Cochise County vineyard knows what CA wine owners are going through

Cochise County vineyard knows what CA wine owners are going through

COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Saturday was just another day in the vineyard for Rod Keeling.

Keeling's vineyard is in Pearce, an area southeast of Willcox.

Keeling Schaefer Vineyards is in its 13th year. They make six different wines and have 18 different labels.

Rod said he feels for the owners and workers of vineyards in Northern California.

They are dealing the damage from smoke and fire to tasting rooms and vineyards.

Keeling said some of the vineyards didn't get a chance to finish the season because of the fire.

The fire is even affecting his business. Many of the vendors, like the lab that tests his wine or the barrel makers, are closed.

Keeling knows all to well what smoke damage can do to a vineyard. In 2011, the Horseshoe 2 fire got within a mile of his grapes.

He said there were more than several morning when the vineyard looked like it was covered with fog. The smoke got to the grapes and that changed the taste.

Keeling said the wine tasted like alcohol mixed with a camp fire. It was along year, but the vineyard survived.

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