August 21, 2017

An Arizona Summer

The birds need oven mitts just to sit on a wire. The trees are whistling for the dogs for a little relief. The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance from store. Hot water now comes out of both taps. Ranchers are feeding chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard boiled eggs. You can make sun tea instantly, in the shade. You learn that a seat belt buckle makes for a pretty good branding iron. Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, “What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and…

Be Cool

Starting around May of every year, whenever I have a conversation with one of my relatives from some other part of the country, invariably I hear, “Well, I know it’s nothing like where you are, but it’s sure been hot here the last few days.” Arizona equates to hot. It’s just accepted. There are other places that are hotter, but no one knows anyone who lives there. To be accurate, not all of Arizona is hot. But most of the country thinks Arizona beef is medium-rare while it’s still walking around, chickens lay soft-boiled eggs, and you can just pull…

It All Starts Over a Glass of Wine

A common thread among many professionals in the wine industry is that their passion began over a particular glass of wine. I still remember the first wine that truly captured my attention. It was the 1997 Elderton Shiraz that I tasted at the Barossa winery during the local culinary festival (a bi-annual event that is now sadly defunct). The wine distinctively smelled like someone had cracked fresh black pepper into my glass. I’ve been a fan of that particular winery ever since. My little story segues into the topic for this month. I return to the Arizona wine roads and…

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…

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…