arizona wine festival

Arizona Wine Festival at The Farm 2012

Annual AZ Wine Festival Set for Nov. 17

PHOENIX  –  The Arizona Wine Growers Association will celebrate a year of rising national acclaim by raising a glass with the public on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2011, at The Festival at The Farm.

arizona wine tasting

Festival on the Farm

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:

  • A wine tasting with 31 participating Arizona wineries.
  • A picnic lunch prepared by The Farm Kitchen. There also will be tasty treats from other local Arizona favorites.
  • A high-energy live auction for great prizes.
  • Educational seminars including food & wine pairing with Chef LaPrad from Quiessence and Curt Dunham, winemaker from Lawrence Dunham Vineyards.
arizona wine maker

Curt Dunham, wine maker at Lawrence Dunham vineyards

“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.

Arizona wine

Quiessence Restaurant

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

Tempe Festival of the Arts Wine Tasting, March 27th, 2010

The Arizona Wine Grower’s Association put on a wine tasting at the Tempe Festival of the arts this year featuring 12 Arizona vineyards. I was fortunate

Tempe Festival of the Arts, Mill Avenue

enough to be taken on a tour by the Executive Director of the AWGA, Rhonni Boss-Moffit. Rhonni also publishes Arizona Vines and Wines, a magazine about Arizona Wine Country. I arrived at 10am before the wine tasting officially opened to try and get some wine maker interviews, and it’s a good thing I did because by 11am there was already a lot of people there, and by 1pm the event was crammed with eager and adventurous wine drinkers! Right next to the wine tasting area was a stage with live Jazz music by Renee Patrick and Margo Reed.

It was a beautiful warm spring day and a perfect setting for sampling the wines from the emerging Arizona Wine Industry. Arizona now has 39 licensed and permitted wine producers, which is significantly more than there were just a few years ago.

Arizona Wine Grower’s Association website

Arizona Vines and Wines