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.

My Foodie Valentine:

Valley festivals abound

foodie-valentineBy Kathryn M. Miller ~ It’s February, and love is in the air. However, it’s not cupid’s arrow that is hitting its mark, but rather purveyors of all things food and drink who are sending a delectable love letter to Valley foodies – so get ready to celebrate the delicious diversity that can be found in town and around the state.

Beverages take the spotlight early with Arizona Beer Week (February 9-18), followed by Street Eats Fest (February 11-12), Arizona Cocktail Week (February 17-24) and PHX Vegan Food Festival (February 25).

Rounding out the month is a Valley favorite, the Devour Culinary Classic. The premier week long annual culinary celebration is hosted by Devour Phoenix, Local First Arizona, Phoenix Art Museum and Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance at several distinct venues in Phoenix. The goal of the events is to showcase Arizona’s celebrity culinary talent as well as its fine food and drink producers and purveyors, all while furthering Metro Phoenix as a dining destination worthy of international prestige.

The Devour Week of events will be held February 26 – March 5 with a series of events celebrating Arizona’s unique culinary talents. The main event, the Devour Culinary Classic, will be held Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5, at Phoenix Art Museum, where the Dorrance Sculpture Garden will come alive with tastings of food, wine, beer and cocktails, as well as cooking demonstrations and interactive stations where attendees will have a unique opportunity to meet and interact with Arizona chefs.

This year, Devour introduces the Devour Excellence Awards, culinary demonstrations and workshops, exciting new restaurants who have been invited to participate and an expanded local foods experience.

Not only has the Classic weekend of offerings expanded, Devour Week pre-events offer more opportunities to indulge, including Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition (kicking off February 26); the 7 chef Singh Along (March 1), which includes the Arizona Seven: Cullen Campbell (Crudo, Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails), Kelly Fletcher (El Chorro), Josh Hebert (Posh Improvisational Cuisine), Scott Holmes (Little Miss BBQ), Stephen Jones (the larder + the delta), Bernie Kantak (The Gladly, Citizen Public House) and Gio Osso (Virtù Honest Craft, Nico); Palette to Palate (March 2), which pairs Valley chefs with local artists; and a new event, Devour Film Screening: Elements at FilmBar (March 3).

veganSo whether residents like it shaken or stirred, sashimi or shishkabob – and everything in between – February and March will offer a delicious distraction for just about every palate.

For complete information on Devour Phoenix 2017, visit www.devourphoenix.com/classic.

Three Ways To Eat, Drink Or Go Vegan In February! Read more about Arizona Brew Week, Street Eats Festival and PHX Vegan Food Fest, click here and see page 40.

 

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