Winemaker, Rob Hammelman, began his wine journey in Arizona in 2000 while taking a summer from teaching Humanities and Sciences to work in the vineyard of one of Arizona’s wine pioneers, Callaghan Vineyards. It didn’t take long to recognize that while drinking Arizona wine, the aromas and textures had a magical way of transporting him right back to the high desert vineyard where they were grown. This early experience of terroir ignited a passion and so the dream began to grow vines and make wine in Arizona.
Rob later earned a graduate diploma in Oenology from the University of Adelaide in South Australia. In Australia, his love for Rhone varieties grew while working in the cellars at Hewitson and with one of the oldest vineyards in the world – the Old Garden Mourvèdre planted in 1853. After Australia, Rob made his way to Colorado where he was winemaker at Two Rivers Winery. There, he made wine from some of the highest altitude vineyards in US, including one of his favorites – Riesling grown at 6,000 ft.
The dream of working in the Old World was fulfilled in 2008 when Rob took a job as Louis Barruol’s ‘flying winemaker’ at Chateau de St. Cosme in Gigondas, France. Making wine in a 2000-year-old cellar from 100+ year old Grenache vines was an irreplaceable education in history, culture, and traditional winegrowing and has had a great influence on Rob’s current winemaking style.
Rob is proud to have made it full circle back to Arizona, and he, alongside his wife Sarah, are set to continue the journey in producing world-class wine!
Sarah’s wine journey began while studying Psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. What began as wine dates with friends became a serious exploration into the science, art, and soul of wine. The mystery she found in a glass of wine was intoxicating, and the notion of terroir fascinated her. A Colorado native, Sarah looked to the Colorado wine industry to explore winemaking, and worked a harvest at Two Rivers Winery. She was hooked on wine, and never looked back.
Since then, Sarah has explored the many facets of the wine world. In 2007, she headed to California and worked the harvest at Etude where she studied the elusive qualities of Pinot Noir in Carneros. Later she dipped into the other side of the wine world, completing an introductory sommelier course while working in wine retail and fine dining.
Sarah traveled to France with Rob in 2008 and soaked in the joie de vivre while living in Gigondas. In Provence, an even deeper appreciation of food, wine and culture was cultivated.
When Sarah isn’t working on the vines, she is focused on her other love – yoga and wellness. She is a yoga instructor and teaches private classes at the vineyard.