I received a special invite to the “soft” opening of Pillsbury Wine Company’s Tasting Room North. A soft opening is different from a Grand Opening in that the event is not
promoted to the general public. The general public is welcome, it’s just not announced. A soft opening is where the restaurant, bar, hotel, it’s where the business opens and works out the kinks in the system by testing it out on their friends!
Pillsbury Wine Company’s North Tasting Room is located at 1012 Main street in Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona. It’s called the north tasting room because the vineyard is actually located far away in the south eastern part of the state. Cottonwood is about an hour and fifteen minute drive north of Phoenix, just a few miles from Jerome where Tool front man Maynard Keenan’s Caduceus cellars and Merkin vineyards tasting room is located.
Pillsbury’s tasting room, features a simple design and layout. It also features art work by members of Sam’s family. There is an espresso bar, and of course wine to taste!
On Friday night Sam estimates that there were close to 100 visitors over the course of the night, that is some soft opening! I arrived at about 11am on Saturday to meet Sam and do a little interview for the Weekly Wine Journal’s Youtube Channel, and take some pictures for the Facebook account. Nice way to plug alternate forms of media eh??
I also tasted 2 wines. I tasted the 2008 Roan red, which is a Grenache based Rhone style wine. And I also tried out the 2009 Viognier. The Viognier had just been bottled by 3pm the previous night. We will be giving more in depth reviews of Pillsbury’s wines in the future, but here is a little teaser.
The 2008 Roan Red is stylistically quite similar to the ’07 Roan Red, if you liked that, you won’t be disappointed with the new offering.
The 2009 Viognier is amazing! In just a couple of weeks it will have settled nicely in the bottle, but even at the time of tasting, with less than 24 hours in the bottle this was a very nice smooth, crisp wine. I was amazed. This wine will sell out fast, only 80 cases were produced.
Before I left I had to pick up a bottle of the 2007 Petite Sirah. Only 30 cases were made of this monster 15.4% 28 brix wine. Sam told me that there are now only 3 cases left. I will be opening this one soon!