Spring Sunset
       
     
Breaking Bad
       
     
Technical Difficulties
       
     
Propane Dave
       
     
Ragnar
       
     
Sunny Day
       
     
Shed Guy
       
     
Banded Sandsnake
       
     
RIP
       
     
Sunset - Again
       
     
Digging
       
     
Install
       
     
Lunch Time
       
     
Entrance
       
     
Paving
       
     
Footings
       
     
Racking
       
     
Panels
       
     
The Canopy
       
     
Colin Bruce
       
     
Neighborly Help
       
     
Tasting Room Complete
       
     
Fire In The Sky
       
     
Laying Pipe
       
     
Tasting
       
     
Rebar
       
     
Pouring Concrete
       
     
Jorge Luna
       
     
Half Way
       
     
Winery Floor
       
     
Expansion Joints
       
     
John Raymond
       
     
Spring Sunset
       
     
Spring Sunset

With the sun reaching towards its equinox, the spring sky is lit with a rainbow of colors as it sets.

Breaking Bad
       
     
Breaking Bad

The winter months of 2014 were unbearable. Lows in the teens and no restrooms or refuge in sight. I had to upgrade from the tent for the construction phase of the project.

Technical Difficulties
       
     
Technical Difficulties

Sometimes staying within your budget means you have to buy something that needs a little work. Luckily for me, the radiator blew out just after getting to the property...

Propane Dave
       
     
Propane Dave

Dave is a good guy. He is on the ball with his business and I appreciate that. I also appreciate that I can run my RV furnace now..... The first utility installed on the estate.

Ragnar
       
     
Ragnar

Ragnar the destroyer taking a nap in the shade of my water tank excavation. I wanted to move that soil under him, but I didn't want to wake him up!

Sunny Day
       
     
Sunny Day

We get a lot of vibrant sunlight here - even in the winter.

Shed Guy
       
     
Shed Guy

I found this shed on Craigslist. Then found a guy crazy enough to deliver it all the way to Sonoita. I am happy I have a place to put my tools and utility equipment now.

Banded Sandsnake
       
     
Banded Sandsnake

I dug this guy up while digging a trench for my water lines. Don't worry, he survived.

RIP
       
     
RIP

Ragnar was hit and killed by a car on February 11th. I buried him in a spot where he can forever greet future guests to the estate.

Sunset - Again
       
     
Sunset - Again

I could take a picture of the sunset every day here. Each picture would be different, and each picture would be uniquely beautiful.

Digging
       
     
Digging

In the early dawn hours, I rush to get the massive hole dug for my ADOT required cattle-guards. Working alone is hard sometimes. I had to find a way to keep my elevation stick upright in the hole while running back to the transit to record the elevations. The howling wind made this extremely difficult, but the show must go on.

Install
       
     
Install

The hole has been dug, leveled, and compacted. Installation is proceeding on schedule.

Lunch Time
       
     
Lunch Time

It was a long morning with no breakfast. At 1:30pm, with the cattle guards finally in place, it was time for lunch and a much deserved beer.

Entrance
       
     
Entrance

After a year and a half in the permit process, ADOT has required a small fortune must be spent to access the property. You can drive down the highway and see 99% of the other entrances consisting of dirt with a simple ranch gate in the fence-line allowing access. Not here, no we have soil compaction engineering tests, gargantuan cattle guards, concrete headers, SPEC 2 AB, and 4 inches of asphalt on top of everything. Hey - if I ever want to build a shopping mall here it will be a little easier right?

Paving
       
     
Paving

The final step in the entrance to the estate. Laying asphalt on top of the intricately prepared surface.

Footings
       
     
Footings

Hours were spent calculating the exact placement of the solar system. The panels need direct, south-facing sunlight. I wanted to place them near the entrance of the Tasting Room to showcase the technology, but doing that would have lowered the efficiency of the system. Ultimately, I decided it best to place the panels near the walkway down to the future patio tasting area; A compromise that will maintain 100% system efficiency.

Racking
       
     
Racking

Racking, not just separating the wine from the lees. Here my uncle Joel helps install the racking system for the six Kyocera photovoltaic panels awaiting installation.

Panels
       
     
Panels

Finally the off-grid power systems are functional.

The Canopy
       
     
The Canopy

Colin Bruce and I begin to install the tasting canopy. Many thanks to Tensile Shade Products for donating the lifeblood of our tasting room!

Colin Bruce
       
     
Colin Bruce

The man, the legend. Installing the earth anchors keeping the tasting room from blowing way.

Neighborly Help
       
     
Neighborly Help

Thanks to Jim Gardner from Hannah's Hill for lending a hand (and a tractor) in moving 20 tons of gravel bedding for our tasting room.

Tasting Room Complete
       
     
Tasting Room Complete

Ready to break in the new tasting room and release Rune Wines to the world.

Fire In The Sky
       
     
Fire In The Sky

Sonoita sunsets are always stunning and beautiful.

Laying Pipe
       
     
Laying Pipe

Literally, not figuratively. Our gray water drainage system will help feed trees and other plants with reusable water from the winery.

Tasting
       
     
Tasting

This is what you will see one day. Come down and try them!

Rebar
       
     
Rebar

Preparing a foundation is backbreaking work. This rebar will hold it together and keep it from cracking.

Pouring Concrete
       
     
Pouring Concrete

The big day has arrived! 52 tons of concrete begins to fill the form-work of our foundation.

Jorge Luna
       
     
Jorge Luna

Another legend of the west helps vibrate the concrete in the footings. This forces all of the air out from the concrete creating a stronger foundation.

Half Way
       
     
Half Way

The indoor tasting area has its concrete; now it is time to begin pouring the winery floor.

Winery Floor
       
     
Winery Floor

The rear section of our building will be a micro-winery. Notice the drain in the middle that will help shed water away from the floor.

Expansion Joints
       
     
Expansion Joints

After cutting a really messed up line with the concrete saw, I finally got the hang of it. Working out here is like a vacation every day.

John Raymond
       
     
John Raymond

A staunch supporter of the AZ wine industry enjoys a lovely Memorial Day tasting.