Cabernet Franc is a black-skinned French wine grape variety grown and most famously known as the third grape of Bordeaux . As a varietal wine, Cabernet Franc is light to medium bodied and often shows vegetal characteristics, in particular green bell peppers. It has herbaceous accents of tobacco and dark spice. While it has thinner skin and lower acidity, it is also known for its hardiness and often grown as an "insurance" grape.
Vignoles (Veen-YOLE) is a white wine grape which is a trouble free grower in the vineyard. It buds late and produces plenty of clean sweet fruit. This grape has the ability to readily adapt to the many varied climate zones within Arizona. More importantly, this grape has a thick skin so that clusters can hang on the vine from late September to as late as mid October. We believe that we may have the only plantings of Vignoles in Arizona.
In the vineyard, Vignoles retains a high acid and can also attain high sugar levels which is needed to produce quality late harvest and dessert wines. Vignoles is also capable of making a serious dry wine. Vignoles can have a luscious pronounced floral aroma of orange blossoms, with tastes of apricots, pineapples, honey, peaches, melons, and guava. As a sweet wine, Vignoles has the ability to compete with the great French Sauternes.
Clone Planted: 03 (R9-Conegliano, Italy)
The Carménère grape is a red wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc and Graves region of Bordeaux, France, where it was used to produce complex deep red wines. This very old and now rare Bordeaux variety, is thought to be the "grandfather" of Bordeaux grapes and on equal footing with Cabernet Sauvignon. The grape is also grown in Chile as well as in northern Italy's Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions.
Carménère wines are marked by sweet ripe black fruit and spice flavors. They are supported by velvity tannins and notes of coffee, and grilled meat. A member of the Cabernet family of grapes, Carménère creates wines with the charm of Merlot and the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon. Carménère is well suited for growing in this valley as it buds out late like the Cabernet Sauvignon but ripens earlier along with Merlot.
We believe that we may be the first Carménère wine producers in Arizona.
Clones Planted: Pommard, Dijon 115, 667, 777, 828 and Martini's Heritage Clone
The Pinot Noir (pronunced: penoˈnu-WAH) is possibility the greatest and most wonderful of all the black wine grapes. The name is derived from the French words for "little black pine cone" alluding to the grape variety's tightly clustered dark purple berries. Pinot Noir is a very difficult grape to grow. It is very particular as to the climate and soil it likes to grow in. Due to the fragile nature of this grape it is not only very challenging to grow it is also just as challenging to make a great wine. Pinot Noir has received its cult status as a result of the tireless effort of a few small production wineries throughout the US.
These premium wines come from cool climate vineyards that have devoted themselves to bringing out the best qualities Pinot Noir has to offer such as here in the upper end of Yavapai County's charming Chino Valley.
Clones Planted: DRS 02
The Phoenix grape is a white wine grape of German origin. It was developed by Dr. Gerhardt Alleweldt (1927-2005) at the Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding in Siebeldingen in 1964 as a hardy disease resistant cool climate Chardonnay type grape. A very rare grape in the US, the only known plantings are in Oregon and here in our Arizona vineyard.
Suited to cooler growing regions, Phoenix wines produced and aged in stainless steel tend to have notes of tropical fruit flavors likened to a crisp Chablis or when fermented and aged in French oak barrels produced a rich and fuller Burgundian style white wine.
We produced our first harvest of Phoenix in a dry Chablis style aged in stainless steel creating a wine having flavors of melon, elderflower and fresh citrus.