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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

Fine Art & Wine Festival Returns for 27th Annual Winter Event

“Blowhard” by bronze sculptor Jason Napier

More than 5,000 original works of art from 155 juried fine artists will be showcased Jan. 17–19 at the Thunderbird Artists’ 27th Annual Winter Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival. The fine art festival will run along Ho Hum and Easy Streets in Downtown Carefree.

A popular event for locals and tourists alike, Thunderbird Artists’ Winter Carefree show was recently ranked No. 45 among the “Premier 100 Fine Art Events” throughout the nation by Greg Lawler’s Art Fair SourceBook.

“It’s an honor to receive such a prestigious industry accolade, and a true testament to the quality of our show,” said Denise Colter, president of Thunderbird Artists. “We love being a part of the Carefree community — people love strolling through the streets, meeting the artists, tasting wine and listening to live music. It’s a beautiful, serene setting, and our artists provide plenty of inspiration!”

In addition to a wide variety of paintings, sculptures, bronzes, sparkling hand-blown glass, wood, clay, metal, stone, gourds, batiks, scratchboard, one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry and exceptional photography, attendees are expected to be especially taken with the oil paintings of the event’s featured artist, Brent Flory.

“Hudson Bay Comfort” 24”x48” oil painting by Brent Flory

Oil painter Brent Flory enjoys learning about and painting the Wild West. Raised in Parker, Flory was always intrigued by the illustrations in picture books. His favorites depicted cowboys, farmers, ranchers, Native Americans and wildlife from the American West.

Flory finds subject matter for his life-like paintings all around him, especially in journal entries or historical books.

“Every life has a story, and some are just amazing,” says Flory. “People did what they had to do to survive. I try to capture that human experience.”

“Aspen Slope” by Nadine Booth

Each of Flory’s pieces are given a well thought out title to help people think about the paintings in a different way.

“Most artists hope that people will appreciate the beauty of their work,” says Flory. “I hope that my work makes people think, and that it makes them appreciate what we often take for granted.”

In addition to meeting award-winning artists and enjoying live musical performances, festival attendees can participate in a world-class wine tasting program. For $10, patrons will receive an engraved souvenir wine glass and six tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1 each.

Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival runs Fri. through Sun., Jan. 17–19, 10am–5pm daily. Admission is $3 for adults, and free for all Carefree residents and children 17 years or younger. Parking is free all weekend. For more information, call 480.837.5637 or visit

Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar Hosts Esteban & Teresa Joy Nov. 2

Celebrated guitarist Esteban will perform an intimate music concert with his daughter and violinist Teresa Joy at 6pm, Saturday, Nov. 2, at Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar, 7137 East Stetson Drive, in Scottsdale.

Attendees will be treated to classical Spanish fusion with a contemporary rock influence as well as newly composed songs. Grammy award-winning drummer Joe Morris and Raul Yanez, pianist and Arizona State University professor of music, will play alongside Esteban and Joy.

Tickets are limited and start at $75 per person. To purchase, visit

Critically acclaimed, Esteban has topped numerous billboard charts and toured throughout the country. Launching his career in Arizona, Esteban and Joy played in the mid-90s where they won “Best of Phoenix” for eight years. Renowned for their emotive performances, the duo is a favorite within the Arizona music scene.

For more information or to contact Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar, call 480.946.3004 or visit

Explore the Ninth Annual Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival: Feb. 7–9 in Scottsdale

Thunderbird Artists will bring its 9th Annual Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival to Scottsdale Feb. 7–9. The event features mixed media sculptor Gary Moser and more than 125 world class artists from across the globe. This event also features live musical entertainment, optional wine and micro-brew tasting, spirit sampling, giveaways, delectable food, sweet treats and so much more.

Patrons can stroll throughout spectacular paintings, bronzes, glass, stone, copper, clay sculptures, photography and jewelry, while listening to live musical entertainment and sipping fine wines. The Scottsdale Waterfront is a superb backdrop, which adds romance to the event with reflections across the waters.

Gary Moser doesn’t follow the typical formula for a metal artist. He had never welded previously; he was a husband, a dad and a masonry contractor. Outside of enjoying Western art, a popular genre in the Southwest, it never really occurred to him to take up welding until he took his family on a trip to Sedona. While exploring local shops, Moser recalled his kids randomly pointed out piece after piece, none of which looked particularly difficult to make. He said to them, ‘Oh, I can do that.’ Well, one Christmas they bought him some clay and said, ‘Here you go, make one.’ So, over the weekend he made a horse lying down with a cowboy lying on his back with his feet up on the horse. His kids were like, ‘Oh my gosh, dad!’

Gary Moser sculpture

Moser’s first metal art creation was a life-size donkey made from discarded barbed wire. His first sale was a tree sculpture, giving him his first taste of gratification that comes from seeing someone connect with his work. His work transitioned into tables and eventually he developed his lady sculptures, or “his ladies” as Moser refers to them. He uses 10- or 12-gauge sheet steel that he cuts into strips, welds them, grinds the welds down until they are smooth, and, if necessary, adds texture in places. He also inlays turquoise or coral to make the steel pop. He makes bronze versions of his ladies too but enjoys the steel work most.

The 9th Annual Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival takes place at 7135 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale, just south of Nordstrom’s on the South Bridge pedestrian walkway, and is handicap accessible with free parking. The hours are 10am–5pm daily. Admission is $3 for adults; wine tasting ticket with souvenir glass is $10. For additional information, visit

Summertime Dining Made Easy: Postino Offers Family To-Go Menu & Wine ‘Spritz Kitz’

As we roll into the ‘dog days of summer,’ Postino is inviting Valley residents to stay in and stay cool with all-new to-go options. Whether a light no-cook weeknight dinner or a weekend spread made easy for the crew, Postino says its new Food for the Crew “is perfectly portioned to satisfy your Postino cravings when you’re rolling with a small crew” (4–6 people).

Featuring small platters of favorite Postino menu items, including table snacks, salads, panini and bruschetta, the Food for the Crew menu sounds like an easy option when it’s just too hot to think about that age-old question: “What’s for dinner?”

In addition to the new Food for the Crew menu, Postino is also launching its Spritz Kitz — a DIY to-go wine kit that includes all the ingredients necessary to make spritz cocktails at home, including a recipe card and a canvas tote to carry it in. Spritz Kits are $45 and are available for purchase online.

Postino’s Food for the Crew and Spritz Kitz packages are available at all Valley Postino locations.  For more information or to place an order, visit

Photos courtesy of Postino

Kick off the Arizona Art Season with Thunderbird Artists

“Mardi Gras II” by Jane Boggs

Thunderbird Artists will bring its 26th Annual Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival to downtown Carefree Nov. 1–3. The event will consist of juried fine art, wine tasting, microbrews, festival food and live music.

More than 150 award-winning fine artists from throughout the United States and abroad will display paintings in all mediums and subjects, in addition to small, medium and life-sized sculptures, bronzes, hand-blown glass, wood, clay, metal, stone, gourds, handcrafted jewelry, photography and more.

The festival also combines fine art with an extensive collection of domestic and imported wines for tasting. For $10, patrons receive an engraved souvenir glass with six tasting tickets; allowing them to walk the streets of downtown Carefree sipping fine wines, surrounded by phenomenal art and listening to live musical entertainment.

The 26th Annual Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival takes place in downtown Carefree (101 Easy Street), Nov. 1–3, 10am–5pm each day. Admission is $3 for adults, 18 and over; parking is free. For additional information, call 480.837.5637 or visit

 GET MORE: Search “Thunderbird Artists” at

Celebrate Arizona’s Culinary Scene At Wine & Dine

Valley residents are invited to an evening of epicurean delights and fine wines as the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association showcases the world-class culinary scene of Arizona’s resorts and restaurants at its seventh annual Arizona Wine & Dine.

Nearly 20 prominent chefs will present tastings of their signature gourmet cuisine and specialty dishes. A diverse assortment of varietals, craft beer and specialty cocktails will accompany the tastings, along with a silent auction and live music provided by the Valley’s Nate Nathan and the MacDaddy-O’s.

Arizona Wine & Dine takes place 6–9pm, Thursday, April 5, at Scottsdale Quarter, 15059 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. Purchase tickets online at For additional information, visit

PHOTOS: Corporate Photography by Mark Skalny

Celebrate Love at Lon’s in February

Valley residents are invited to raise a glass to friendship or romance at Lon’s Last Drop from Feb. 13–16, with a pretty in pink, perfectly balanced Valentini. This “Galentine’s” or Valentine’s Day cocktail is a blend of Flagstaff distillery Canyon Diablo’s Sonoran Rose vodka; Licor 43, which is full of aromas of vanilla and orange; homemade local pomegranate molasses, a splash of fresh local lemon juice and topped with a Luxardo Maraschino foam. $14

Or toast to love at Lon’s at The Hermosa, which was named by Food & Wine Magazine as “The Most Romantic Restaurant in Arizona” in 2018. Chef Jeremy Pacheco and the Lon’s culinary team have created a three-course menu that pairs perfectly with one of the nearly 700 wines featured on the restaurant’s award-winning wine list. Menu highlights include Rovey Family Farms Wagyu Beef Duo: Red Wine Braised Short Ribs & Grilled Striploin, Hawaiian Snapper or Smoked Sonoma Valley Duck Breast. Sweet finishes include the Rose Water-Strawberry Panna Cotta or a decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake. (Cost: $95 with enhancements, plus tax and gratuity.) Celebrate Valentine’s Day Friday, Feb. 14, from 5–10pm. Reservations are required: 602.955.7878 or

The Hermosa Inn is located at 5532 North Palo Cristi Road in Paradise Valley.

‘SIP’ Your Way Through Summer With LDV

LDV Winery owners and winemakers Curt Dunham and Peggy Fiandaca are back with new weekly “From the LDV Winery Vineyard Kitchen” cooking and wine pairing series. Multiple events, themes and menus will be offered throughout the remainder of July and into August. Each virtual event takes place via Facebook Live, Thursdays at 4pm. Participants are invited to “SIP” (shelter in place) along with the LDV team as they share cooking and tasting tips, easy recipes and more during these casual virtual happy hour event.

Each event incorporates interactive preparation discussion, instruction tips and step-by-step meal tutorial. Recipes are posted prior to each session, with weekly meals taking place through Aug. 20:

  • July 30: Appetizers for Dinner featuring Chinese Lettuce Wraps, stuffed mushrooms, jicama shrimp tacos and bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeno peppers, served with 2017 Viognier
  • Aug. 6: Filet with Cognac Mushroom Sauce, wild rice pilaf, and tomato salad, complemented by the new 2014 Sky Island Petite Sirah
  • Aug. 13: Chinese Eggrolls, Szechuan beef with rice, and spiced apple chutney wontons, served with 2016 R.E.D. Rhone Wine Blend
  • Aug. 20: Risotto with roasted shallots, portobello, mushrooms, radishes, and parmesan, paired with 2015 Grenache…plus Instant Espresso Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert

To join each complimentary class, guests can simply go to the LDV Winery Facebook page. Participants are invited to “drink along” by purchasing the featured wines. Wine club members receive enhanced discounts as well. Call 480.664.4822 to place an order to pick-up curbside or for tasting reservations at the LDV Winery Tasting Room in Old Town Scottsdale. Tasting Room hours are Sunday through Thursday, noon–6pm, and Friday and Saturday, noon–8pm. Local delivery can also be arranged. For more information, visit

Kick Off the ‘Arizona Art Season’ With Thunderbird Artists — Annual Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival


Thunderbird Artists are gearing up for its first event of the 2018–19 season: the 25th Annual Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival, Nov. 2–4. The event marks the organizations 73rd fine art event on Easy Street in downtown Carefree. Attendees will immerse themselves in juried fine art, wine tasting, microbrews, festival food and live music during the three-day event.

Spend the day strolling throughout juried fine artworks, courtesy of more than 150 artists from throughout the United States and abroad, displaying paintings in all mediums and subjects. In addition to a wide variety of paintings, drawings, charcoals and pastels, patrons will find impressive small, medium and life-sized sculptures, bronzes, sparkling hand-blown glass, wood, clay, metal, stone, gourds, one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry, exceptional photography and much more.

Sculptor and painter Gilles Charest is the featured artist for this event. Charest’s technique, called “scumble,” and his search for unconventional textures find expression in his personal vision of still life. His mastery of color enables him to create brilliant, fundamentally sensual paintings where harmony transcends.

The Ganga Jala Band will be the featured musician, performing all three days in the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion. The band encompasses vocals, guitar, percussion and bass to create a unique sound all their own. The band motto is “Taking Music to a Higher Level with ‘Mantra Rock.’” Ganga Jala Band has performed at the Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival several times and are especially looking forward to performing at the Town of Carefree’s fall signature event.

Also performing at the festival will be guitarist Chuck Hall, Indian flutist Vibhas Kendzia, trumpeter Roy Breiling of the Yavapai College Brass Quintet and duo Shinin’ The Law.

The Town of Carefree is the ideal backdrop for this annual event, attracting locals and visitors alike to the iconic sundial, indigenous cactus gardens, specialty shops, exclusive boutiques, restaurants and outdoor cafes. The views are intoxicating, and the unique desert-mountain setting sets the tone for one of the rarest beauties in the world. The relaxed, laid back quality of life in Carefree is, for some, a respite away from the crowded and busy housing developments of other outlying areas.

In addition to the art and entertainment, a vast array of domestic and imported wines will be available for tasting from local Arizona wineries, as well as distributors with wines from throughout the world. There is a fee of $10, which includes an engraved souvenir glass and six tasting tickets. Additional tickets may be purchased for $1.

The festival will take place on Easy Street and Ho Hum Roads, 10am–5pm each day. Admission is $3 (children under 18 are free), and parking is free. For additional information, call 480.837.5637 or visit

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