"Los Milics" Blended Last Week and Scheduled for Bottling in July
In this occasional series, FnB's Pavle Milic spills about his current mission to learn how wine is made, literally, from the Southern Arizona ground up.
- Maynard Keenan, Sam Pillsbury, Todd Bostock and other Wine Experts Give Pavle Milic Advice on Designing Wine Labels -- and Pavle Finally Names His Wine
- Sam Pillsbury Spills on the Reason He Landed in Arizona, and Launches a Wine Column for Chow Bella
Back in May 2012, I announced that Todd Bostock from Dos Cabezas Wineworks had agreed to help me learn about his craft -- by collaborating on a red wine blend. I even called it a "Quixotic Exploit" mainly because, aside from being a self-proclaimed oenophile that has never made wine, making wine is a craft that requires years of hard work and study. Needless to say, I felt very fortunate that Todd agreed to let me rub elbows with him in this endeavor to become better informed about what it really takes to make wine.
Todd wanted me to be part of the whole process. He took me out to the vineyard to show me the basics of pruning the vines. During the following months, I would go down to the winery to help whenever my schedule would permit. In February, I went down to help bottle the Dos Cabezas "Red."
In Marc,h I was able to see how filtering works (see image above). Meanwhile, the "Los Milics" Red Blend was in barrel.
Last summer, I reported that the blend would comprise 50 percent Tempranillo, 25 percent Syrah, and 25 percent Primitivo. (Although at the last minute, Todd said: "I think you should try something before we blend." I'll come back to Todd's proposal later.)
The following question caught me by surprise: "Want to go get some Vitis Arizonica?" Last time I checked, Elgin didn't have any dispensaries.
Todd was actually referring to a grapevine also known as the canyon grape, an indigenous rootstock that, according to Dr. M. Andrew Walker (faculty member of the Viticulture & Enology Department at UC-Davis), is resistant to Pierce disease and drought. The picture above shows Todd with some cuttings that he planted last spring. When these develop roots (rootstock), he will them use them to graft other vines onto this rootstock.
Why mention this? This is just an example of how our winemakers continue to strive for making better wine and continue to evolve and stay curious. Arizona as a wine region is tough. The challenges range from sharp cold frosts to unforgiving monsoon storms that can wipe out a year's hard work.
Back to the wine at hand. My wine.