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.”
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.
Update: This weekend has just been re-scheduled for November 2-4 2018. A “Meet the Winemaker” reception has been added for the evening of Fri. Nov. 2 for the public to purchase tickets and enjoy the creek-side reception. Additional details to follow.
How better to spend a hot weekend in Phoenix than to drive 90 minutes north to Sedona and the luxurious L’Auberge de Sedona to sip wine and cool off. If you’re one of the 50 guests who RSVP for the weekend of August 3-5 you will enjoy that and more with winery owners Isabel & Michael Mondavi of Michael Mondavi Family Estate.
“An Intimate Weekend with Isabel & Michael Mondavi” will be set amongst the beautiful red rocks of Sedona with wine dinners and delicious meals prepared by L’Auberge de Sedona’s executive chef Frank Desplechin.
Guests will get an up close opportunity to taste wine, speak with and listen to stories from Isabel & Michael about their over 40 years in the Napa Valley and international wine industry.
L’Auberge de Sedona wine events
The weekend long wine experience will offer events while also
offering guests time enjoy the resort spa to relax between meals and all that the amenities Sedona area offers.
The weekend highlights include……
Meet the Winemaker Creekside welcome reception with passed bites by Chef Desplechin and wines from the Isabel Mondavi wine portfolio
A four-course, starlit Epicurean Winemaker Dinner overlooking red rock country curated by Chef Desplechin with wine pairings by Isabel and Michael Mondavi
“Sweet and meet” chocolate degustation with Sedona chocolatier Lulu’s Chocolate and Michael Mondavi
Signed bottle of Michael Mondavi Family Estate wine as a keepsake takeaway
A creekside lunch with Michael pouring renowned wines perfectly paired with cuisine by Chef Desplechin
Creekside winemaker Sunday brunch at ETCH Kitchen & Bar
The epicurean weekend package starts at $3,500 for two people, includes two nights of accommodations in a luxurious Cottage, select meals and Mondavi Family Estate wines and a $200 spa credit per person for treatments, private yoga or meditation, or retail. To book a reservation visit www.lauberge.com and use promo code: MONDAVI2018 or call (888) 587-7848.