Arizona’s Largest Local Wine Festival Finds New Home at Kierland Commons


The Arizona Wine Growers Association (AWGA) will partner with azcentral, and the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) to present the Grand Wine Festival, Saturday, Nov. 16, 11am–8pm. The largest celebration of Arizona wine in the country, the Festival will feature more than 30 Arizona wineries, paired with live music and dance performances, art installations, food vendors and other local artisans.

Now in its 11th year, the Grand Festival has relocated to Kierland Commons as part of Kierland POP: Art in Unexpected Places to accommodate for growing crowds, a wine marketplace and a record number of wineries from across Arizona.

According to Kate Marquez, SAACA executive director, “The Festival is delighted to be moving to Kierland Commons. The move truly reflects our team’s combined efforts to better tell the story of Arizona wine as we raise the bar for local wine enthusiasts.”

In addition to sampling, the Festival will also offer attendees the opportunity to purchase full bottles of wine in preparation for the holiday season, including several Festival exclusives that are not available in stores. Attendees will also enjoy live entertainment, an open-air artisan’s marketplace featuring artists’ original works, and delectable treats from gourmet specialty food vendors. The event main stage will host live music throughout the day.

Among the more than 30 participating Arizona wineries will be recognized favorites such as Alcantara Vineyard, Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards, Callaghan Vineyards, Dos Cabezas WineWorks, Keeling Schaefer Vinyards, Page Springs Cellars and Pillsbury Wine Company. Relatively newer winemakers will also make an appearance, including Birds and Barrels Vineyards (2015), Garage-East (2016) and Rune (2013), along with wineries that do not have established tasting rooms, such as Heart Wood Cellars, High Lonesome Vineyards and Woods Bay Winery — the Grand Wine Festival will offer the rare opportunity for guests to taste and buy their wine onsite (full glass and full bottle sales are available for purchase, in addition to the tasting pours with entry). To learn more about the wines being poured at the 2019 event, visit AWGA online.

“Each of the wines poured at the Grand Wine Festival is a testament to the AWGA’s members mission to make outstanding wine, and our deep love for the region,” says Kris Pothier, president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association. “As consumers taste our wines, they’ll recognize the quality and craftsmanship that goes into every bottle and understand the great potential of Arizona as a wine growing region.”

Festival tickets, which include a commemorative wine glass and eight wine tasting tickets, are available for purchase for $35 in advance of the event ($30 if you purchase by Oct. 31) and $45 day-of. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased onsite. Designated Driver tickets, which include full festival access but no tasting tickets or wine glass, are available for $15. For additional information about the Grand Wine Festival or to purchase tickets, visit www.saaca.org/awgagrandtastingfestival.

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