Saturday, June 09, 2007

Wine Tasting a Summer Afternoon Away

When the neighbors invited me to go wine tasting out at the Granite Creek Vineyards, I jumped at the chance. Of course. It was a lovely way to while away an afternoon with a box picnic lunch, a few sips each of five excellent wines, listening to folk music and relaxing in the shade of huge Chinese elms at an old Chino Valley homestead.

The Hoult family operation had been growing organic table grapes there since 1974; in 2000, their son, the winemaker, persuaded them to join the ranks of Arizona wineries. Here, the wine tasting room.

The barn dates back to the early nineteen hundreds. It overlooks the shady lawn where picnickers enjoy music and wine on summer weekends.

There are 20 acres of vines, irrigated by well water.

Concrete ditches -- leftover from the days when water from Watson Lake in the Dells belonged to Chino Valley farmers. Because Chino was turning into a bedroom community, the water rights were sold to the City of Prescott in the 90s.

A few old farm artifacts are scattered unobtrusively about the grounds, but there's no attempt at cuteness. The corrogated iron shed (below) is a remnant from the past.

One of the main attractions of the farm: a small collection of peacocks. This fellow put on quite a show for a hen who paid him little mind -- at least, while I was watching.

I should mention that sheoflittlebrain lived on this farmstead as a child. Maybe she will comment here -- or even better, write a post of her own memories.


Anonymous said...

Looks like a relaxing place. I like the counters in the wine probing room.

GE said...

Your blog has been included in our new guide.
Please keep us informed of any changes to it.

Around The World with Daily Photoblogs Old and New: a brief history of the City Daily Photoblog movement and a guide to sites around the world.

sheoflittlebrain said...

Nice pictures Granny J!
Yep, that barn's where my horse Skye lived. I still miss that old friend.
I do plan to do a then and now post about the farm when I can get my Mom out there to star in it.!

sheoflittlebrain said...

PS Congrats on Around the World!
Now even more people will see why many of us check in to see what Granny J's up to as we sip our first coffee of the day.

Granny J said...

Aren't those lovely slices of wood, Steve?

And many thank you's to Mr. GE, who's the one who keeps track of all those interesting worldwide blogs about cities as well known as Paris and obscure as Bydgoszcz (at least to Americans). It's an honor, Mr. GE.

And, Brain, I can hardly wait to see your take on the vineyard farm as seen from long ago!

Catalyst said...

Granny, I was just figuring. Few = at least three. So at least three sips of each of five wines makes a minimum of 15 sips of wine. I'm surprised your pictures came out as good as they did!

Granny J said...

Cat-A -- Put it down to clean living and right thinking.

Avus said...

"a box picnic lunch, a few sips each of five excellent wines, listening to folk music and relaxing in the shade of huge Chinese elms at an old Chino Valley homestead."
Wow! what a delightful way to spend a day. (Loved the old red shed)

GE said...

Replying publicly as I couldn't find another way of contacing you -- I don't know whether you qualify for the "official" DP lists or not -- my guide is quite unofficial and you qualify for inclusion because your posts are dated and are substantially photos of a specific place.

If you want to get included on the CDP portal just go there and ask to join -- [note: joining the "forum" and joining as a "blog-author" are separate things]

Granny J said...

Come on, Mr.Avus -- wouldn't a book of verse come in handy,as well?

Thanks much for the clarification, Mr. GE -- I have to admit that, in the midst of my flush of pride, I was more than a tad confused. For your records, my email is grannyj at It seems to me that before Blogger upgraded that it used to have a link to one's email...grannyj

JuliaR said...

Lovely! We are starting to look for destinations for after we get our 25th anniversary tandem bicycle and since I have never been to the southwest U.S. and love wine country... we may be looking you up sooner than we think! After the Niagara region closer to home, of course. :)

Granny J said...

Julia -- please remember that the desert SW is a winter destination; the AZ mountains are a best in any other season --spring, summer, or fall!

Lucy said...

It looks a lovely place, with or without the book of verse!
And I do like that old red corrugated shed right next to the glorious peacock, wonderful contrast.

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