Vineyard Criteria


  • Before we settled on an  Arizona vineyard location, we examined the climate conditions  throughout the state such as Growing Degree Days, climate conditions,  elevations, and winter temperatures.  
  • The  location had to be cold enough in the winter to ensure that we would  not have a problem with Pierce’s disease, which will kill grape vines,  but warm enough to grow Pinot Noir.   
  • It  also had to have low humidity to minimize susceptibility to mildews and  mold allowing us to use organic based vineyard practices.
  • As we started to establish our vineyard blocks we found out that our  criteria came with a trade off.  Our first plantings of vines were  grafted onto 1103P which is a drought tolerant rootstock.  However, we  noticed after our first winter that we had some loses due to Crown  Gaul.  After contacting UC Davis, and Vintage Nursery, our vine supplier  with our problem, we found out that 1103P was cold tolerant down to  about 17 degrees and our winter temperatures were too cold for that  variety of rootstock.  Our solution was to plant future vines on a cold  tolerant Crown Gaul resistant rootstock such as 101.14 or 3309.   Subsequent planting have all been grafted onto those two rootstocks.

Description of Black Mesa Basin


  • At  4,550 ft above sea level, this basin is defined by both elevation and  soil, but it is the unique weather pattern that makes this area truly  special.   Influenced by the cooling effects of the cool air from the  Grand Canyon Flowing through the Ash Fork Gap, just a few miles to our  northwest, this cool evening air creeps down into the valley basin,  dropping the temperature by 35-40 degrees from the daytime highs.
  • During  the summer months, the cool evening air coupled with clear warm  temperatures and low humidity in the afternoons, allows   the grapes to  slowly mature retaining good acid levels while developing optimal  flavors.
  • We are finding that the winds in the valley lead to smaller leaf size as well as smaller grape clusters. This unique phenomena in the valley will produce a higher degree of color and flavor concentration in the fruit which translates to intense and luscious wines.  Due to the late spring frost, late budding varieties like Pinot Noir, Carménère, Phoenix, Vignoles, Merlot, Riesling and Chardonnay are good choices. 

Trellising System


  • As a result of our Santa Rosa JC  training and many tours of Premium Pinot Noir vineyards, we chose the  California high density vertical shoot positioning model for our  vineyard.  We also have north and south row positioning to provide even  light exposure on both sides of the cluster.  This system will extract  the maximum concentration of fruit flavors from each vine.
  • To  achieve this high density model, we have our rows at 6' spacing and our  vine spacing is 2.5'.   UC Davis research indicates that this system  will optimize fruit quality and produce a more balanced vine thereby  reducing the need for summer hedging.
  • Over  time we have elevated our cordon wire from 31" to 43".  This high wire  system reduce the vines reflective heat absorption from the soil, while  promoting good air circulation leading to an even ripening of fruit  throughout the vineyard.

Organic Based Sustainable Viticulture


  • To further maintain the health of  the vines, we apply organic fertilizers through our drip system in the  early spring before bud break and again in fall just after harvest.
  • We  also do multiple pruning and several thinning (dropping fruit)  throughout the growing season to increase sun exposure and lessen mildew  pressure.

Bird Protection

  •  Birds are a concern wherever you grow grapes.
  • To  protect our fruit from our fine feathered friends, we employ Fruit Zone  Bird Netting which is placed on each side of the vine, covering only  the fruiting area

Vineyard Practices

  •  All these  operations combine to insure quality fruit and preserve the health of  the vines for years to come.  As you can tell caring for our vineyard is  an intensive labor of love.  We will continue to care for it with  tender loving care.  In return, the vines will continue to give us  stellar fruit year after year.