Experience Arizona Winesby Bonnie Lewis on Mar. 21, 2013, under Arizona wines, EVENTS, Sonoita/Elgin region, Willcox Region, Wine books, Wine people, Wine Tasting
Just yesterday, on CBS This Morning, a bottle of Arizona Stronghold wine graced the news desk as well-known and respected wine expert Jancis Robinson discussed her new book–co-authored with Linda Murphy–American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of the United States. This beautiful large format book features dozens of Arizona wine growers and their wines receiving rave reviews, and the photos do the Arizona wine growing regions proud.
Check out Arizona wines firsthand, as the spring tasting season is revving up with new releases, festivals, and new tasting rooms–all within a scenic 1- to 2-hour drive from Tucson. Arizona winemakers have pruned their vines and are keeping a close watch on the weather, hoping for precious few frosts, as they look forward to sharing their wines with you at these public events.
Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts
Head to Tempe, Arizona the weekend of April 5-7, 2013, to sip, sample, and savor local Arizona wines. Fourteen wineries will showcase their wines and offer tastings along with sales by the glass, bottle, or case at this event sponsored by the Arizona Wine Growers Association. The wine festival admission of $15 includes six tastings and a commemorative wine glass. The festival will be located on 7th Street, just west of Mill Avenue in Tempe. Tickets available for purchase in advance.
Celebrate in Sonoita
Saturday and Sunday, April 20 and 21, 2013, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., head to the Kief Joshua Vineyards on Elgin Road for the second Southeast AZ Wine Growers Festival. There will be more than a dozen winemakers and live music, fabulous food vendors, and many wineries will be releasing new wines. The lovely Jeordie (daughter of ’60s musical artist Melanie; remember her?) is the featured musician. Plan to stay for the day (or the weekend). This is a laid-back, simply enjoyable weekend to hang out in the KJV vineyards.
Second Annual Bacchanal Festival
Looking for nothing but fun? There’s always something hopp’ning at Arizona Hops & Vines. Megan and Shannon are prepping for their Second Annual Bachannal Festival, Saturday, May 11, 2013. This all-day, all-out festival includes wine and beer tastings, homemade root beer, great food from local restaurant and food truck delectables paired with wines from Arizona’s best vineyards, family crafts, a petting zoo, and plenty of fun and debauchery for all ages. Located on Hwy 82, about 5 miles east of Hwy 83, this gorgeous vineyard enjoys some of the best valley views.
Willcox hosts AZ Winemakers
Downtown Willcox in Historic Railroad Park is the scene of one of the most peaceful, easy-feeling wine festivals in the area. Well, that’s until a train flies by about every 9 minutes; but that just adds to the ambiance.
The Willcox Wine Country Spring Wine Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and May 19, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Your $15 tasting fee includes 8 tastings, commemorative glass, and some of the best live entertainment in all of Southeast AZ.
Following the festival on Saturday, at 6:00 p.m., will be a special showing of Free Willy III at the historic Willcox movie theater, immediately across the street. This movie is one of dozens directed by film director-turned-winemaker, Sam Pillsbury of Pillsbury Wines. The movie viewing is free for one and all, but donations are welcome to help support the theater.
Rumor has it there will be at least two new tasting rooms opening up in the Willcox area by then as well. Well worth the drive (about 1.5 hours from Tucson); lots of places to spend the night.
Alice Feiring Recap
The presentation of Naked Wine at the Tucson Festival of Books earlier this month featured well-known author and wine critic Alice Feiring. The wines tasted and discussed by the panel of experts and audience participants were:
- Tournelle Fleurs Savagnin 2007
- Pitancier Sauvignon Blanc 2011
- Matariki Sauvignon Blanc 2009
- Coturri Carignane 2009
- Olivier Cousin Pur Breton 2011 (my personal favorite)