One of the keys to Arizona's terroir is the monsoon. Short and sometimes violent, they quench the desert's thirst and provide a much needed break from the heat.
Viognier hanging on the vines of Pillsbury Vineyard in mid August 2013. We sourced 2.5 tons of Viognier from the Pillsbury Vineyard atop the Willcox Bench.
Shoots loaded with leaves and fruit jut out of the vines at Pillsbury Vineyards.
Picking our Syrah just after sunrise.
Sorting through freshly picked Syrah in the morning sun.
After running around the vineyard keeping our spirits lifted, Ruby takes a break in the shade of a picking bin.
Each bucket of fruit is combed for rogue clusters and material other than grapes (MOG).
The extreme diurnal temperature shift in Arizona creates a window of opportunity to pick the clusters at a very cool temperature. It is common to have 40-50 degree temperature swings during harvest here.
Santa Maria is one of the coolest growing regions in California. Chardonnay from this vineyard expresses the cool climate through strong natural acidity and delicate structure.
In a rare and raw photograph, the rigors of harvest can be seen in the hands of Sam Pillsbury.
Loaded with Viognier, modified stainless steel drums, and a storage tank. Let the games begin...