Wine dinners feature family wineries at local hotels

2022 brings two exciting wine dinners happening this month at hotels known for their monthly dinner series.

The first of the wine dinners is the return of the Hotel Valley Ho’s Versus Series at their signature restaurant Zuzu on Thursday, January 13th. The “Family Feud” dinner has guests determine which wines pair best with Executive Chef Russell LaCasce’s 4-course dinner. California’s Jackson Family Wines (Stonestreet and others) & Wagner Family of Wines (Caymus and more) are the featured wines that will be paired with a Lobster & Artichoke Tart and Filet Mignon being just a couple of the courses. The evening starts at 6 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and is $159 per person plus tax and gratuity. Taste wines you like, you can purchase them to take home as well. Seating is limited and reservations can be made by calling 480-421-7997

A few nights later on Sunday, January 16th Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows Resort hosts its monthly Sunday Supper. This month’s featured wines will be Arizona’s own Los Milics. The southern Arizona winery is founded by FnB co-owner and winemaker Pavle Milić who will be in attendance to discuss his wines and collaboration with Kelly and Todd Bostock of Dos Cabezas Winery. Milić has been nominated by the James Beard Foundation for an “Outstanding Beverage Program” at FnB for his almost all Arizona wine list. His wines will be paired with Executive Chef Charles Wiley and Chef de Cuisine Alfred Muro’s multi-course menu featuring a Diver Scallop and Niman Ranch Beef Tenderloin. The evening begins at 6 p.m. and is $149 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 480-624-5458.

Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival back for its 7th year

Over 25 Arizona wineries will be pouring their award-winning wines Saturday 15th 2020 for the 7th annual “Off the Vine” Arizona Wine Festival at the historic Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley. The Arizona Wine Growers Association is hosting the festival that will also feature food trucks, live music, local artists and more.

“Off the Vine has quickly become one of our biggest events of the year, and after seeing record-breaking attendance in 2019 we’re expecting an even bigger crowd for 2020,” said Kris Pothier, president of the AWGA and owner of Chateau Tumbleweed. “Steam Pump Ranch and the surrounding mountains provides such a beautiful setting for wine lovers to experience wines from across the state and even meet the winemakers themselves, who are often in attendance.”

off the vine
Photo credit to Jenelle Bonnifield

Pillsbury Wine Company, Rune Wines and Oddity Wine Collective are a few wineries traveling from around Arizona to the ranch built in the 1800s. The bluesy big band sounds of the Peter Swan Trio will provide the playlist for the 7 hour festival that starts at 11 a.m.

Early Bird tickets are $25 and include 8 sampling tickets and a commemorative glass can be purchased here. Day of event tickets is $30.

 

Arizona Wineries Growers Assoc. 3rd Annual Festival at The Farm part 2

Here are 3 more wineries I visited with at the 3rd Annual Festival at The Farm last weekend.

Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards produces about 3,000 cases annually from their 21 acres in Cochise county. Winemaker Rod Keeling has been making wine for 13 years and his experience shows. I had the opportunity to chat with Rod and his daughter Cecelia while tasting 3 wines, with 2 of them being available only from the winery. The  2009 Three Sisters Syrah is soft, ripe with good fruit. It’s complexity and medium body give it a nice mouth feel. Plenty is available as they made 539 cases, quite a bit for an Arizona winery. The 2007 Home Place Reserve Syrah gets aged for 3 years in new French oak and delivers a soft start that leads to a full bodied wine. With only 96 cases produced this wine is only available at their tasting room and online, as is the 2008 Schaefer Boys Mourvedre. This 68 case production wine is spicy with dark fruit and is terror driven, showcasing their Rock Creek vineyard. http://keelingschaefervineyards.com