else!  I’m an insect collector, and there were tons of giant rain moths – Trictena atripalpis – in the cellar starting in about mid-February.

What are you eager to try as a new technique at Aridus Wine Company?

I’ll be judiciously incorporating pulsed air into our protocols.

What did the Aussies ask you about life & winemaking in Arizona?

They were curious about the soils and the weather in the region, and wanted to know what varieties did well.  I think I forced them to be curious about Mexican food because I talked about it so much.

Did you develop an accent?!

No, but I did ask a co-worker here, “How are you going?” when I got back without even thinking about it.

2018 harvest at  Aridus Wine Company

When harvest begins in mid-July this will be the second year Aridus will be making wine from grapes grown on their own vineyards. Sauvignon Blanc and other white varietals will be the first to be picked. The winery in the Wilcox appellation of southeastern Arizona owns 40 acres of estate vineyard. The vineyard is split in to the “North Side” and the “South Side” with Turkey Creek as the dividing line.

“This estate vineyard defines a unique mix of mountain and desert fine wine grape growing,” explains winery owner Scott Dahmer. The winery also purchases grapes from other vineyards in Arizona and New Mexico.

The Aridus Wine Company winery is at 1126 North Haskell Avenue in Willcox. The winery’s tasting room is nearby, at 145 North Railview Avenue and is open Friday – Saturday from noon until 5:00 p.m.; appointments are not necessary. More info: 520/766-9463

Aridus Wine Company also has a  tasting room in the old town neighborhood of Scottsdale, at 7173 East Main Street. This tasting room is open Monday – Saturday 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm. The tasting room stays open until 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays. More info at 520/954-2676 or at their website.

 

 

Arizona Vignerons Alliance to host 1st annual Alliance Symposium and tasting

The newly formed non-profit Arizona Vignerons Alliance will be hosting its 1st Alliance Symposium on Saturday, Nov. 5th 2016 at The Farm at South Mountain. The day long symposium will include educational seminars, a picnic lunch with a live auction and concluding with The Grand Tasting.

az-wine-bucket-index
Photo courtesy of Miguel Guzman

what is the Arizona vignerons alliance?

The Arizona Vignerons Alliance (AVA) was formed in early 2016 to help protect the integrity of Arizona wines with the help of winemakers and growers providing consumer education. Through their submission process in the spring, 65 wines from 17 wineries were awarded the AVA certification.

Photo courtesy of Miguel Guzman
Photo courtesy of Miguel Guzman

Alliance Symposium schedule and tickets

The 1st Alliance Symposium will offer attendees a unique opportunity to hear about what makes Arizona vineyards and wines special in local, national and international wine community. After listening to the seminars attendees can take what they’ve learned and taste the wines to see for themselves. There are 2 ticket options available for the event.

The Full Magnum ($165.00/ticket)
9:30-10 a.m. Check in Donuts & Coffee
10-11 a.m. Seminar 1: Exploration of growing regions through wines with Pavle Milic
11:15 a.m. -12:00 p.m. Seminar 2: Digging into Arizona’s Wine Regions with Elaine Chukan Brown aka Hawk Wakawaka
12-2 p.m. Rosé Picnic & Live Auction in the Stone Grove at The Farm
2-5 p.m. Grand Tasting: Sample Arizona’s Alliance certified wines and meet the makers behind your  favorite Arizona wines.

The Split ($65.00/ticket)
2-5 p.m. Grand Tasting: Sample Arizona’s Alliance certified wines and meet the makers behind your favorite Arizona wines

To purchase tickets, see a list of certified wines and get more information please go to http://arizonavigneronsalliance.org/#events

The Farm at South Mountain is at 6106 S. 32nd St. Phoenix 85042

 

 

 

LOLA wine dinner at The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s with winemaker Seth Cripe to host

As the cool weather gets closer and closer it’s not only the snowbirds that will be returning to Phoenix but winery owners, winemakers and others returning to our sunny state. It is for that reason The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s will be hosting a LOLA wine dinner with founder & winemaker Seth Cripe flying in from his California winery to host the event.

Photo courtesy of LOLA
Photo courtesy of LOLA

About lola

LOLA was founded in 2008 after Florida native Cripe traveled the world at the age of 17 to work harvest and learn how to make wine before settling in Napa Valley. Currently this boutique winery make about 8,000 cases of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Dry Riesling. The winery works with sustainable and natural methods in an effort to protect the environment for years to come.

Photo courtesy of The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer's
Photo courtesy of The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s

the menu pairings

The dinner will be on Thursday, Sept. 22nd at 6pm with dinner being served at 6:30 and costs $95 per person. The 6-course menu is as follows.

Amuse Bouche
Raviolo al Uobo + brown butter + fried sage + black opal platinum caviar
1st course LOLA Dried Riesling * TBD
Corn soup + curry + citrus beurre poached crab + apple slaw
2nd course LOLA Chardonnay * TBD
Little neck clam + housemade linguini +  sauce au vin blanc + Hawaiian Black go lb salt  + Italian parsley + focaccia crumbs + Anna Maria Cortez Battarga
3rd course LOLA Pinot Noir * Russian River
Plank Patagonia salmon  + vanilla + Swiss chard + chanterelle mushroom + extra virgin olive oil
4th course LOLA Pinot Noir North Coast
Blackberry glazed lamb chops + white beans + kale + extra virgin olive oil + cracked pepper + Go lb. salt + demi glace
Dessert- Ice + Earth + Decadence
Wild raspberry sorbet + stilton + strawberry + valrhona chocolate chunk cookie
The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018 (602)626-5050 http://www.themarketphx.com/