Wines to flow at the 4th annual Verde Valley Wine Festival

After a 2 year hiatus the Verde Valley Wine Festival has announced that wines from Arizona’s newest American Viticultural Area (AVA) will flowing when the festival returns to Cottonwood on the April 29th & 30th.

The festival takes place on the Saturday the 30th at the Old Town Activity Park with a kick-off VIP platinum winemaker dinner the night before at the Old Town Cottonwood Clubhouse. More than 20 wineries are expected to be pouring their wines along with local breweries and distilleries. Dozens of food trucks, local arts, craft vendors and live music will feed and entertain guests.

“We are thrilled to be able to host the event again this year,” said Maynard James Keenan, director of the Arizona Wine Growers Association (AWGA) and owner of Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards. “Guests will be treated to some of Arizona’s best wines, taste some great food in a picturesque setting and be able to learn about our growing viticulture. We look forward to welcoming back old friends and introducing newcomers to this great event.”

Festival organizers are working with both Arizona wine non-profit organizations the AWGA and the Arizona Vignerons Alliance (AVA) to ensure the quality and authenticity of the Arizona wines. The festival starts at noon for General Admission ticket holders and 11 a.m. for those with VIP ticket holders. The festival goes until 5 p.m.  GA tickets are $35 and VIP tickets are $125 and Friday’s winemaker dinner is $99 per person. The Platinum VIP Experience is $199 and includes Friday’s dinner and VIP admission to the festival on Saturday.

 

Downtown Camp Verde is the place to be for pecans & wine in March

Tickets are on sale for the return of the 21st Annual Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival in downtown Camp Verde the weekend of March 19-20th. The Verde Valley Wine Consortium and the Town of Camp Verde co-host the two day festival that will also include a beer garden, local artists and a pecan pie eating contest.

“We have learned a lot as event organizers as the pandemic has continued to take its toll and many of the COVID related changes have turned out to be more popular than ever,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “We have a new style of vendor booth arrangements that is working great and the open-air wine canopy was a big hit with both vendors and attendees last spring.”

Two new experiences have been added to the festival this year including a children’s activity area and live music. Glorybound Publishing is sponsoring a Puppet Theatre & Children’s Art Exhibit and the Northern Arizona Blues Alliance (NAZBA) brings the “Northern Arizona Blues & Roots Review” to the main stage. 8 bands will entertain festival goers during the two days.

13 wineries with new Verde Valley AVA designation will be pouring their newest releases including Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Salt Mine Wine, Cove Mesa Vineyard and the Southwest Wine Center.

Entry to the festival is free and those 21 and over can purchase wine tasting tickets for $20 in advance or at the door for $25. Six wine tasting tickets and a commemorative glass are included and additional tickets can be purchased. The festival will be in downtown Camp Verde at 75 E. Holloman St. 86332 and starts at 11 a.m. both days. Safety precautions will be in place with sanitizing stations and vendors will be socially distanced. For more information visit their website.

Arizona wineries pouring at 9th Annual Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival

23 Arizona wineries will be pouring their award-winning wines at the return of the 9th Annual Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival on Saturday February 19th in Oro Valley. Hosted by the Arizona Wine Growers Association the festival will also include local food trucks, local artists, live music and other vendors with Arizona made products.

“We are thrilled to be back at the Steam Pump ranch after taking a year off due to the global pandemic,” said Kris Pothier, president of the AWGA and owner of Chateau Tumbleweed. “Off the Vine has become one of the AWGA’s biggest events of the year and 2022 will be no different. We have some of Arizona’s best wines being poured in an absolutely beautiful setting aside the Catalina Mountains.”

A few of the Arizona wineries from northern and southern Arizona pouring on the 19th include Merkin Vineyards, Carlson Creek Vineyard and Deep Sky Vineyard. The Pete Swan Quartet entertains attendees at 11 a.m. then Paul Green and Midnight Blue take the stage at 2:15 p.m.

The festival goes from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the historic Steam Pump Ranch with early bird tickets available for $30 and can be purchased on-line. Tickets include a commemorative glass and 8 tasting tickets. Day of tickets can be purchased at the gate for $35. For more information and to see upcoming events visit the Arizona Wine Growers Association’s website.

Verde Valley becomes the third AVA in Arizona

Last Friday the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) named the Verde Valley an American Viticultural Area (AVA). It’s been 4 years since the region petitioned for the esteemed designation as a federally recognized grape growing region. The unique climate, soils, topography and geography are what makes the area unique and warranting the designation.

The Verde Valley becomes Arizona’s third AVA joining Sonoita and Willcox and wineries can use the new designation on the label when using grapes from the AVA. “I am ecstatic with this TTB announcement,” said Tom Schumacher, president of the Verde Valley Wine Consortium. “The Verde Valley AVA petition was submitted to the TTB by the Verde Valley Wine Consortium in 2017. This shows that our arduous efforts to submit the petition have been fruitful.”

Photo by Josh Grey

Verde Valley vineyards

Located in the geographic center of Arizona the new AVA is 219 square miles in northeastern Yavapai County centered near Oak Creek and the Verde River. 36% of the AVA or 79 square miles is privately owned land and includes 19 vineyards covering more than 136 acres planted to grape vines. The region also is home to 25 wine tasting rooms. Over 40 grapes varieties are grown in the area that can be made into wine including white grapes Malvasia Bianca, Chardonnay and Viognier. Syrah, Petit Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon are just a few of the red grapes grown in the AVA.

Yavapai College is also in the AVA and offers offers classes, certificates and an associate degree in viticulture and enology. The Southwestern Wine Center as it’s known has a commercial, licensed and bonded winery, a teaching vineyard and tasting room. Started in 2009 the school has continually grown in class size and curriculum with many of the graduates staying in Arizona to make wine. For more information about the region visit their website.

 

Yavapai College offering virtual winemaker symposium

As the Arizona wine industry continues to gain popularity and international respect those making the wine, the winemaker have two ways to learn how to make wine. One way is by hands on trial and error and learning along the way. The other is to learn from a school of wine-making then apply what you’ve learned in the vineyard and winery. Yavapai College is one of those that teach you how to make wine here in Arizona. The school has announced a one-day “Emerging Winemakers Competition & Symposium” on Saturday April 24th.

The virtual and free event will offer 2 seminars, 3 speakers, 7 judges and 1 Best in show winner from 9:30 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. The seminar & symposium is being organized by the Grand Crew, a student & alumni organization at the Yavapai College of Viticulture Enology at the Verde Valley campus in Clarkdale.

“After canceling last year’s event due to COVID-19 safety precautions, we are excited to return this year as a virtual event for wine lovers throughout the state,” said the Competition Organizer Bill Anderson. “As one of our state’s fastest growing industries we created this event as a platform for those new to the industry to be recognized for their efforts in helping it flourish,”

The schedule of events is as follow

9:30-10:15 a.m. PDT

Welcome + Introductions:
Bill Anderson + Michael Pierce

Keynote Speaker: Jennifer Montgomery
Topic: Different Beginnings, Same Destination

10:30 – 11:15 a.m. – Seminar 1
Lisa Froncioni-Hai:
California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance
Topic: Sustainability from Grapes to Glass

11:30am – 12:15 p.m. – Seminar 2
Philippe Corderey:
Introduction to Biodynamic Viticulture

12:15 – 12:45 p.m.
Break for lunch

1:00-2:15 p.m.
Awards Presentation + Roundtable Discussion

To register for the virtual symposium head to their website.

Spirit of Arizona Tours announces wine tours to Scottsdale & Verde Valley

Bookings are now being taken for Spirit of Arizona Tours new experiences to old town Scottsdale and to the Verde Valley.

The Verde Valley Winery Tour includes spending the day visiting 3 wineries between Jerome and Sedona, visit Cottonwood for shopping, lunch and more wine tasting and an interpretive tour of of the Sonoran desert and the Verde Valley. Tours leave the Phoenix area at 8:30 a.m. and return between 6 – 7 p.m.  Cost is $129 per person.

The Scottsdale Wine Tasting Experience visits up to 4 tasting rooms, checking out Scottsdale landmarks & points of interest and time to do a little shopping. Drop off and pick up is available when per-arranged. The tours are 3 hours long and are multiple times a day for $60 per person.

Wine tastings are not included in price as individuals can determine what and how much they want to drink. To book these or any other Spirit of Arizona Tours visit their website.

 

Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival is back March 21st and 22nd

Downtown Camp Verde is getting ready for people of all ages for the 20th annual Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival co-hosted by the Verde Valley Wine Consortium and the town on Saturday and Sunday March 21st & 22nd. The festival draws people from around Arizona that will feature 15 local wineries along with a variety of pecans. Festival goers can enter a Pecan pie eating contest, enjoy a cold beer in the beer garden, dance to live music, visit local artists and purchase food from local food trucks. It’s one of the festivals coming up that feature Arizona wines.

“What started as a great way to celebrate two local products of the region has turned into an annual tradition that now draws thousands of attendees to our town,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “We now have more wineries than ever, our famous Pecan Pie contest, live music throughout each day and more food and craft vendors – which means we are also expecting our biggest crowds in the festival’s 20-year history.”

 A few of the wineries pouring wine include Burning Tree Cellars, Carlson Creek Vineyards and Page Spring Cellars. The festival is FREE for all ages to attend but those looking to taste wine need to purchase tickets. Early bird tickets are $20 on-line and $25 at the door. Included are a commemorative glass and 6 tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased.

Saturday the festival goes from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 75 E. Hollamon St. Camp Verde 86322. For more information visit their website.

 

Verde Valley Wine Festival is back for its 5th year Mother’s Day weekend

Update: Re-scheduled for Nov. 6th & 7th.

There’s no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a glass of wine or two with dear old mom. You can purchase tickets for you and your mom for the 5th annual Verde Valley Wine Festival, Saturday May 9th 2020. Four Eight Wineworks presents the festival that will host 20 Arizona wineries along with local breweries, distilleries, food trucks and restaurants. The festival takes place at Clarkdale Town Park from 12 – 5 p.m. Each year the festival donates part of the proceeds to a local non-profit, this year’s festival benefits The Arizona Vignerons Alliance and the Arizona Winegrowers Association. Participating wineries, food trucks and other vendors is will be announced soon.

“Wine’s economic impact on our state demands more resources to defend, protect and grow this incredibly delicate, yet robust industry in Arizona,” said David Baird, festival director and co-owner of oDDity Wine Collective. “Guests fly in from all over the world to attend this festival. For many people, the first time they understand the depth of Arizona wine is at our festival. We’re honored to be a conduit for that magic.”

General Admission tickets for the Verde Valley Wine Festival are available on-line for $35 in advance and $45 at the festival. VIP tickets are $125 and get you early entry at 11 a.m., access to the VIP Lounge, additional tastings and a swag bag. Platinum VIP tickets are $199 and include dinner and live auction on Friday May 8th. Festival goers are encouraged to spend the night and accommodations for glamping are available on the website.

Clarkdale Town Park is at 1001 Main St. Clarkdale.

 

 

 

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