Northern Arizona brings to mind nice little towns like Sedona and Prescott and ponderosa forests, lakes, boulders, and juniper shrubs. What may not immediately spring to mind is wineries. Arizona has more than a few wineries and the Verde Valley area is home to roughly a dozen wineries and/or vineyards. One of the best known wineries is the Arizona Stronghold, though Page Springs Cellars and Javelina Leap Vineyard are also on the map with several others. In fact, many of these vineyards and wineries are in fairly close proximity to one another, making for a wonderful tour opportunity. Arizona Wine has put out a map that lists all of the vintner facilities in Northern Arizona, as well as contact info so you can plan your winery tour this summer! Even Yavapai College has found fertile soil for it’s own Viticulture program as it’s students work in real vineyards and the program has grown to life in the last few years up in Prescott.
Arizona Stronghold has found notoriety in the quality of their wines and in one of their founding members: Maynard Keenan, lead singer for the band Tool. Recently Keenan left the winery, but the wine has gained popularity and found lovers from all over. This is a fairly impressive feat as the winery is seven years old this year, a veritable newcomer to the wine scene. Even so, their wines are making an impression.
The Nachise is a great red blend for the shiraz lovers, a complex and strong wine that’s well worth exploring. Another blend is known as the Tazi, a wonderful white blend for those looking for a spring or summer “porch wine” or something that pairs well with pasta or chicken. It’s a light and fruity blend, with a nice touch of sweetness. It’s a far cry from the often syrupy character of moscato wines, and instead has a wonderful crispness and clean finish. (The writer of this blog is not much of a white wine fan, but is somewhat of a Tazi lover, as you might be able to tell). These are just two of the many wines that Arizona Stronghold offers. Trader Joe’s and a few other stores in the area carry it, and Arizona Stronghold ships their wines if you aren’t near a good wine shop.
What Arizona wines have you tried? Do you have favorite blend? Let us know what your favorites are!
And of course you can stop by any time to talk about your favorite wines or your favorite pieces of jewelry.