A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to meet Tim Petersen in our local Albertson's market in front of the display of San Diego County wines. He was with another gentleman and one thing that struck me about him, was that as they were talking, Tim was straightening the bottles of wine on the shelves. I thought what a nice person, and he truly is, both he and his wife.
We struck up a conversation about the San Diego County wines and when he told me about his winery, I weaseled an invitation out of him for me and Stan to visit his winery, Rock Canyon vineyards.
Oh, I couldn't wait to see the rows of grapevines and the wine cellar.
Come visit Rock Canyon Vineyards with me, you are in for a treat.
First we are going to go for a little drive,
up the hill, down the dirt road and around the curve, but what a view.
Dang, can we get there from here?
Good thing Tim gave me great directions, and good thing I understand directions involving mail boxes and forks in the road.
When we talked he mentioned they had burros and horses, but dang, he didn't say the horses were Andalusian's.
We were welcomed at the front door by Tim, his lovely wife Mona and four, I'm sure there were four, dogs that seemed happy to meet us, the only names I remember are Biscuit, Gravy and Beans.
I'm so mad now I didn't get their photos, especially of the one that couldn't keep her eyes off of Stan, she'd sit right in front of him and look adoringly into his face. He later told me "You've never look at me like that" What can I say! Try scratching me behind the ears ;-)
Mona is a wonderfully talented artist. Her specialty is animals, just look at what we saw when we walked in the door.
The top one is her painting of the bottom photo. How stinkin' great is that.
She graciously invited us into her studio.
Just look, is she great or what. But wait, there's more...
I can't choose my favorite, they are all so wonderful.
This is the painting she did for the owners of another local winery Gloriosa Vineyards, they were thrilled to get it.
Tim told us that the owners of Gloriosa were mentors to him when he first started wine making, and that they are very generous with information and very helpful. As a matter of fact the San Diego County wine producers are a great group and very helpful to each other.
Now, on to the wine cellar.
Ahh, the inner sanctum. They were getting ready to bottle some Zinfandel. As a matter of fact, I'll bet they are bottling as we speak.
Everything is done by hand, even the corking. By the way, he uses natural two inch corks.
It's 3:17 p.m. Sunday afternoon, maybe they are finished corking by now and enjoying the fruits of their labor. Pun intended.
I'm learning how to check for clarity.
Some people claim you can check the clarity over a piece of white paper also.
Personally, I like holding it up to the light, it makes me feel more like I know what I'm doing.
We did the swirl, the sniff and the sip. The first flavor I got was peppery then fruity, oh my gosh, it doesn't get any better than this. I can't wait until the wine hits the store, it is sooooo good.
This was so cool, he opened one of the barrels of Syrah and using a glass siphon,
Wonderful also, but not ready yet. I think he said that has a few more months to go in the barrel before it's ready. It was a great experience to have a sample of a wine before it's really ready. It gave me a good comparison and appreciation of the aging time it needs to become really great.
The cellar is built back into the rocks, it's really cool, literally.
We jumped into his golf cart that has heavy duty tires, and it's a good thing too. I swear we went on Mr. Toad's wild ride around the vineyard.
I told him if the ride around the vineyard was in Disneyland, it would be an E ticket ride. Now, who else besides me remembers E ticket rides.
He just smiled, I think he's too young to know about E ticket rides.
Oh the vines. As we drove around he pointed out which grapes were where and when they were planted.
These are his babies.
These are newbies.
Just look at that view. I think it keeps the grapes and the keepers of the grapes happy.
Next we got to see a pinup star, the model for the wine bottle labels.
What a little sweetie
Meet Bonnie and Clyde
They aren't such sweeties. All three are rescued burros.
Do you know the story about the cross on the back of the burro?
Ahhh, the beautiful horses, what a treat to get to see them. This is the one they ride most often.
In the back of the corrals is a huge open corral for them to run free most of the day. The burros get the run at night.
This is the young one. Tim says he has such a good temperament.
I'm not even going to guess the value of such beautiful animals.
I asked Tim if he would take us back to the vineyard so I could get a few more pictures.
This is the shot I wanted, all three of us with the grapevines in the background.
My vision for this photo was for me to have on my totally cute floppy hat and my big sunglasses. I left the totally cute floppy hat in the golf cart, I'm such a dork. Well, one out of two ain't bad.
As if what they did for us that morning wasn't enough, as we left we were gifted with a bottle of their Estate '08 Zinfandel.
This was their first Zinfandel and was not offered for sale, it's a private reserve and they shared it with us. How generous is that.
I feel like I am forgetting so much. I asked a bazillion questions, which he graciously and patiently answered. He told us the wine making process he uses, how and why he does what he does. I'd encourage you to get on their website and schedule a tour. It is time well spent with wonderful people in beautiful surroundings.
Tim, Mona and critters. Thank you just doesn't cover it, but thank you.
This moment of silence brought to you by Rock Canyon Vineyards.
And that's that