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Vino Stache Winery, 100% Arizona grown and cellared wines



Brooke Ide
February 11, 2021 | Arizona Wine, Winery | Brooke Ide

WTF Did I Get Myself Into?

Holy smokes, what did I get myself into?  Year one of making wine on my own, this is what I was thinking.  Construction was not finished, and by not finished, I mean there were no walls, no plumbing - except one hose bib, no power - except one outlet for my pressure washer and two outlets to run the air compressor and press.  No lights, no toilets - except an outhouse, no furniture - except camping chairs, no refrigerator, no sink to wash my hands, no bed to sleep on - except an camping pad.  Sonoita, where our winery is located, is in the middle of nowhere.  The population is between 800-900 people, there is a corner store, a Dollar General, a gas station and 3 restaurants.  Both Sierra Vista and Tucson are roughly 45 minutes away in opposite directions.  I was essentially camping for 6 weeks.  I was in a primal space, bathing in picking bins, peeing in a bucket in the middle of the night camping if you will and making wine. 

I think I did 20 Tons of fruit that harvest, by myself.  Shoveling it all into the destemmer and into the press.  2 times I called my husband crying.  What had I got myself into?  I was hungry, tired, but I was making wine in MY WINERY!  It was a mixed bag for sure.  Then we got hit with a freaking hurricane.  2 days straight of rain.  I think 5-7 inches.  I will never forget those days.  I couldn't go anywhere due to flooding, then water started sheeting off the hill and coming into the winery.  I was bucketing water away from the foundation for probably 4 hours.  A fissure opened up in the ground north of the winery and water just started funneling underground.  It was one of the weirdest things I have seen!  We still had 5 tons of fruit hanging on the vine I thought for SURE was going to be a rotten, vinegar-smelling mess.  But the rain was cool and the fruit dried out.  Kent Callaghan, my mentor said it was probably because the rain was cold, the fruit didn't rot.  Warm rain would have equaled rotten berries.

Anyway, back to my mental state.  Even though, I had gone to school, worked with great winemakers and put in my time in the cellar to learn, I felt VERY under prepared mentally and was constantly doubting every decision I made.  It's scary when it is just you making the decisions!  I am finished with my 2nd harvest now and getting ready to bottle that 2019 vintage and I still feel just fraudulent, but I will say with each process I refine and each detail unknown that becomes known I am getting more confident in my ability to do all this on my own.  More to come on this topic...


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