What about the Wine?
After being a home brewer and winemaker for almost 20 years, it was time to try my hand at commercial wine making. I wanted to make ultra-premium varietal wines from grapes that I had planted and raised myself. I determined that the Sonoita area would be the best place to grow premium fruit. We began working the soil and establishing the vineyard in 2000. In 2002 we planted our first 12.5 acres of vines with premium Bordeaux and Rhone varietals. We now have a total of 24 acres and 13 different grape varieties.
At Rancho Rossa Vineyards, we prefer the “hands off" approach, using old school techniques and allowing our grapes to make the wine with as little intervention from the wine maker as possible. We opened the tasting room in 2006 with just four wines. Our very first effort, the 2004 Syrah, won the AWGA award for best red wine in the state. We have followed with many other award-winning wines and have developed a small cult following for our Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon called Emotional Rescue, which is made only in very small quantities.
I believe that it is very important to grow all of our own fruit. As a grower/wine maker, I decide exactly when the fruit is at its peak and ready for harvest. Unfortunately, there are years that not purchasing fruit from other sources can bite you in the butt. Normally, we produce 1100 cases annually, but due to inclement weather, we have produced as little as 200 cases per year. Yes, we lose a lot of money when that happens but we keep our standards high and continue our efforts to be the only 100% Estate in the Sonoita area. Quality is at the top of our list. Quality grapes make quality wine. Within two hours after being picked, our grapes are delivered to the winery and are processed, ensuring the highest quality juice for our wines.
When you come to Rancho Rossa Vineyards and taste our wine, you are assured that the wine in your glass was grown, produced, and bottled in Arizona. I know, because I have touched every bottle, made every ounce of the wine, and put on every label. I am the owner, wine maker, and viticulturist.