August 21, 2017

Two Heads are Better with Wine

The current growth in the Arizona wine scene can be traced back to a handful of pioneers. The original pioneer arguably being Gordon Dutt who recognized the potential that Sonoita and Elgin held for vineyards in the late 1970s. A small group sprang up during the early- to-mid 1990s to join him, and this core group was the true forefront of the Arizona wine industry as it stands today. I return to the Arizona wine roads to introduce you to one of those pioneering labels and tell the story of its current owner and winemaker. The label is Dos Cabezas…

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Trailblazing Arizona Wines

Most of my focus on Arizona wineries has revolved around the small group of people at the forefront of the Northern Arizona wine scene. This is a Sedona based publication after all. My goal, though, is to promote Arizona wine in general, since the state as a whole is going through a period of growth, and shows real promise in joining a handful of other states as prominent American wine producers beyond California and the West coast. All industries have their pioneers, and there are a few names in Arizona that carry recognition as the trailblazers who not only initiated…

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Driving Arizona Wines

The Arizona wine scene is still in its infancy really. Most of the people involved in the business here run a mom & pop operation, and on a small scale are simply following a passion that took hold of them. While even the largest of Arizona wineries is considered small versus the size of major producers in California, there are a few driving forces that are laying the foundations for premium wine production in the state. Some are becoming modestly sized wine businesses, proving that success can be achieved in the Arizona wine market. I’d like to introduce you to what…

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Arizona and Vine

My writings on the Arizona wine scene have focused on the wineries in the northern reaches of the state so far. This is the Sedona edition after all, and they’re just down the road. But, I would be remiss in promoting Arizona wines if I didn’t branch out and discuss the other regions of the state involved in the grape business. I’d like to introduce to you to a gentleman that is the perfect bridge to bring together every region of the Arizona wine industry, from the vineyards down south, to the wineries up north, and the retail shops in between. His…

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Big Wines Need a Big Dog

I’m going to delve back into the developing local wine scene and introduce you to another of Northern Arizona’s young wineries. The locale in question is known for making big red wines from big red Zinfandel grapes. That, and a really big dog. Javelina Leap Vineyards and Winery  is located at 1565 Page Springs Road just south of Sedona on the outskirts of the town of Cornville, just across the road from the fish hatchery. It’s the labor of passion for owner/winemaker Rod Snapp. Of course, he’ll give all the credit for any success to his partner and better half,…

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Rhône, Rhône on the Range

When professionals in the wine industry discuss wine styles and the character of a given wine, they often refer back to the classic regions of the old world, since those styles define many of the classic wine grape varieties. Most new regions look to classic wine areas when regarding what soil types and climate patterns their vineyard sites match, and how that pairs with vineyard practices from similar established regions. Growers often make key decisions such as which grapes to plant based off the similarity of their sites to established regions in Europe. Many eventually establish their own signature styles…

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Rock You Like a Cabernet

Any new developing wine region needs a handful of stalwarts that are the foundation upon which success is built. Even Napa Valley was a backwater at one time until names like Robert Mondavi led the way. Northern Arizona has a handful of these stewards, and the one I’m going to tell you about is certainly not only a driving force in quality, but is the name recognition that can bring the customers, critics, related enterprises, and other trappings that lead to a successful local wine industry. He’s the rock star (literally) turned winemaker, Maynard James Keenan, the owner and proprietor of…

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Having A Kegger . . .With Cabernet . . . by Joel Mann, Staff Wine (And Beer) Tasting Guy

Packaging decisions are one of the major issues that wineries and winemakers deal with in their business planning cycles. Choosing bottles, getting labels approved, deciding what type of cork to use, or even going with a twist-top closure are all factors that must be weighed and considered. Packing choices have evolved over time as well. Winemakers can forgo bottles for bag-in-a-box casks, can go with specialty cardboard boxes called tetra paks similar to milk and juice containers, or even decide to package their wine in cans such as Sophia from Coppola. One packaging format seeing a revival as wineries compete…

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