Art of Winemaking

Jun 1st, 2017
LDV Winery believes that great wine starts with the highest quality of grapes. Our vineyard year after year delivers terrific fruit. As winemakers, our number one objective is to allow the fruit harvested each year to express itself. Our second objective is to produce wines that are a true reflection of the high altitude LDV Winery terroir in the Chiricahua Mountain foothills in Southeastern Arizona. This is where the “Art of Winemaking” begins. 

LDV Winery focuses on producing varietal wines with little or no other grape varietals included. Curt occasionally uses blending of other grapes to impact the flavor, aroma, color, and body of the finished wine. If you have enjoyed a California Cabernet Sauvignon it probably had Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Petite Verdot blended into it (or all three) and you didn’t even know it! We will always let you know the grape varietals that are in our wines. 

Testing for sugar content, or Brix at LDV Winery

Listed on many wine labels is a varietal designation that indicates the name of the wine’s dominant grapes (e.g. Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Grenache). Wine label language is regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). According to the TTB, a wine’s varietal designation indicates that at least 75% of the grapes used to make the wine are of the variety identified. 

The label does not have to include information about other grape varietals that may be included in the wine. Therefore, if a wine label reads Syrah, all it tells you is that at least 75% of the varietal Syrah was used to make the wine. Nothing more is required. If a wine is less than 75% one varietal, it is considered a blend and must be labeled “Red Wine” or “White Wine.”

Blending allows the winemaker to pick and choose from different barrels of the same varietal or to blend in a different varietal to enhance the wine. Usually the blending process occurs once the various wines are made and have aged. It does not typically occur during the fermentation process although this does occur. Some examples of blending and how important it is to the wine you enjoy include: 

• LDV 2013 Syrah is 88% Syrah with 6% Grenache and 6% Petite Sirah. It doesn’t seem that 6% would make much of a difference – but it does! 

• The 2013 Sky Island Petite Sirah is 83% Petite Sirah with 17% Syrah. That Syrah punches through surprisingly with some leather on the nose and black pepper on the finish. Extended 33 months aging time concentrated and smoothed out the 2013 brambly black and dark fruit flavors.

In addition to blending, the mastery of the winemaking process is determining the type of aging vessel in which to finish the wine. From new oak barrels at varying toasting levels to neutral oak or stainless steel, each influences the wine’s flavors and aromas.

Is blending artistry or magic? Maybe, maybe not. At LDV Winery we just want to make wines that taste, smell, look, and feel good! It is up to you to pair it with the right foods or share it with great people to create unforgettable experiences.

To learn more, join us Sunday June 11 5-6:30 PM at the Wine Gallery as we explore Winemaking 101. This hands-on Wine Appreciation workshopdelves into the details of winemaking and our approach to blending. Space is limited so register by calling 480-664-4822 or email as soon as possible. $35 per person/$65 per couple includes two glasses of wine, appetizers, and workshop materials. LDV Sky Islander Wine Club Members $25.00 per person.

Or come down to LDV Winery in Southeastern Arizona for one of our summer BBQ and vineyard/winery tours – June 24 or August 5. Learn first-hand about our vineyards, winery, and see the magical place producing award-winning wines. Learn more HERE and register by call 480-664-4822 or email