Finally off the road for awhile. Jet lag has actually been a bonus. I’m up super early. First morning back I walked through Merkin West at sunrise. Wow! I’ll say it backwards… WoW! Almost brought me to tears. I barely made it back from the tour in time to harvest the 1st ever Merkin Vineyards fruit. Eric has been sending me numbers from the road, and oddly enough, our Ph levels are much lower than I’d anticipated. Last test came in right around 3.4. We have a very high Ph soil and water here and I just assumed the grapes would follow. The structure at this point is far more like a Bordeaux than a California Cab. Must be the layer of volcanic ash. As Mark at Sam’s Wine in Chicago pointed out…”Note to self… Vineyard Near Volcano Equals Great Wine.” We certainly hope so. This valley is littered with volcanic intrusions and was completely covered with volcanic ash when the San Francisco Mountain, North of Flagstaff, blew it’s top many years ago. Much like Mt St Helens did in 1980. (Here’s a link, if you’re curious about the volcanic activity in the Northern Arizona area.)
The weather here has been unseasonably cool. Normally we’re doing 100 degree plus days in August, but we’ve been hovering around 85. Needless to say it slowed the ripening down a bit. Which is good. It’s given the fruit a chance to develop more structure. By the time this gets posted we’ll have most likely picked. Sept 13th is the big day. Our 1st ever vintage of Judith’s Cabernet, aka Nagual del Judith, named after my late mother whose ashes are spread across this entire east facing slope. A metaphorical re-birth if you will. A transformation. The Phoenix rising from the ashes. Yikes. I’m rambling. No. I’m not drunk. It’s the jet lag. Promise.


Your Cart is empty

Shop Wines