|Carefully selected Rhone grape varietals are grown at
LDV Winery. Our first vines were planted in mid-April 2008. Two acres of Petite Sirah grapes were the first planted on the estate. The soils, climate, and water quality of the estate directed us toward Rhone varietal grapes. These are grapes from the Rhone region in France. Once we decided to grow Rhone varietal grapes, we made several other key decisions regarding the rootstock and clones.
A “varietal grape” no matter where it is planted and how it is turned into wine will embody certain characteristics that
reflect that grape’s personality. The varietal is influenced by the terroir or sense of place (soil, water, and weather)
but the basic characteristics shine through. How the winemaker enhances the grape’s personality through the
winemaking process imparts the winemaker’s personality. At LDV Winery we allow the grape
varietal to express itself in the best possible way, reflecting its unique characteristics.
Picking the best rootstock that will work in the soils and is tolerant to disease is critical. This is probably the most
important decision made by a grower and producer of wines. The goal is to match rootstocks to local conditions to
ensure that it can grow successfully. We have found that 1103P and 110R rootstock works best at LDV Winery.
The genetic make up of the actual grape varietal is called the “clone.” All wine grapes have multiple clones that
produce different characteristics from the original. For example there are different clones to choose from for our
Petite Sirah, Syrah, Grenache, and Viognier. Certain clones might have distinctly different aromas and flavors or a
clone may be hardier and less prone to disease. You chose the clone that you like the flavor of best or you might
choose a combination of clones. It depends on the goal of the winery. At LDV Winery, we have over 15 different clones among the varietals currently in the vineyard. These clones were chosen for their vigor, hardiness, flavor profile, aroma, and heat resistance. Once a clone is selected, they are grafted to rootstocks suitable to the soil type and location.
Following are the grape varietals grown at LDV Winery and their basic characteristics.
Syrah (sih-RAH) also called Shiraz (shih-RAHZ) in Australia grows well in a large number of areas worldwide.
The grapes can produce rich, complex wines that can be enjoyed now or cellared for years. Some of the characteristics used to describe Syrah include black cherry, spice, pepper, leather, coffee, dark chocolate, mocha, and roasted nuts.
It is typically deep in color, has smooth tannins, and fruit (typically berry) aromas. Syrah is also blended into wines such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Petite Sirah (peh-TEET sih-RAH) is a grape variety that is sometimes called Durif and was discovered by the
University of California at Davis to be related to Syrah.
Petite Sirah is what we like to call “liquid midnight” because of its dark hue and rich tannins. It is often used for
blending but on its own it can be intense and peppery that will age well.
Viognier (vee-oh-NYAY) is a white grape that has been proven to be difficult to grow. It is an old varietal that
typically produces low yields that thrives in dry, warm climates similar to the Rhone Valley of France. The grape
varietal produces incredible floral aromas and an abundance of spiciness that are unique to this white grape.
Grenache (greh-NAHSH) is a drought and heat resistant grape varietal ideal for Arizona’s wine regions.
Grenache is grown world-wide and has the most acres under production. The grape is often blended in such
wines as Chateauneuf-du-Pape from France. Characteristics often used to describe Grenache include fruity, spicy,
and soft tannins. We like to describe it as Arizona’s version of a terrific Pinot Noir. In the north and south regions of
Spain, the black-berried vine is called Garnacha.
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