On a 10-acre parcel of land near Sonoita, Tim and Joan Mueller are living their dream. In 2004 the couple bought the land surrounded by mountains and planted their first grapes. Since then, they’ve watched their dreams blossom on the vine at Canelo Hills Vineyard and Winery.
“I just love watching the vines grow and the grapes turn purple,” says Joan Mueller, who was a mental health counselor before becoming a winemaker.
The winery isn’t officially open yet, but the couple have managed to bottle some riesling. They will host a wine tasting and farm festival April 28. Wine lovers can also sip samples from Charron Vineyards, Colibiri Vineyard and Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards.
Farmers from Sonoita and Patagonia will sell locally produced baked goods, cheese and alpaca fiber.
“It will be an opportunity for people to talk to people living in a rural area, growing herbs and making products out of them,” says Mueller.
Take Interstate 10 east toward Tucson to Exit 281 (state Highway 83). Head south on Highway 83, toward Sonoita, for 32.5 miles to Elgin Road. Turn left (east) and continue three miles to Canelo Hills Vineyard and Winery.
Canelo Hills Wine and Farm Festival
What: Celebration of southeastern Arizona wines and other locally produced products
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 28
Where: Canelo Hills Vineyard and Winery, 342 Elgin Road, Elgin
Cost: Free. Tasting is $5 for six tickets.
Information: (520) 455-5499 or www.canelohillswinery.com