St. Clair Winery / Southwest Wines

April 13, 2010 at 4:17 am (Uncategorized)

This past Saturday I took some clients to tour the custom crush facility in Deming, NM.  Being just a couple of hours past the border from AZ, not only do 14 of the NM wineries use their services, but several of the AZ wineries do too.  At 300,000 cases per year capacity, Southwest Wines is the largest winery facility in NM and I am sure larger than any facility in AZ. 

Thanks to Lori and Phillipe for their hospitality and for giving us the grand tour of the facility – and barrel tasting!  Quite impressive, much more respect for what they do over there.

Visit their websites and

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Dos Cabezas La Montana 2001

April 9, 2010 at 11:01 am (Uncategorized)

I just enjoyed a bottle of Dos Cabezas La Montana 2001.  80% Petite Sirah, 18% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. 

From the Label: “Located at 4300 feet in the shadows of the Dos Cabezas Mountains, our vineyards exemplify a successful marriage of soil, climate and grape variety.  The result is a delightful, uniquely seductive fruit quality that renders our wine exclusive southwestern character and widespread appeal.  Outstanding fruit coupled with the traditions of Old World winemaking and New World technology, allow us to craft wines that Arizonans are proud to call their very own.”

A nine year old Arizona Wine is a rare pleasure, indeed.  So while my wife was attending the “Forks and Corks” culinary event this evening, I decided I would enjoy it all to myself.  Well, not all by myself.  I decided to invite some made from scratch, cooked and charred on the BBQ pizza.  What a beautiful compliment to such a great wine.  The slightly burnt, crispy crust pairs wonderfully with the deep, dark, concentrated fruit and oak of the patiently aged wine.

I did save my wife some pizza, but she missed out on the wine…..Sorry, baby.

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Spring Issue – Arizona Vines & Wines

March 2, 2010 at 11:46 am (Uncategorized)

The Spring issue is out!  This is our two year anniversary of starting the magazine.  It has been quite an adventure.  We have really enjoyed getting to know everyone involved in Arizona’s wine industry.

Lots of good stuff in this issue.  Rancho Rossa is the Featured Winery, wrtten by International Wine Master – Jay Bileti.  Jim Seder from the Wine Inquirer wrote the Grape Perspectives.  Eric Glomski wrote an article on the history of Prohibition and how it still affects the wine industry today.  Margaret Van Damme wrote an article on vineyard weddings.  Steve Ayers wrote an article on the movie – Blood into Wine.  Chow Hound – Christina Barrueta wrote an article on FnB Restaurant (A new restaurant that features ONLY Arizona Wines!).  We have a recipe via Chef Jeff Smetstad of Elote Cafe in Sedona.  We added a new article – Point of Brew – about craft beers and local breweries written by Thomas Ale Johnson.  And lastly – Natalie Morris wrote her last article for us on Agritopia.  Natalie is leaving to study gastronomy in Italy for a year.  We hope you enjoy the magazine!

View the magazine online here:

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Willcox Wine Country Association

March 1, 2010 at 9:16 am (Uncategorized)

I am part of a group in Willcox that we formed to promote Willcox as a wine tourism destination.  The first major item to come out of the group was the inclusion of a viticulture course in the annual “Willcox Ag Day”.  Thanks to Jim Graham for spearheading that and thanks to Rob Call from the U of A for putting together the course.  We are looking forward to more involvement and curriculum from the U of A in the future.

See the article I wrote for the Willcox Range News Here:

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Echo Canyon Vineyard and Winery – Offered at $1,999,900

March 1, 2010 at 3:50 am (Uncategorized)

Echo Canyon Vineyard and Winery is comprised of 14 acres nestled above the banks of the Oak Creek with a view of the namesake canyon wall.  Surrounded by massive hand built walls of volcanic rock, the plantings consist of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet, Cab Franc and Zinfandel.  The winery building includes a 2b/2b living quarters.  Over 100 years ago, Echo Canyon was the site of a farm that produced fruits and vegetables for the mining camps in Jerome.  The stage coach trail that was used is still visible today.This property is shown by appointment only.  Price includes a substantial amount of wine inventory both in bottle and in barrel.  Call for an appointment to tour the property and taste the wine.  Seller financing is available.

Echo Canyon Spring 2010

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Blood into Wine Red Carpet Movie Premiere

February 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm (Uncategorized)

What an awesome time last night!  Perfect Arizona weather on the rooftop of the Scottsdale W.  About 1200 people got all dressed up to attend the premiere, enjoy some Arizona wine and watch the movie, Blood into Wine.

We got there early and met some friends for dinner at Sushi Roku.  We shared one of almost every appetizer on the menu I think.  An unexpected pleasant surprise, our bill was about half of what we expected because we were early enough for happy hour.

After dinner we got in line for will call to pick up the tickets, which was a pretty short line by now.  The line to get into the venue was all the way around the building.  We lucked out by going to another entrance and dropping some names (it’s good to know some people).  They opened the rope and let us in the VIP entrance.  After being wanded with a metal detector, security let us through and we walked up the stairs to the roof top pool deck.  The place was bumping!  I couldn’t believe they were going to fit 1200 people up there.  It was pretty filled up and there were still about 600 people still standing in line waiting to get in. 

We grabbed our included glass of Arizona Stronghold “Nachise” and immediately began to bump into people we know from all over the state and those involved in the industry.  It was really kind of a celebration of all of the hard work these people have been putting into the industry, the premiere of the movie being the sort of “recognition” of what is happening here through all their efforts.

There was a countdown to the start going on the movie screen.  They reset the timer back to 30 minutes three times I guess because they were still trying to get everyone in.  They had a large screen set up in front of the pool (which had been covered and turned into seating) and they had flat screens set up all over the place so you had a good view of the movie even as you moved around the party continuing to mingle as the movie played. 

The ambiance was very nice, what a great venue.  There was a crescent moon up, just enough so you could still see the stars, Palm trees lit up from below and also wrapped in purple christmas lights, water features with gas fire flames shooting out of and lapping at the water in the breeze.  All the pool furniture was white with the linen from the cabanas blowing in the gentle breeze.  They had white sand on the ground in about half the area, made you feel like you were at the beach versus the roof top.

I’ll let someone else review the movie.  I’ll just say I thought it was very well done, a nice balance between humor, wine and viticulture education and storyline.  Definitely not a PBS documentary.  I think (and hope) it will get more play and more venues as it rolls out around the country.  The DVD release is May 4th.

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Back on the Market – Crop Circle Vineyard and Winery

February 19, 2010 at 10:21 pm (Uncategorized)

Crop Circle Vineyard and Winery – 80 acres with 27 acres planted in vines.  On the Willcox Bench next to Dick Erath’s Cimmaron Vineyards, Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Pillsbury Wine Co.Vineyards, Sweet Sunrise Vineyards, Carlson Creek Vineyards and many more in development.  Vineyard, Tasting Room, Winery building, Barn, Tractor and all equipment, 4 bed / 3 bath house, Irrigation and Domestic Wells, Wine Inventory – EVERYTHING!  Under $1m.  See brochure here:

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Blood into Wine Dinner at NOCA

February 18, 2010 at 11:43 pm (Uncategorized)

Going to dinner tonight at NOCA for a wine dinner with Maynard James Kennan.  Tomorrow night is the premiere for the movie “Blood into Wine”  See the menu and wine pairings here:

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Valentines Dinner at Quiessence

February 12, 2010 at 11:43 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Rhonni and I are having Valentines Dinner at one of our favorite restaurants – Quiessence. They specialize in local fare, they even have thier own garden on site. A whole page of Arizona wines too. See the menu here:  

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Blood into Wine

February 10, 2010 at 1:53 am (Uncategorized)

We will be attending the World Premiere of the Documentary – Blood into Wine at the Scottsdale “W” on February 19th at 7pm.  The film features Rock Star Maynard James Keenan (Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer) and his partner – Winemaker Eric Glomski (David Bruce/Page Springs Cellars). Visit the website

Other showings:
Albuquerque – Guild Cinema – Mar. 13
Austin – Alamo Drafthouse Lake Creek – Feb. 19 – 20
Boston – Somerville Theatre – Feb. 26 – 28
Davenport (IA) – Capitol Theatre – Feb. 19, 21 & 26
Encinitas, CA (San Diego) – La Paloma Theatre – Feb. 19 & 21
Healdsburg, CA (Sonoma) – Raven Film Center – Feb. 19 – 21
Houston – Alamo Drafthouse West Oaks – Feb. 19 – 20
Los Angeles – Laemmle Sunset – Feb. 25 – 28
Minneapolis – Riverview Theatre – Mar. 4
Phoenix – Premiere: W Hotel – Feb. 19 ; Valley Art Theater – Feb 26 – Mar. 4
Salem, MA – Cinema Salem – Mar. 12 – 18
Salt Lake City – Tower Theatre – Mar. 5 – 11
San Antonio – Alamo Drafthouse The Market – Feb. 19
San Antonio – Alamo Drafthouse West Lakes – Feb. 20
San Francisco – Viz Cinema – Feb. 25

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