About an hour east of Tucson on Highway 82 in Sonoita, Arizona, a start-up winery is pulling out all the stops with its first annual Bacchanal Festival, this Saturday, May 12, from 10am till 6pm.
The all-day Arizona Hops & Vines festival will include wine and beer tastings (featuring Borderlands Brewery microbrews), homemade root beer, and fantastic food from local Sonoita restaurants—including K&As Mexican food, Canella’s Bistro, The Steakout, Ranchouse, Viaggio’s, The Sonoita Café, Tia Anita’s Cantina, Civas Mias, Planet & the Crepes, and Santa Rita’s Table—paired with wines from Arizona’s best wine country, family crafts, a petting zoo with baby goats to feed, and more—something for all ages. I’m guessing a few of their ‘signature’ palate-cleansing Cheetos will be available as well. There is a nominal $10 entrance fee (kids free) and $2 tickets for pairings.
Arizona Hops & Vines is described as a “cheeky little winery run by two crazy awesome sisters, Megan and Shannon, with a ton of help from their friends and their many children.” While their own grapes are still young, they feature a portfolio of a half dozen wines that will rock your sock off, that they’ve made with grapes sourced from Arizona, California, and New Mexico vineyards. My personal choice is Imbibe—a very full-bodied California Petite Verdot; but I understand that Hops & Vines The Fluffer has become a local favorite.
I am drawn to the spirit of the Hops & Vines winery by Megan’s and Shannon’s contagious enthusiasm and optimistic vision. They have entered into this venture with a good deal of firsthand grape-growing and winemaking experience under their belt, eyes wide open, and an extended family that doesn’t mind the hard work.
Let’s all gather to celebrate this first Bacchanal festival and welcome Hops & Vines to the growing fold of Arizona grape growers.
Cheers, I’ll see you there!