Thursday, August 2, 2012


Tim and Mona Petersons' Alpine-area estate encompasses – besides the vineyard and winery – stalls and corrals for their Andalusian horses, an art studio, a chicken house, and limited guest accommodations. They started with 75 plants in 2000 and currently have about 1500 Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah vines strategically positioned across their property.  Winemaker Tim augments his estate vines with grapes from other San Diego County vineyards. The first thing he poured for us in his underground, rock-framed barrel room was a pleasantly buttery Viognier that originated in San Marcos.

New Grapes
Then... some reds.  We first enjoyed a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon aged in American oak, then tried two 2009 Zinfandels: one in American oak (lots of plum!), the other in Hungarian oak (less fruit, more spice, well developed tannins).  We moved on to some barrel tasting including a 2010 Syrah (American oak), which is coming along very nicely;  people are already reserving bottles. Next we hopped into Tim's small and efficient ATV to tour the property. We admired the horses, got a first-hand look at (and delicious taste of) the grapes and petted resident burros Roxy, Bonnie, and Clyde. Mona’s beautiful drawings of the burros distinguish Rock Canyon’s wine labels.

The Burros
Rock Canyon wholesales to supermarkets (e.g., Albertson’s, Costco, Whole Foods) and local restaurants, and offers a memorable on-site experience to visitors who are willing to drive a couple miles up a winding dirt road.  Besides tasting wine one can arrange to hike and/or ride horses on the many trails that surround the property and even end the day in the Jacuzzi. Bottles in the barrel room are available at (very reasonable) retail prices and Tim can arrange shipping.

Rock Canyon is open by appointment. 619.445.4763

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