October marks the end of the Arizona grape harvest. As reported by many in the industry, harvest was good. Terrific weather throughout most of the growing season statewide has resulted in better than average yields and high quality grapes. After the harvest flurry, the work turns to winemaking.
Did you know that there are almost 100 farm winery licenses operating in Arizona? If you haven’t visited wine country in recent years, fall is the perfect time to visit the many of new tasting rooms.
Historic Downtown Clarkdale has its first tasting room called Four Eight Wineworks located in the former National Bank. The building was refurbished, keeping its early 1900’s charm and serves as an “incubator, passion vortex, and metaphorical leg up” for start-up wineries as the company’s website proclaims. The project is the creation of Maynard Keenan, owner and winemaker of Caduceus Cellars and showcases wines from Tim White’s Iniquus Cellars and Joe Bechard’s Chateau Tumbleweed wines.
Northern Arizona is home to many beautiful vineyards and wineries offering wine tastings or tours in Williams, Prescott, Page Springs and Chino Valley as well as wine tasting rooms in Downtown Cottonwood, Jerome and Clarkdale to name just a few. Picturesque fall colors in vineyards are all within an hour and half from Phoenix.
Just one hour east of Tucson, you can sample award-winning, unique and fascinating wines from the largest grape-growing regions in Arizona. From big, bold reds to vibrant, crisp whites, there is something for everyone in Southeastern Arizona’s wine country. Visit Wines of Willcox for a great map and information about the region or attend the Willcox Wine Country fall festival October 18-19 in historic Downtown Willcox’ Railroad Park.
Lastly, I am thrilled to announce the opening of our wine tasting room, wine retail and gallery featuring Lawrence Dunham Vineyards’ estate award-winning wines in Downtown Scottsdale. We are bringing the essence of our vineyard in the Chiricahua Mountain foothills to Scottsdale. Visit http://www.lawrencedunhamvineyards.com for grand opening events and tasting room hours.
If you can’t get to one of the great Arizona wineries around the state, The Festival at the Farm is the place to meet grape farmers, wine producers and try dozens of Arizona wines close to home. Wineries from around the state will be pouring their wines on November 15; 12-5pm at the annual festival. The picturesque setting of Phoenix’ historic The Farm at South Mountain provides a beautiful backdrop to enjoy music, a boxed lunch under the pecan trees, workshops, specialty local products, silent/live auction and, of course, great Arizona wine. The evening before (November 14; 6-8pm) winemakers and wine enthusiasts gather to celebrate Arizona wines as The Arizona Republic announces the award-winning wines from the annual competition. Enjoy passed and stationed hors d’ouevres paired with the award-winning wines at Quiessence at The Farm restaurant. Cost for each event (including food, wine tastings and entertainment) is $75. Purchase tickets early for discounts at http://www.azwinefestivalatthefarm.com/about.html.
There are so many more events happening in wine country statewide this fall and winter. Visit the Arizona Wine Growers Association website for a complete listing www.arizonawine.org.
RESOURCES: www.four8wineworks.com; www.willcoxwines.com; www.lawrencedunhamvineyards.com; www.arizonawine.org