Messages in the Vineyard
March 1st, 2012
Peggy Fiandaca

Studying urban planning at Arizona State University, I had to take geography and geology classes never thinking I would be using what I learned for my new adventure with Lawrence Dunham Vineyards. The geology of our special place is directly connected to the viability of the vineyard. The rocks play an important role in the composition of the soil. They impart flavor nuances to the grapes and ultimately the wine we produce.

The foundation for our vineyard was created by the volcanic explosion from the Turkey Creek Caldera in the Chiricahua Mountains over 16 million years ago. That explosion scattered boulders, rocks, volcanic ash, and decomposed Rhyolite granite throughout the area. Those rocks create a catacomb starting a couple of feet below the top soil and down at least 20 feet (evident by the granite wall we discovered when we dug our winery septic system).

"Peg of My Heart"
  I am fascinated by the story these rocks and boulders tell and the role they play in our vineyard. They provide an incredible connection to the past and play an important part in the present. Lately, during my walks along Ash Creek and in the vineyard rocks shaped like hearts keep appearing.

The first one I found was just before Valentine's Day this year. It was a wonderful surprise. They have continued to appear and now I see them as a reminder of how connected we are to our surroundings. For me, these special rocks remind me of the importance of my connection to family both past and present. You see, I was named by my father after his favorite song "Peg of My Heart" and these heart shaped rocks are a wonderful reminder of his continued presence in my life.