Maynard James Keenan on Arizona Wine | part one
Caduceus Cellars wine maker Maynard James Keenan and vineyard manager Chris Turner speak about Arizona terrior at the 2013 Arizona Wine Grower’s Asscociation “Festival on the Farm”
Caduceus Cellars wine maker Maynard James Keenan and vineyard manager Chris Turner speak about Arizona terrior at the 2013 Arizona Wine Grower’s Asscociation “Festival on the Farm”
Festival at The Farm celebrates success of Arizona’s wineries
PHOENIX – The Arizona Wine Growers Association will celebrate another year of rising national acclaim by raising a glass with the public on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, at The Festival at The Farm. Set among the pecan groves of Phoenix’s intimate The Farm at South Mountain, the fifth-annual festival is a way to sample the best wine from across Arizona, all in one place. 29 local wineries
will be in attendance. The festival is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and is limited to 1,000 guests. Advance tickets are available through midnight on November 14 at $65. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $75.
The festival will include an exciting live auction, scheduled for 3:00 p.m., featuring 21 amazing lots from outstanding Arizona wineries including a private wine class for 20, chef-winemaker pairings, vacation packages, one-of-a-kind wine tasting experiences and even a personal wine cellar stocked with Arizona wines. Also on Saturday afternoon will be a special event featuring panelists from several renowned Arizona wineries including Maynard Keenan of Caduceus Cellars.
The seminar, AZ Terroir: Taste the Difference, will begin at 1:45pm. Winemakers and growers from each of Arizona’s three distinct regions will discuss which grapes are doing well and how the terroir is influencing the flavors of the wine.
Northern Arizona’s Stage Stop Vineyards is set to release their 2011 vintage this week with a first ever wine tasting at the owner’s house this coming Thursday night.
The release party is a private-invite only event hosted by Cullum homes and limited to 100 guests who will be joining vineyard owners Melinda, Earl Petznick and their wine maker Eric Glomski. The cuisine is being catered by Mark Tarbell.
Eric Glomski is the owner and wine maker of award winning Page Springs Cellars. He was brought in to make this extremely limited 2011 release of Stage Stop Vineyards Estate Grown “Red Barn Red”. Only 99 cases of this 75% Shiraz, 25% Mourvedre were produced. Both the ’09 and ’10 vintages are already sold out.
Stage Stop Vineyards is located about 10 miles from Sedona right next to Oak Creek in Northern Arizona’s Verde Valley. Owners Melinda and Earl Petznick purchased the historic Dancing Apache ranch back in 2002 and began planting in 2006. The Dancing Apache ranch dates back to the 1800′s and some of the original buildings still remain including the name sake Red Barn, an old school house and a Stage Coach respite house.
Stage Stop Vineyards website
Page Springs Cellars Website
Kief-Joshua Vineyards wine maker, Kief Manning, was pouring wine at the 2012 AZWGA Festival on the farm and took a few minutes to talk with me about his wines.
Annual AZ Wine Festival Set for Nov. 17
Set among the pecan groves of Phoenix’s intimate The Farm at South Mountain, the fourth-annual festival is a way to sample the best wine from across Arizona, all in one place. More than 30 local wineries are expected to attend, representing growing regions from the Verde Valley in the north, Sonoita and Elgin in the south, and Willcox in southeastern Arizona.
As a nod to Arizona wine’s rich history, the festival is an officially-sanctioned Arizona Centennial event. The festival is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and is limited to 1,000 guests. Tickets are $75 for the public (online and at the door) and $60 for AWGA members.
The festival will include:
“Whether they are a novice or an aficionado, this is a can’t miss event for wine lovers to meet the folks behind the rising Arizona wine movement,” said Peggy Fiandaca, president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association. “Come sip the wine from our state’s beautiful wine regions all in one place, in one of the most wonderful settings Phoenix has to offer.”
The festival is preceded by a special event on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. The “Celebration of the Arizona Wine Growers” is an opportunity to mingle and meet winemakers from across the state. The event is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Quiessence Restaurant at The Farm at South Mountain. The winemaker celebration is open to the public but capped at 150 guests.
This special evening includes an awards reception followed by a specially prepared appetizers using local produce by Quiessence Executive Chef Greg LaPrad. Each of the appetizers and desserts are paired with the winning wines from the 2012 Arizona Grower’s Cup and Winemaker’s Medal competition. Each of the winning wineries will be present to discuss their wine and winemaking philosophy. The cost for this special evening is $75 per person.
The Arizona wine industry is one of the fastest growing value-added industries in the state creating jobs and wealth while preserving sustainable agriculture statewide. In 1980 there were less than 10 wineries in Arizona. Today there are more than 60 bonded wineries, with many more in the development phase. The number of vineyard acres has grown dramatically, and many new vineyards and wineries are planned. The Arizona Wine Growers Association (AWGA) represents these family businesses and supports grape growers and wineries statewide through education, representation, advocacy, and promotion of Arizona wine and sustainable grape growing.
Arizona wine has an estimated economic impact of $38 million, according to a recent study funded by the Arizona Office of Tourism and completed by Northern Arizona University. The state’s wine is surging in popularity, earning national acclaim from Wine Spectator to Sunset Magazine to USA Today. Arizona wine also has been served at James Beard House dinners and poured at the White House.
Learn more, join the AWGA or get your tickets now at www.arizonawine.org
According to the literature supplied with this review sample, 2010 was “an exceptionally chilly, wet spring followed by a cool summer of no summer”. The season was characterized by below average temperatures, a small heat wave in August and heavy rains in October. Again, according to the literature, the yields were “significantly lower than average.”
One of the things I noticed on a trip to Howell mountain in June of 2011 was how far behind the mountain fruit was compared to the fruit of the valley floor. I would imagine the same effect with the 2010 Carneros vintage. The result would be low yield, high intensity berries.
This 100% Pinot Noir has a restrained nose of blackberry and spice. The palate is rich with raspberry and an almost pine like forestyness to it. There is enough acidity and backbone to make this a solid wine, a wine that a Cabernet drinker might get into. There is a hint of toasty oak owing to 7 months aging in 34% new French oak. Alcohol weighs in at 14.5% which was a little surprising, not too much heat on the palate although the nose was hot yet vibrant. For those wine drinkers who have not yet experienced “heat” try adding vodka to Capri Sun in quantities that it begins to sterilize your nostrils and mouth. Thats heat. This wine doesnt have that, don’t worry
The suggested retail price on this wine is $27, although most retailers will probably have it at around $20. As far as California Pinot Noir goes, this is a decent value, and if you can pick it up for $15 or less it would be a good deal. I’m not a huge fan of the varietal in general, although some of the best wines I have ever tasted have been Pinots. This wine is a decent effort. If you’re looking for something better than average, without breaking the bank this is it.
Weekly Wine Journal Rating: 88 points
Kief-Joshua Vineyards will be hosting the Southeast Arizona wine festival this coming weekend, April 14th and 15th, 2012
Kief-Joshua Vineyard is located in Elgin, Arizona which is about an hour drive Southeast of Tucson.
The first ever Southeast Arizona Wine Festival will feature wine tastings by 17 Arizona wineries and wine makers from all regions of Arizona will be represented. The festival will also feature two wine education seminars: a wine sensory seminar and a wine pairing seminar. Sonoita’s Steak Out restaurant will be on hand serving up chicken wings, pulled pork and sirloin sandwiches!
Buzz and the Soulsenders will be entertaining the crowd with their blues styled music too!
Tickets are $15, gates open at 10am. Tickets can be purchased on site.
The “Blue Tooth Wine Society” celebrated the holiday season this past Saturday night at the home of Jim Wiskerchen. Jim is the founder of the Blue Tooth Wine Society, a group of people who share a common interest in learning about wine in a relaxed and friendly environment. The BTWS currently has 275 members.
Jim Wiskerchen is also a wine broker for many Arizona wineries. Currently Jim sells just under 10,000 cases of wine a year for his winery partners, and he plans to double that in 2012.
But wait, theres more! Jim is also a winemaker! Jim’s first vintage was released just a few months ago: JAW Cellars “Meritaz” a play on the Meritage name, containing a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec, aged 24 months in New French oak
Jim plans on increasing production in 2012 to over 175 cases. He also will be releasing more varietals. His plans include a Malbec, a dry Zinfandel, a Red Bordeaux blend and a white Bordeaux blend and a GSM. He also is planning a Torrontes, a wine which has done quite well in Argentina.
The holiday party was attended by a variety of guests, the more die hard fans of the Blue Tooth Wine Society! Each brought a wine to share. The variety was incredible. From The Duro, Portugal to Campo de Borja, Spain. From Sonoma, Napa and Lodi to Washington State and Arizona.
Some of the rare gems we enjoyed included a 1995 Quilceda Creek Cabernet and a 2005 Caduceus Cellars “Nagual Del
Sensei” and a Cameron Hughes Lot 200
Follow Jim Wiskerchen on Twitter
Join the Blue Tooth Wine Society here at Meetup.com
The Jefferson Cup wine competition held this past November was a major achievement in Arizona Wine. The Jefferson Cup is an invitation only wine competition held in Kansas City. The wines were judged by some of the industries most well known Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine from across the country, 13 in all. There are no Gold or Silver medals awarded.
Over 630 wines from all of America’s wine regions were selected to compete with just under 300 being awarded “Medals of American Merit”
52 wines won “Medals of American Excellence” and only 22 wines won Jefferson Cups.
In an Amazing feat for Arizona wine and for any winemaker, Eric Glomski (winemaker for Page Springs Cellars and Arizona Stronghold) took home 3 Medals of Merit, 2 Medals of Excellence and 2 out of only 22 Jefferson Cups awarded.
Here is an interview with Eric Glomski just after the awards were announced:
A List of Eric Glomski’s award winning wines:
Page Springs Cellars:
El Serrano 2010, Red Blend, Cochise County | Jefferson Cup
Mourvedre Colibri Vineyards 2010, Cochise County|Jefferson Cup
La Serrana 2010, White Blend, Cochise County | Medal of Excellence
Landscape Page Springs Estate Vineyard 2010, Red Blend, Yavapai County ………Medal of Excellence
Petite Sirah “Page Springs Estate Vineyard” 2010 Yavapai County | Medal of Merit
Pinot Noir “Bonita Springs”, 2010, Graham County | Medal of Merit
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon “Dala” 2009, Cochise County, Arizona | Medal of Merit
For a complete list of Jefferson Cup Competition award winners click HERE
November 21, 2010 Phoenix, Arizona
This past weekend the Arizona Wine Grower’s Association celebrated its 3rd annual awards banquet and festival.
The awards banquet was held at the AAA Four Diamond award winning Quiessence restaurant. The cozy little farm house is nestled in the back end of the 10 acre urban Farm at South Mountain. Executive Chef and owner Gregory La Prad created a stunning 5 course meal paired with the Gold medal winning wine in each category. Guests paid $125 each to dine with the Arizona Republic Wine Competition winners. The intimate evening was the culmination of 12 months of difficult work for the wine growers and makers, but made all the worthwhile by mixing with their biggest fans. I was lucky enough to be invited thanks to Chris Fiscus at Moses Anshell, Patti King at the AZWGA and Peggy Fiandaca president of the AZWGA.
Watch this 2 minute video featuring scenes from the banquet:
The annual wine festival is THE Arizona Wine event of the year – YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT!
The Arizona Wine Festival will feature 20 wineries pouring wines from Arizona’s wine producing regions of Verde Valley, Wilcox, Sonoita and Elgin. In addition there will be a People’s Choice wine competition and educational seminars such as Wine Pairings 101.
The Festival will culminate with an amazing auction. Last year some of the amazing items on the block included dinner for 4 prepared in your home by FnB’s Pavle Milic and Charlene Badman, and the top auction block which fetched $8000 was dinner with Maynard Keenan prepared by Mark Tarbel.
Tickets for the event are still available here:
The Scottsdale Culinary Festival featured a special event called Cooks & Corks. Guests paid $65 a ticket to be wined and dined inside the Scottsdale Center for the Performing arts. Within this special event was an even more exclusive Arizona Wine Seminar. Seating was limited to just 65 guests who were treated to a run down on the Arizona wine industry featuring guests speakers, Pavle Milic, Todd Bostock and Kent Callaghan. Bellow you will find 3 videos of the seminar.
The 2nd annual Arizona Wine Grower’s Association Festival on the Farm was place to be in the Valley of the Sun this past weekend. The Pecan tree groves at The Farm at South Mountain provided a beautifully serene and intimate setting for an afternoon featuring dozens of Arizona wineries and winemakers. Over 700 guests were given the opportunity to sample award winning wine from over 20 of Arizona’s best vineyards and wineries and also meet and mingle with the wine makers themselves.
In addition to sampling wines, guests were also given the opportunity to participate in wine seminars and also judge wines in the People’s Choice wine contest. Guests were given blind samples to rate while listening to panelists discussions led by moderator Richard Ruelas of the Arizona Republic. Panelists included FnB’s Pavle Milic, Dos Cabeza’s Patty Coughlin and Arizona wine broker Jim Wiskerchen. The People’s Choice winners were Merkin Vineyards Shinola and Arizona Stronghold Site Archive Bonita Springs Chardonnay.
The highlight of my day was a nice stroll through the Pecan groves talking with wine maker Eric Glomski. Click here to see the videos
Check out photos from this event on The Weekly Wine Journal’s Facebook page
Complete list of Award Winners HERE
Every once in a while I am lucky enough to attend a truly remarkable wine event. Not that the other events are not remarkable.
It’s just that some events are so special that they really give you that feeling that you are in the midst of or witness to the start of something exceptional. The 2nd annual Arizona Wine Grower’s Association Awards reception 2010 was one of those events.
The banquet was held at Quiessence restaurant at The Farm at South Mountain. First a little background about the Farm: Originally developed by Dwight Heard of the Heard museum, in the 1920′s the 10 acre parcel was planted with over 100 pecan trees. These trees still stand today and provide a wonderful, lush and serene setting for Quiessence restaurant which is nestled way in the back of the property. Quiessence has accumulated an impressive list of awards but even more impressive were the culinary creations of executive chef Gregory LaPrad and Chef du Cuisine Anthony Adiario that were paired with the gold medal winning wines
The food and wine pairings were set up at 7 different stations around the restaurant and out in the garden. Here is a list of the menu and wine pairings:
House Cured Meats & Salumi – Arizona Stronghold Vineyards “Dayden” 2009
Winter Squash Soup – Caduceus “Dos Ladrones” 2009
Handmade pasta: Capunti with tomato, eggplant, fennel and sardines – Caduceus “Kitsune” Sangiovese 2008
Potato & Cheese Francobolli with Black Trumpet Mushroom Cream Sauce – ASV Bonita Springs Chardonnay 2009
Housemade Boudin Blanc Sausage with “El Norte” Braised Crimson Gold Apples & Fried Sage – Dos Cabezas “El Norte” 2008
“Frito Misto” Crispy Fried Shrimp, Calamari & Alaskan Halibut – Merkin “The Diddler” 2009
Braised Beef Wellington with Roasted Vegetable Compote – Alcantara Cabernet Sauvignon 2007-Paso Robles
Desserts: Petit Fours, Truffles & Confections – Sonoita Sparkles Peach
Also out in the garden were a cellist and a violinist playing contemporary music accompanied by an Macbook back up band which really added a nice touch to the ambience.
I was introduced to a man named Bob Webb, who founded the first winery in Arizona back in 1980. I had a very interesting discussion with Mr. Webb. One of my dreams is to buy some land and plant a vineyard and start a winery, which is quite unlike any other wine bloggers dreams! Mr Webb was actually retired out of the wine business but recently came out of retirement when he decided to plant vines in the spring of 2010. He said it’s in his blood, he cant stop. Mr Webb planted multiple varieties on 13 acres high in the Sierra Madre mountain range. At elevations above 7,000 feet these could possibly be the highest vineyards in North America. He says he will only make wine from those vines if the fruit is exceptional, otherwise he will just scrap the idea. I will be writing more on this project in the future.
Later on I met legendary Arizona wine maker Kent Callaghan (pronounced Calla Gan). We were talking inside in a small hallway and I told him I had grown up in British Columbia and suddenly he became animated. Kent is actually a shy and humble guy – not very comfortable with the limelight. But with the B.C. connection he became a bit more animated. He told me that his parents had owned property on Galiano Island and he had learned how to grow grapes from his father there. Then he said “Hey, you like wine? Come with me.” This is where an event like this becomes truly interesting… we went outside and he reached under one of the tables and pulled a couple of bottles of wine out of a box. I sat with Mr Callaghan and Todd Bostock and drank some truly remarkable wine which shall remain nameless.
This event was a very nice and intimate conclusion to a year of hard work by the Arizona wine industry. It was really nice to see all of the people I have interviewed and met over the past year all in one place.
Visit the Weekly Wine Journal’s Facebook page for more PHOTOS
Here is a short video of some scenes from the evening:
List of Award Winners HERE