Flying Leap

Events List for Flying Leap

Main Website: http://www.flyingleapvineyards.com

Flying Leap Vineyards operates and sources fruit primarily from two company-owned vineyard complexes in southern and southeastern Arizona in the southwestern region of the United States. Viticulture is the core of Flying Leap’s passion – farming the land to nurture the vines and produce the fruit for its winery. Viticulture in Arizona has a history that begins in the 16th century when missionary Spanish Jesuit priests began to plant grapevines in this area and make wine for use in the church sacraments.

We own a total of 70 acres of land in two Arizona counties (Cochise & Santa Cruz). The majority of our vineyard acreage (60) is in Cochise County south of Willcox in a scenic, rural and unincorporated agricultural area known as the Kansas Settlement. So far, we’ve fully-developed 20 of the 60 acres there, which comprise our Blocks 1 & 2 vineyards planted in 2011 & 2012, respectively. We also own and operate smaller 6.5-acre estate vineyard at our winery and tasting room located south of Tucson in Santa Cruz County in the Sonoita viticultural area. The estate vineyard is located on Arizona’s famous wine trail on Elgin Road.

FLV’s Cochise County Vineyards

Beginning in the Fall of 2013, approximately 90% of FLVI’s fruit will be sourced from its Cochise County vineyards in the Kansas Settlement south of Willcox. The soil there is perfectly pH-balanced with good drainage, making it ideal for growing grapevines, and the land itself is situated on a gentle downslope just west of the Dos Cabezas Mountain Wilderness area in the Sulphur Springs Valley. At 4,359 feet, FLV’s Cochise County vineyards enjoy sunny warm days and clear cool nights – perfect for grape ripening.

We irrigate our grapevines from a deep well onsite, where we pump groundwater collected from snowmelt and our annual monsoon rains. The water is pressurized and directed through a vast network of underground pipes to various valves, which we turn on and off to direct water to separate irrigation blocks. We have designed and installed equipment allowing us to inject both fertilizers and acids into our irrigation water to enhance plant growth, fruit quality and maintain proper soil chemistry.

Blocks 1 & 2 contain approximately 30,000 vines on 15.6-acres of planted space, giving us the highest vine density of any vineyard in the state of Arizona, and our rows are just 6-feet wide. We work our vineyards the old fashioned way – by hand, using quads and special custom-made equipment for getting efficiently down our narrow rows.

In Cochise County, about 75% of our vines are red winegrape varietals. These include Grenache Noir, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre, Sangiovese, Tannat, Graciano and Cabernet Franc. The remaining 25% are white winegrape varietals including Marsanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Piquepoul Blanc and Malvasia Bianca. Each of these carefully-selected grapevine varietals grow well in Arizona’s clay sandy-loam soil and are ideally suited for our dry, arid climate.

Approximately 50% of our portfolio is on grafted rootstock, and the remaining plants grow on their own roots. We do this to reduce the risk of Phyloxera damage, which is a root louse that can devastate a vineyard. Grafting is an age-old process by which old-world vines susceptible to Phyloxera damage are grafted onto native northern American roots, which are resistant to the louse. There is currently no known presence of Phyloxera in Arizona’s vineyard acreage, but FLV plants some grafted vines in order to ensure protection should a grower inadvertently import it in the future.

We have taken great care to make the Cochise County vineyards guest-friendly, and we are licensed to make & sell wine onsite. The western border is shaded with native cottonwood trees, and we’ve planted grass and built a beautiful picnic area to entertain our customers when touring the fields. In 2013, we built comfortable restroom facilities on the property, and we have a large organic vegetable and flower garden planted onsite. The vineyard is beautiful in full bloom, and FLV conducts guided tours of the farm for parties of 8 or more with reservations. During these informative tours, we serve lunch and conduct wine tasting at the field. Guests will get to see a working Arizona vineyard up close, meet the work crews and learn about viticulture in this exciting new area of wine activity.

FLV’s Santa Cruz County Estate Vineyard

Flying Leap’s Santa Cruz County vineyards are located on the company’s 10-acre estate in Elgin, Arizona. This area, known in the wine world as the Sonoita AVA is situated in the mile-high rolling grasslands of Southeastern Arizona, surrounded by the Huachuca, Whetstone, and Santa Rita Mountains. Just one hour south of metropolitan Tucson, the area is a treasured destination for wine lovers. The rich soil here produces excellent grapes of deep color, acidity and character.

The estate vineyard was planted by Tim & Joan Mueller in 2003, when they founded and operated the Canelo Hills Vineyard & Winery from 2006 to 2013. FLV purchased the vineyard, winery and Canelo’s inventory of award-winning estate wines in January of 2013 and began wine tasting operations there under the Flying Leap banner in February 2013. FLV’s first harvest from the Elgin estate vineyards is expected in the Fall of 2013, with the first wines produced by FLV with Canelo Hills fruit and labeled under the Flying Leap logo coming to market in January 2015.

FLV’s Elgin estate vineyard is sourced primarily with Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Syrah, with smaller plantings of Malvasia Bianca, Cinsault, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and an experimental planting of Viognier.