Out of a fondness for grapes and fine wines and having owned and operated a boutique winery (Vollbehr Cellars) in eastern Iowa in the 80's, spawned a love for making premium wines. However, this love for wine making was placed on hold while I serve as Public Works director in Iowa, Oklahoma and then, for the City of Petaluma, CA, right in the heart of Sonoma County wine country.
During my tenure with Petaluma, my wife and I spent the next five years traveling the northern California and Oregon wine country viewing vineyards and sampling my favorite wine, Pinot Noir. We both attended classes at Santa Rosa Junior College on establishing and maintaining a vineyard. Equipped with my wine making experience and our new vineyard training, we decided to make our way back to this beautiful Arizona valley and bring with us the fine traditions of west coast grape growing and wine making. So it was spring of 2009, Del Rio Springs Vineyard was born.
Our 6 acre vineyard is located on an east facing bench overlooking the striking Chino Valley rimed by the Mingus Mountains on the east, the Bradshaw Mountain on the south and the Juniper Mountains on the west. Some visitors have likened this valleys micro climate to Arizona's new Napa Valley, as it has a similar mountain orientation, combined with the right amount of warm breezy days and cool nights.
After many months of preparation we began planting in 2009 with select Pinot Noir clones of 828, 667, 777, 115, Pommard and Martine clone. All of which go into the making of our premier reserve wine. This was followed by plantings of Carménère, Phoenix in 2010 and Vignoles in 2011. Our first crush of Pinot Noir and Carménère wine grapes was in the fall of 2013, followed by Phoenix 2014 and Vignoles 2015.
Our first commercial crush amounted to only 2.5 tons for the 2014 harvest; this has now grown to 9.5 tons for the 2019 harvest. The 2019 crush included Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat, Late harvest Vignoles white wines, and a Pinot Noir Rose. For red wines we have Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Zinfandel and of course Cabernet Sauvignon.
In addition to the rapid vineyard expansion, we have also acquired a new tasting room located in the Old Firehouse Plaza in the City of Prescott, which will officially open February 5, 2020, Wednesday to Sunday.