It is amazing to note that Nathalie and I have now owned Oak Creek Vineyards & Winery for a whole year! It has been a year of challenges and opportunities, successes and lessons. It has also been a year of development of our plans that make us so excited about the upcoming years. I wish to take the opportunity of our anniversary to share what you can expect over the next year. Obviously, we will never think about 2020 without thinking about the challenges of COVID-19. We were open only three weeks before having to close. We thank our staff and our customers for being patient with us and keeping us all safe. We were also challenged by the weather. Again, this year we had negligible monsoon rains coupled with very high temperatures. Our winter rains have been disappointing so far but maybe over the next couple of weeks we will see some relief. We hope for more cooperation from Mother Nature this year! Of course, we have been working to advance the wine program. During this year we will be redoubling our efforts to produce wines from our grapes here at Oak Creek Vineyards. Over the next few months, we are excited to be introducing the first of these wines. We are also planning improvements around the tasting room. The planning has started. We love our outdoor patio and hopefully the new cover, misters and lights has improved your experience. We have introduced a regular music program, and plan to add even more variety this year. We intend that we will make even more dramatic changes to the tasting room and patio over the next year. We’ll keep you up to date on our thinking. There are so many things we want to share with you about where we are going. It was always our intention to communicate with you frequently to share our adventure with you. That is perhaps the biggest “what I wanted to do but did not get done” from our first year. We will strive for better! We thank you for taking this journey with us. We look forward to engaging with you as we go forward into our second year. As always, we love to hear from you. Many Thanks to all of you for a wonderful first year!
On February 24th, 2020, we took ownership of Oak Creek Vineyards and Winery. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves and let you know what we have in mind for the future of our new home.
We are recent transplants to Arizona, having moved to Scottsdale to follow Nathalie’s career in Human Resources at a local software company. We have just celebrated 2 years in the Valley of the Sun. We lived for several years in another valley, Silicon Valley, on the doorstep of wine country and developed a love for the small, local, family-owned wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, and Sonoma County. It is through our appreciation for the passion of these craftspeople that our own dreams evolved.
It is this desire to develop great wines in a family atmosphere that brought us to Oak Creek Vineyards and Winery. We see this as an opportunity to connect with the Arizona Wine community, a small but passionate group of innovators, explorers and craftspeople growing grapes in a challenging and surprising place. Arizonans have shown support for these adventures and we look forward to this challenge.
We also look forward to sharing our passion for wine and the wine lifestyle. We believe Wine is not just a beverage but an experience. Wine is the most social of drinks. When people want to connect, they generally do so over a glass of wine. A nice bottle of wine is the usual feature of any date night.
And of course, wine has an intimate connection with our environment. We farm grapes, in harmony with our surroundings, trying to leave a small footprint, and creating a lifestyle that can survive the challenges of our climate, today and in the future. In the process we produce a product with starkly simple ingredients.
Over time we will make improvements throughout the business. Nathalie and I are evolutionary not revolutionary. Every change we make will be with a focus on improving our grapes, our wines, and our relationship with you, our new friends. We intend to improve our customer service in the tasting room. If you visited us in the last few weeks, you may have seen some of these changes.
We are working hard to improve the vineyard with a focus on improving our grape harvest. Because we want to engage you in our passion for wine making, we intend to keep you up to date on our activities in the vineyard and the winery as our adventure continues. Look forward to blogs, emails, and videos about our journey.
Of course, a global pandemic did not feature in our plans when we took possession. We have tried to maintain a level of service and we have tried to keep our staff contributing to our long-term vision for the winery. We are taking advantage of this hiatus to update our Tasting Room. We look forward to showing off the new look when we reopen. Unfortunately, it also means we have not been able to meet many people face-to-face. We look forward to that.
– Nathalie and Gary Carruthers