“Since year-end 2010,” said Peggy Fiandaca, recently re-elected as president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association, “AWGA has experienced a 27% increase in total revenues and membership with 45 master growers and 18 growers in-development. The 2013 vintage was large and there is much anticipation for the wine it will produce.”
Statewide, there are over 60 licensed and bonded wineries—up from nine in 2004—and more are in the development process. As the vineyards are being pruned and prepped for the beginning of a new season, the AWGA gathered to select its leadership for 2013. Together, the board will work to advance with integrity the sustainable growth and production of authentic Arizona-grown wines.
Joining AWGA President Fiandaca, Lawrence Dunham Vineyards, will be:
Willcox Regional Vice President: James Callahan, Aridus Wine Company
Sonoita Regional Vice President: Kent Callaghan, Callaghan Vineyards
Verde Valley Regional Vice President: Barbara Predmore, Alcantara Vineyards
Urban Vice President: Cory Whalin, SuVino Winery
Treasurer: Robert Carlson III, Carlson Creek Vineyards
Secretary: Casey Rooney, City of Cottonwood Economic Development
The AWGA also recognized the dedicated service of outgoing executive committee members Fran Lightly (Sonoita Vineyards), Rob Hammelman (Sand-Reckoner Vineyards), and John McLoughlin (Bitter Creek Winery).
In the coming year, the AWGA will work to further expand membership and strengthen its financial position. The organization will continue to play an active role in legislation in Arizona and Washington, D.C. and work with the Yavapai College Wine Center and viticulture/enology programs to help it move forward with funding and support. Plans include a series of educational seminars for members and others interested in the wine industry.
AWGA has confirmed the dates for yet another signature event, Wine Festival in the Pines, to be held in Pinetop-Lakeside this June 14-16. Rest assured, Arizona wines will continue to receive increased attention from respected experts as well as national awards for quality and taste.