Arizona's liquor laws are older than Betamax and Dick Clark and nowhere near as entertaining.
I decided to spread my wings a little and hooked up with an amazing broker for California. She loves the wines and her infectious excitement has motivated several otherwise exclusive wine lists to order my juice. Respectable orders. I'm happy, she's happy, everyone's happy.
Then we move to the next step, which is to get the wine from Arizona to California. Oy vey. Let the party begin. Navigating these archaic Arizona laws is like riding a pogo stick thru a minefield while someone throws (insert your favorite religious book here) at you. "30 day terms" might as well be Aramaic. I think we have it figured out and perfectly above-board legal, but Holy Blue Laws, Batman. What a waste of energy.
On a more positive tip, we've been pruning. Took a drive down to our Stronghold Vineyards, in Cochise County, with winemaker Eric Glomski last week. Things are looking fabulous. All the hacking we had to do last year to tidy the place up has paid off. I was only able to get one barrel of Tempranillo from the site in 2007. The vines looked like a kindergartener with a bowl cut. But now they're up on the wire and filling in beautifully.
Up on my Merkin West vineyard, we're gonna try to move away from the basket canopy approach we've been doing (pickers' nightmare) and add some wire. Most likely they will be bilateral, but it's possible we may be able to make them quadrilateral. (I'll soon be posting an explanation on my website, www.caduceus.org, of some various training methods, pros, cons, reasons for our decisions, etc., with photos of what the heck I'm talking about, for the curious.)
In Merkin South and East (where we've had frost problems in previous years), fingers crossed, we've made it through the winter without any major winter kill. The willows are pushing buds, and the vines are weeping where we've pruned them. But the mesquites have not yet pushed. That's not so good. The mesquites know when the danger of frost has passed. So we still run the risk of frost damage. Historically we get frost in March. We just have to hope that it's not a brutal frost. I'll post an update once Jack Frost has come and gone.
Robert Kirkwood — Laramie,Wyoming — March 19, 2008 5:25pm ET
Gregory F Weaver — Texas — March 27, 2008 1:58pm ET
Maynard James Keenan — page Springs, az — April 8, 2008 9:15pm ET
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