The auction raised $10,000, a huge amount for it's first go around! All the monies will be put back into the community via the Yavapai College Viticulture program, purchasing new barrels to paint, and funding more educational events. In addition, $1,400 was raised just through tickets sales for the day long symposium. Job well done if you ask me.
Fire Mountain Wines. And why? Well, because it is the first of it's kind, a winery run by and operated by Native Americans and Apaches no less. A truly unique Arizona product. If you have been following my blog, you know my passion for anything native, and how excited I was when I learned that Arizona Stronghold was honoring the Chiricahua Apaches with the labels of their wines. I have been long fascinated with the Native American cultures, dating back to high school, and especially those of the Southwest. When I saw the Fire Mountain label, the newest winery in the Verde Valley region, my attention was immediately drawn in. And the people could not have been any nicer and excited to talk about what they were doing. I look forward to visiting them on my next trip up North, and I really look forward to witnessing this winery grow and thrive!
Now for the rest of my favorites. I naturally tried all the wines offered, but did not take notes, just pictures. Too many people and too many wines to get notes on all of them. In all 12 wineries were represented and had at least one wine to sample. In no particular order, here are my top eight favorite wines from the tasting on the 28th of April:
|Burning Tree Cellars. This is a killer wine, very French Rhone Valley inspired, and very addicting. This first time I tasted this wine in the AZ Stronghold Tasting room I knew it was a winner.|
|Burning Tree Cellars again, this one is The Dragon, all AZ fruit, very dark and teeth staining deliciousness.|
|How freaking cool is this label! Lozen by AZ Stronghold. Love at first sip. This wine is smoking good, perfect for everyday enjoyment and excellent for grilling season. After the first round of sampling, I think I refilled my glass with this wine more than once!|
|This is an super gulp-able red wine blend from a tiny vineyard, maned after the owners, Freitas. Light on the tongue, yet enough grip and structure to not fade away.|
|Yummy! Another winner from Caduceus Cellars. This lovely wine is mostly Cabernet with a hint of Petite Sirah to add beautiful structure and grip, yet is was soft and nicely balanced.|
|Rock Slide from Javelina Leap will dry out your mouth like the Arizona heat. This heavy hitter needs food, and fat, unless off course you like sandpaper tongue. However, this was a really delicious and yummy wine made in the French Bordeaux style from a single AZ vineyard.|
|The first all AZ fruit Tempranillo I have tasted and thoroughly enjoyed. This one had enough body and spice to make it varietally correct, but with that lovely AZ twist.|
|One of the few whites in the mix! This is a great offering from Pillsbury Wine Company. Very vibrant, clean, and refreshing. Summer in a glass.|
Thank you and enjoy!