Arizona Wines At Their Best
Wine Tip Wednesday
LDV Winery’s award-winning wines are a direct reflection of the unique high altitude terroir in the Chiricahua Mountain foothills in southeastern Arizona. Our monthly blog From Vineyard to Table shares how we celebrate the spirit of place through LDV’s sustainable practices, entertaining approach, food & wine pairings (including original recipes), and winemaking techniques. Wine Tip Wednesday provides you with easy to apply tips to expand your wine and food enjoyment that we have been employing for years. Share your wine tips with us!

October 26 to November 2: Old World vs. New World Wines

In early November 2016, LDV Winery® serves as wine host on an AMA Waterways river cruise down the beautiful Danube River. Peggy Fiandaca will be doing three different interactive lectures about Old World vs. New World Wines.

The vineyards along the Danube River and in this part of the world are considered “Old World” and LDV Winery® is considered part of the growing “New World” wine region.

Typically, the differences between Old World and New World wines come from the winemaking practices or traditions and from the area’s terroir (impact of the land and climate on the grapes). Though LDV Winery® uses traditional winemaking techniques, the terroir’s impact is unknown since the industry is only decades old vs. centuries.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

The Danube River weaves through the 3,700 acres of terraced vineyards of the Wachau Valley located between Melk and Krems. This is Austria’s most important wine region which has gained world-wide recognition for their Gruner Vetliner white grape varietal. We are excited to explore and taste the differences of regional wines along the Danube River. Wish you were coming.


October 19 to October 26: Pumpkin, Winter Squash & Wine

This month the internet went wild with people questioning if that canned pumpkin was squash. Quite frankly who cares.

Nothing says fall like the variety of pumpkins and squash at the grocery store. Don’t be afraid of squashes like Kabocha, Butternut, Spaghetti, and Carnival. Check out Epicurious’ visual guide to winter squash at this link

When pairing wine with the richness of winter squash dishes, ensure that you choose a wine that will complement and not compete. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is a fall staple so choose a wine where the earthy flavors can sing together and a wine with enough acidity to cut through the cream. Consider a Grenache.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

Try Roasted Spaghetti Squash tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper with a crisp, dry Viognier. Stuffed Pumpkin Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce pairs well with a complex, spicy wine like LDV Winery® 2012 R.E.D. Use the fresh product when you can and save the canned product when winter squash is not in season.


October 12 to October 19: Understanding AVA

AVA is an important acronym for American Viticultural Area. An AVA is a federal designation for a geographic area growing grapes that has proven to demonstrate unique characteristics. There are nearly 150 AVA’s in California and Arizona has recently had a second one approved – Willcox AVA. The Sonoita AVA is Arizona’s only other one.

Why are these areas important? LDV Winery believes that the quality characteristics of LDV wines is a direct reflection of the unique terroir (soil, climate, altitude, etc.) where the grapes are grown. There is no place in the world like our special spot in the Chiricahua Mountain Foothills. As you drink more and more wines from a specific AVA, you will be able to identify the nuances of that place in the wines no matter the winemaker.
  Wine Tip Wednesday

LDV Winery is not part of the new Willcox AVA but part of the Chiricahua Foothills AVA that is being finalized. Hopefully, someday it will gain this important federal designation.


October 5 to October 12: Determining a Good Vintage

Vintage refers to the year the grapes were harvested. Almost all still wine has a vintage date. The weather during the growing season has a tremendous impact on the quality of any given vintage. Unless some unforeseen incident like a fire where the wine is impacted by smoke taint or an accident during processing, the vintage quality is directly related to weather and vineyard management practices.

LDV Winery® harvest was done early this year and yields were down. Though the growing season was similair to previous years, it is hard to determine how the 2016 vintage wines will evolve. LDV’s winemaker and grower Curt Dunham expressed excitement about the color, intensity, and taste of the grapes harvested this year. However, it will not be for a few years that the quality of LDV Winery® 2016 vintage can be evaluated.

  LDV Winery


September 28 to October 5: Barrel Terms

Choosing the right barrel for each wine is critical. LDV Winery does not take short cuts or artificially-oak our wines. If you taste oak or toast, it comes from barrel aging and not wood chips soaking in the wine. Here are 4 barrel terms to impress your friends.

1. Head – The barrel top and bottom can be toasted to a different level than the sides to impart different flavors.

2. Staves – Staves form the sides of the barrel. Tall trees with tight grains are selected for harvesting and making into barrels. The tighter the grain the more expensive the barrel. When trees are cut, the logs are cut into staves. Staves are stacked and left in the wind, rain, and sun to season. A barrel is comprised of staves of various widths with beveled edges that fit together just right to ensure that they are water-tight. The staves are formed over fire (or steam) until they fit together perfectly.

3. Hoops – American barrels have 6 hoops and French barrels typically 8. The hoops basically hold the barrel together.

4. Bung Hole – Where the barrel is filled or emptied.

  LDV Winery


September 21 to September 28: Wine Myths Debunked

There is a lot of misinformation about wine. Here are 3 myths that can be misleading or at least confusing.

1. Aged wine is better – Most wine today, particularly in the U.S., is made to be enjoyed soon after purchase or 1-2 years after release. The most expensive wine is the one that has gone bad before you opened it. Aging requires a lot of care and handling as well as choosing the right wine to age.

2. Desserts should be paired with dessert wines – Absolutely not. Sweet desserts overpower and compete with most sweet dessert wines. They can make the wine taste too acidic. We tend to drink dessert wines, well as dessert!

  Wine Tip Wednesday

3. Only leftover white wine should be put into the refrigerator – Cold acts as a preservative for both red and white wine. So if you can’t finish that bottle of wine cork it well and put it in the refrigerator for a day or two. However, remember you have to bring it to the proper temperature before drinking.


September 14 to September 21: Wine Eco-Lingo

Like food labeling, wine lingo can be very confusing. Here are 4 terms to think about.

farming started in 1924 by an Austrian philosopher that described a farm as a single organism – all plants, animals, crops, soil, air, water, moon, and stars are all interconnected. With all aspects in balance, the farm is sustaining, thus eliminating any need for artificial nutrients or pesticides.

Natural farming, though not regulated in the U.S. refers to winemaking that uses hand-picked organic grapes, fermented with native yeasts, no added sulfites, or other additives.

Organic is defined by the USDA and no synthetic fertilizers, conventional pesticides or genetically engineered plant material are used. Sulfites cannot be added to the wine as a preservative. Wines made without sulfites can re-ferment or oxidize in the bottle.

Sustainable is not a government standardized term. However, vineyards are generally promoting farming practices that are both ecological and socially responsible.

  LDV Winery


September 07 to September 14: What is wine taint?

We get a lot of wine questions and the most common is how to determine if wine has gone bad. Here are 5 tips.

1. If there is mold on the cork or moisture that has permeated the cork, try the wine with a skeptical eye and palate.

2. You open the bottle and it smells like your dirty wet dog or wet newspaper the wine has probably been contaminated by a substance called TCH. Also, referred to as a “corked.” This gives me an excuse to post a pic of my dog Epernay.

3. Band-Aids or barnyard smells are indication of Brett. Many people like the taste in small amounts but when it reaches the manure stage it is too much for most everyone.

  Wine Tip Wednesday

4. When you swirl wine and it smells like nail polish remover, toss it. This is the result of too much volatile acidity (VA).

5. If the wine smells like burnt matches, then there might be excessive sulfur in the wine. Toss it. Don’t toss because of sediment or tartaric acid crystals. These are natural and do not indicate that the wine is bad, just take care in pouring.



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