Tag Archives: Jerome Wine

Livin’ The Dream

Livin’ the Dream, Part One…
There are nearly 100 licensed wineries in Arizona. The impetus to set up shop and live the winemaking dream utilizing the state’s Series 13 license is a seductive notion that could have easily been the design of Morpheus and Dionysis themselves. This license does however come with a great deal of responsibility and obligations to not only the governing bodies that regulate the industry, but to the purchasing public as well.

AZ DLLC

AZ DLLC

For its thirty odd years, our industry is still in its infancy and is feeling some expected growing pains. The governing bodies are only now beginning to address the previously unforeseen needs of a rapidly progressing industry. Arizona’s Farm Wineries and vineyards moving into their second, third and even fourth decades of growing are experiencing challenges and expressing a desire to create legitimacy and integrity within the industry.

Dragoon Mountian Vineyard

Dragoon Mountain Vineyard

In this two part article, we will describe first, the privileges given to Arizona grape growers and Arizona wine producers. Recent legislation mandates that these privileges are contingent upon a licensed winery’s commitment to grow grapes in Arizona soil and or produce Arizona wine in house. The second article will describe a licensed winery’s responsibilities, its obligations and how the new legislation will play a key role in the preservation and strengthening of a legitimate state wine industry.
Privilege
To retain the privileges of Farm Winery, production must stay below 20,000 gallons, (8,400 cases) annually. Comparatively speaking, a single tank sitting at a Mondavi tank farm will hold 2-3 times this amount. Because we produce a limited amount, we are given privileges that allow AZ winemakers to compete in the wine industry on a more level playing field.
For example, an AZ winery has the unique privilege to self-distribute. This enables sales to be made directly to restaurants, liquor stores, wine bars, box stores, and each other.
Wineries are allowed to participate in wine festivals and sell directly to the public at events such as art festivals, county fairs and charity events.
AZ farm wineries can have a tasting room and retail location separate from the production facility. This is a key privilege because generally the grapes aren’t grown in highly populated or well trafficked areas.

Lovely ladies from Leisure World in Mesa

Tasting Room in Jerome

A winery may custom crush and ferment wines for another winery that may not have the ability at its start-up to process grapes and produce wine for itself.
Wine clubs are an essential component to a winery’s sustainability with in-state shipments occurring two to four times per year. Another unique privilege. However, shipping out of state requires the permission of 49 other state agencies which in itself is a logistical and licensing conundrum.
A winery may obtain a restaurant license which allows beer and spirits to be sold, yet its percentage of alcohol sales must stay within the allowable percentage of liquor to food sales percentages allowed by the state.
Most recently, wineries were granted the privilege to distill grape products, ie Grappa, brandy and grape spirit. This opens a new door for Arizona wineries to produce products such as vodka, herbed spirit, (gin, agave, rum-spiced spirit, whiskey style products, etc.)
Arizona wineries have a comfortable set of privileges that allow healthy competition, sustainable growth and that encourage future investment in the industry. With privilege comes great responsibility and accountability. In April, we will describe in detail some of the challenges and the cost of accountability.

Upcoming Events

April 9, 2016

AwesomeFest!

at Eastmark Great Park

Fiddlebender Wines at AwesomeFest

Join us in the wine garden with Fiddlebender Wines!

Enjoy Circus Master with Acts, Ferris Wheel, Giant Slide, Zip Line, Neon Face Paint, Interactive Trapeze, Aerials, Ground Aerobatics, Velocity Circus Roaming Acts, Food Truck Delights, Beer and Wine Gardens, and more! Fiddlebender Wines will be featured in the wine garden, hop in for delicious AZ Wine!

April 16 &17, 2016

Southeast AZ Winegrowers Festival

at Kief-Joshua Vineyards

370 Elgin Road Elgin, AZ

In celebration of the 32th anniversary of Arizona’s original and only American Viticulture Area (AVA), Kief-Joshua Vineyards will be hosting the Fifth Annual Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival, featuring 20 Arizona Wineries in one location, on April 16th and 16th, 2016, from 11 am to 5 pm. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.winegrowers.eventbrite.com

The day will be filled with new wine releases, fabulous winemakers, great wine, food vendors, a professional two-day chili cook-off and live music.

 

May 7 & 8, 2016, Mother’s Day Weekend

30th Annual Prescott Fine Art & Wine

30th Annual Prescott Fine Art & Wine Festival

Prescott Fine Art & Wine

The Festival is held on Mother’s Day Weekend every year, which makes it a wonderful destination event for Mother’s Day! Come experience a beautiful weekend under the shade of the big trees of Prescott’s Courthouse Square.

In addition to spectacular collectors’ artwork, the Festival presents an Arizona wine garden and marketplace featuring ten of Arizona’s finest Vineyards & Wineries. Each day guests can purchase their wine tasting tickets for $12 and receive their souvenir wine glass. Over the two day festival, Mountain Artists Guild is hosting a silent auction of two distinct lots of Arizona wines, each valued at over $500. All proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Mountain Artists Guild. There is also a variety of delicious food, packaged cottage edibles and prepared gourmet delights from surrounding restaurants. Located along Montezuma Street and Prescott’s infamous Whiskey Row, haunt of the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday, the Festival site is within easy walking distance of restaurants, parking and both modern and historic hotels. This event attracts people from all over the country who enjoy fine art and wines.

Set your GPS to 120 S. Cortez Street-Prescott for the Festival and to 135 S. Granite Street-Prescott  for parking!

For questions please call Cellar 433 at 928.634.7033

 

February Vino

Arizona Angel Wines

Arizona Angel Aritage Red

Arizona Angel Wines

Arizona Angel Aritage Red

“IT’S ALL IN THE LABEL”

By Marge Graziano

Easy to pick up most anything today at the store, especially if we are familiar with what we are buying. A bottle of wine is no different than a box of cereal. Corn Flakes are corn flakes, right? Do you even wonder where the corn was grown or how it got into the box on the shelf? The name of the grape, or the trade name, or familiar name of the wine is what we see right off. However, behind the name of the grape is only the “cover of the book” The wine label is the introduction to what is beneath the cork. That mysterious liquid, that unless it is Champagne, will not explode and throw liquid all over you, walls and the floor like soda pop will, if you turn the bottle over, shake it a little and even up-end it! Wine is patient and understanding and can hardly wait to flow with slippery legs to the bottom of your waiting glass. As you swirl the glass to aerate the wine, especially reds, do you ever wonder: “Just what the heck is in this stuff, anyhow?” Along the journey the grape has made over centuries, the juice has spent time in clay containers, wooden barrels, glass bottles, boda bags (I am sure somewhere along the way someone on a camel carried his juice in a leather bag), plastic, stainless steel, maybe canvas bags, and even in the individual grape on the wine, which containing natural wild yeast, will ferment itself. The Label on the bottle is the map to the liquid inside. I will briefly take you down the label road. If you like the road I have mapped for you, pick up “WINE FOR DUMMIES”, 2nd Edition by Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan. So, rev your engines, here we go!

EVERY bottle of wine must have a label. The label tells us where we start and finish, the legal rules, mile markers, the pit stops, the terrain, road conditions, speed limits, rest areas, vegetation, and the good and bad stuff along the way, such as legalities we must be aware of, to name only a bit of the info we get. When we encounter detours, it all gets very complicated, so we need the map and a compass.

The BACK LABEL is the name of the wine and is meant to attract attention with color, drawings, photos, logos, fancy names, etc., kinda like a book cover. The FRONT LABEL is the meat of the book. The government has yet to define front label from back label. Certain stuff must appear on the front label, however, will the real front label please step forward. Truly, the front label is the info on the wine, legalities and all, but the back label, with all the pretties, is what we see facing us on the shelf. Confused? Remember, the front label, now facing backward, is where the ability to read comes in. Mandatory is the following: a brand name, indication of class or type, (is it table wine, dessert or sparkling), percentage of alcohol by volume, (Table Wine can be less than 14%), name and address of the bottler, net contents in milliliters, (standard is 750 ml,-=25.6 ounces), the phrase CONTAINS SULFITES, and of course the blessing of the government warning us of not drinking while pregnant, or some such notice, that most people ignore. If that bottle comes from outside the US and is sold in the US, it must have the phrase “imported by”. Wines made in Canada, Europe, and other wine producing areas all have their own sets of Government rulings regarding labels. The EU wines fall into a European category called QWPSE (Quality Wine Produced in a Specific Region), known as an Appellation of Origin, (and that my wine loving friends is fodder for another article another time). Wording on Labels is, at times, meaningless, ambiguous and confusing. The year, with vintage or not), is optional. Reserve, a favorite meaningless word appearing on many American labels, is a shell game conveying prestige that the wine inside the bottle is special! (It may not be). In some countries it means extra aging. Estate Bottled is a sweetheart word that says the company that bottled also grew the grapes and made the wine. It does not mean that the wine is exceptional, good, bad or a bargain or over-priced. The Vineyard name can define the Terroir of that vineyard as unique. If labels interest you, start collecting them! Lots and lots of people buy the bottle not for the wine, but for the label. Most every wine we make has its own label, unique to that wine. Label making and assigning that label to a particular wine is an art that requires creativity, originality, artistic ability, a good eye, a graffic designer, knowledge of what is inside the bottle, where the wine will be marketed and sold, and a lot of money and luck. Labels can be in-expensive, where you see the same label on every bottle and just a different wine name, or each bottle can own its own label, (that is where they get pricey). Labels can define if that wine is feminine or masculine. Most reds tend to be masculine, however, Sultry Cellars are all red wines and they are all feminine. Go figure!

As our short trip on the wine bottle labels comes to an end, in another article, I will invite you along as we conceive, design, and submit to the Government, wait for approval, (there are some words, pictures, and sayings, etc., that are not acceptable to the folks that approve or reject your label submission). These folks are the LABEL GODS that determine if you re-do or un-do or scrap that label and start over. We then shop pricing upon approval, and await arrival of printed labels that show up in huge rolls, alternating front and back labels. Ever wonder how the label gets on the bottle? I will take you on that circuitous day trip next month. Be sure you bring along your bottle opener, ‘cause corks and capsules are another interesting story.

QUINFO: The labels matter if you are not familiar with that wine. Once you find what you like, enjoy it every time you buy and drink wine. Want to have a wine life full of adventure and risk? Hit the Verde Valley Wine Trail in Northern Arizona; take an overnight trip to Sonoita in SW Arizona, or Willcox in SE Arizona. Grab danger by the throat and try wines at tasting rooms that you are afraid of or have never tried before. That is the fun of tasting rooms where the Soms are full of knowledge about their wines. And, buy AzLo (Arizona Local). Yes, Arizona does grow grapes and our Arizona Growers and Winemakers produce World Class Wines.

Questions, comments? Call me. 480-518-3844.

The Emperor

Bitter Creek Winery: The Emperor

Bitter Creek Winery: The Emperor

Wine Name: The Emperor

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 14.0%

Blend: 70% Grenache, 10% Pt Sirah, 10%Marselan,

5% Alicante Bouschet, 5% Blaufrankisch

Description: Aromas of cherry, spice and earth with a hint of maple syrup precede a mid-bodied and balanced red with

flavors of cherry, plums and spice.

Winemaker’s Notes: One would expect Grenache to be

playing a supporting role, but in this wine its high alcohol and berriness are fleshed out with with the desired qualities of the other grapes’ known earthy and spice notes and fuzzy tannins.

Pairings: Pomegranate marinated lamb olive tepanade and chevre crostini, or Spanish Roncal cheese.

Read about The Emperor on AZWineMonk.com

 

Crop

Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

Crop

Wine Name: Crop

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 13.68%

Blend: 50% Chardonnay, 50% Sauvignon Blanc

Description: Dreamy, rich and full bodied with balanced acidity. A wickedly sweet nose of spring florals and vanilla  lure you in to a voluptuous mouth full of apple and soft

citrus. A lingering finish of tree fruit with a stroke of

minerality.

Winemaker’s Notes:  Aged 18 months in oak and a very

limited production using the Chardonnay that took gold in the 2014 Arizona Republic’s State Wine Competition and

Festival at The Farm. Dragoon Mountain Vineyard’s

signature Sauvignon Blanc braces the body with layers of stoney minerals and palpable acidity creating harmony within this luxurious blend.

Pairings: Broiled Tilapia with lemon butter sauce,  grilled vegetables, autumn squash soup or butterscotch creme brulee.

Wine Enthusiast: 86

 

Fortuitous Vixen

 

Muscat/Sauvignon Blanc

Fortuitous Vixen

Brand: Sultry Cellars

Wine Name: Fortuitous Vixen

Appellation: Arizona

Alcohol Content: 12.45%

Blend: Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc

Description: A full nose of wet Autumn leaves and butterscotch with flavors of gentle, honeyed oak and fresh cut grass.

Winemaker’s Notes:  The Arizona grown Muscat is done in a rare dry style preserving its rich body and aromatic warm spiced nose. Because it is not heavy with alcohol the Muscat interlaces beautifully with a classic styling of Sauvignon Blanc for a transcendent, unexpected finish.

Pairings: Roasted turkey with tarragon, cold ceviche, crisp apples and  pinenuts or sorbet.

 

 

 

In Accordance: 2nd Bottling

In Accordance, 2nd bottling

In Accordance, 2nd bottling

Wine Name: In Accordance, 2nd Bottling

 

Appellation: Arizona

 

Alcohol Content: 14.14%

 

Blend: 35% Tempranillo 35%Barbera 10% Zinfandel 10%Pinotage 10% Alicante Bouschet

 

Description: As is appropriate, Alicante Bouschet bestows ripe fruit and caramel aromas. Smooth,  balanced tannin and acidity let flavors of dark berries and bramble. Less conformity, more harmony.

 

Winemaker’s Notes: Alicante Bouschet is a teinturier, a grape whose flesh and juice are red. enhancing this wine’s color wasn’t the reason for the addition.On its own, there are no real stand out distinctions and is often coarse, but in this flavorful, savory red blend it brings complexity and depth.

 

Pairings: Meaty lasagna or tapas menu of grilled vegetables and cured meats and aged sheep’s milk cheeses.