And now for the shameless self-promotion portion of our program. As of Jan. 16, Eric Glomski (owner of Page Springs Cellars) and I (Caduceus Cellars/Merkin Vineyards) became the proud owners of the vineyard formerly known as Dos Cabezas (now to be called Arizona Vineyards) just south of Wilcox. This makes us the largest producer of wine grapes in Arizona—with 60 acres of vines, ranging from two to 17 years old. Pardon me while I take a moment to flex in front of this full-length mirror.
This crown and status are temporary, of course. Dick Erath, Oregon Pinot pioneer, is our new neighbor. He recently purchased roughly 200 acres of land and planted vineyards throughout the same area. In just under five years he will deservedly inherit our crown. He sees the same potential we see here in Arizona.
So mark your calendars. This should mean a rise in quality for our wines and for Arizona wine overall. With more fruit to choose from, we can cherry-pick the best grapes while maintaining our current level of production. And Caduceus/Merkin Vineyards will be producing 100 percent Arizona wines sooner than anticipated, weaning ourselves off most of our California fruit sources. (The drives back and forth have been brutal).
All of the winemakers who have contracts with Arizona Vineyards (www.arizonavineyards.org) should see a noticeable improvement in grape quality across the board. All this vineyard needs is some proper pruning, thinning, watering and canopy management, along with an equal dose of TLC, a bit of TCB and Abracadabra. You heard it here first. Sincerely, Scoop Keenan.
P.S. Reportedly Todd Bostock, of Dos Cabezas/Pronghorn Vineyards, has purchased the Dos Cabezas winery and label and will continue to make wine using that name. He has opened a tasting room in Sonoita, where he is moving the winery (www.doscabezaswinery.com). The 40-acre Pronghorn Vineyard his family planted in 2003 is in Elgin near Callaghan Vineyards. Todd has been the winemaker Dos Cabezas since 2003, and last year the winery's 2003 Pinot Gris was served at a state dinner at the White House honoring Sandra Day O'Connor. They have since purchased three more cases.