As the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours by Sedona Delivers, LLC, I’m pleased to announce that we’ll be participating in #IndieWeekAZ by #LocaFirstAZ. When you #BuyLocal from a locally owned independent business, up to four times more money stays in the local economy than utilizing national chains, which adds up to more dollars supporting local jobs, services, and our community.
This offer will include a private, customized wine tour where you’ll experience unique wine varietals and learn about Arizona Wine History. Or try a beer tour to our delightful microbreweries and learn interesting tidbits on beer.
Call 928-963-1866 between July 1 - July 9 to receive and use your Golden Coupon for a 20% discount on a custom Wine and/or Beer Tour.*
*Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer valid July 1-9, 2017.
www.sedonadelivers.com 928-963-1866 #SedonaWineandBeerTours
A few weeks back I blogged about the Keeling Schaefer Picpoul Blanc. Last night I tried the 2016 Cimarron Vineyard, 100% Picpoul Blanc from Chateau Tumbleweed. This delicious, dry Picpoul is sourced from grapes from our newest AVA, Wilcox, in Cochise County, in the Southeastern part of Arizona. It has an extremely light straw color, 12.5% alcohol, and a beautiful, long, softer finish. The nose is delightfully mineralistic with notes of lime and peach.
One of the things that I just love about Joe Bechard the winemaker, is the amount of information he puts on his bottles. He notes that the grapes were “whole-cluster pressed and the wine was fermented in stainless steel at 55 F for 26 days”. His lovely wife Kris also designs their creative wine labels which always includes a tumbleweed. In this instance, the wine bottle model has luscious lips, a few bees on her face and a head full of tumbleweed hair. I’d definitely recommend this refreshing white wine for hot summer days. Add a tad to your favorite ginger vinaigrette salad dressing and enjoy! And…You don’t have to worry about getting stung!
That Brewery in Cottonwood offers a wonderful variety of beers, and on their beer flight you may choose 6. This week I tried the Strawberry Blond, AZ Trail Ale, Road Rash IPA, Monsoon Mud Stout, Blacked Out IPA and Pearle Necklace. Though I lean towards dark beers, I really enjoyed the Arizona Trail Ale. This English style Ale had a lovely nose of caramel and buttered popcorn with a creamy mouth feel. They also mention “toffee malt notes with a slightly citrusy floral hops flavor”. The ABV is 6% and the IBU comes in at 38. Not only can you enjoy a delightful English style Ale, but also support our Arizona Trails, for they donate 5% to the Arizona Trail Association!
In addition, this Ale is offered in cans, so take some for the trail.
Picpoul is a relatively obscure grape from the Southern Rhone and Eastern Languedoc in France, though it has been around for hundreds of years. It is one of the 18, permitted varietals in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape, AOC. Spain also grows this varietal where it’s called Picapoll. It is high in acid, and known for its lemony flavors, hence the name Picpoul translated into English means “stings the lip”.
This varietal grows beautifully in Arizona and was recently planted at The Southwest Wine Center at Yavapai College. One of my new favorites is the Keeling Schaefer, 2015 Puzzel Vine, Picpoul Blanc which hails from their Rock Creek Vineyard by the Chiracahua Mountains at a 5000 feet elevation. This refreshing white wine has 14.6% alcohol and displays notes of peach and apple with a nice long finish. It would pair well with Salmon and other seafood, especially those with creamy, buttery sauces. 135 cases were produced and I’d highly recommend it for summer. I promise, you won't get stung!
When I lived down in Tucson, I’d frequently go down to Sonoita and Elgin for wine tasting. I remember when Kief-Joshua opened his tasting room and was blown away by its beauty and by his wines. My first visit to Keeling Schaefer was at their vineyard by the Chiricahua Mountains, before they had their Willcox tasting room. What a drive! I was visiting with friends that had a wine shop in Sedona and we received an exceptionally warm welcome, a delicious wine tasting, plus a private tour of the vineyards.
Around 80% of the wine grapes produced in Arizona come from the new Willcox AVA (established in 2016) and the Sonoita AVA (our first AVA, established in 1984). Many vineyards up north source a portion of their grapes from the South also. Our beautiful Verde Valley has applied to become an AVA, and we’re looking forward to the day when that comes to fruition. With the number of new graduates from our Yavapai College dual program of enology and viticulture, the Verde Valley is blossoming with new plantings, winemakers and more 100% estate grown vineyards.
Because of the enormous amount of tourism Sedona and the Verde Valley receive, many of the Southern winemakers elected to open their tasting rooms in Cottonwood, and Jerome. Therefore, you’ll be able to sample a variety of Southern Arizona wines in our area also. Besides the vineyard specific tasting rooms, there are tasting rooms that specialize in an assortment of Arizona wines. So come for a visit. We’ve come a long way since my first Arizona vineyard experiences!
Sue Schurgin is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours and is studying for her CSW and sommelier certificates.