Journey With Us To Discover AZ Wines

By Kathryn M. Miller –

There is a long and rich heritage of agriculture in Arizona, but in recent years, there has been a surge in one industry in particular – the grape growing and wine making industry. Arizona is an up-and-coming player in the wine arena. In 2011, Arizona had an estimated economic impact of $37.6 million supporting over 400 jobs.

What began in 1973 south of Tucson in the Sonoita/Elgin area has turned into 45 licensed wineries throughout Arizona today. There are three major growing regions, all in the high desert: Sonoita/Elgin, Willcox and Verde Valley. You may have heard of some of the wines that come out of these regions, some of them perhaps not. But we aim to rectify that.

In March, CST will debut a new feature, Discover AZ Wines. In the months ahead, we will take a journey through Arizona’s wine regions and learn about the vineyards and wine makers that are producing wines that are popping up not only at local markets, but around the country, not to mention presidential wine lists. Along the way, our guide will be Peggy Fiandaca, owner (along with husband Curt Dunham) and marketing director of Lawrence Dunham Vineyards, as well as the president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association. The Association represents all of the wineries and vineyards statewide. She has a passion for building the Arizona wine industry and understands the economic potential the industry can play.

Fiandaca will share not only her passion and knowledge of the industry, but the culture and community of wine growers and wine lovers. We’ll also share original recipes, wine-pairing suggestions and a wealth of information on wine-related events happening in town and around the state.

We hope you’ll join us on this delicious journey of discovery. Until next month, Cheers! |CST

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