New Wineries and Breweries are popping up all over the Verde Valley. This week, I had the opportunity to visit one such winery out in Camp Verde.
Salt Mine Winery is a beautiful property growing many grape varieties such as: Sangiovese, Aglianico, Primativo (Zinfandel), Malvasia Bianca, Montepulciano, Barbera and Moscato. They will be specializing in Italian wine varietals.
Currently on their wine flight they have a 2015 and 2016 Malvasia Bianca, a Sangiovese, Graciano and Tempranillo blend. This selection is being sourced from other vineyards mostly in the Wilcox Bench area while their vineyard grapes are maturing. The Norton brothers Kevin and Chip are the owners. Chip is also involved in the Sinagua Malt Company which was started as a river water conservation project and their malted barley is being used by local breweries. The Salt Mine Winery is currently open on Saturdays and Holidays, so stop on by.
To celebrate National Wine Day (there is also a National Wine Drinking Day), I decided to list many of the wine grape varieties we are now growing in Arizona. The list is extensive and by no means complete. So here we go:
Aglianico, Albarino, Aleatico, Alicante Bouschet, Arinarnoa, Arneis, Assyrtiko, Barbera, Blaufrankisch, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonel, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Counoise, Dolcetto, Graciano, Grenache, Gros Verdot, Lulienga, Malbec Bianca, Malvasia, Marsanne, Marselan, Merlot, Mission, Montepulciano, Mourvedre, Muscat Canelli, Muscat of Alexandria, Nebbiolo, Negroamaro, Petit Manseng, Petit Sirah, Petit Verdot, Picpoul, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Pinotage, Refosco, Riesling, Roussane, Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Souzao, Symphony, Syrah, Tannat, Tempranillo, Verdelho, Vermentino, Vidal Blanc, Viognier, Vranac, and Zinfandel.
Enjoy National Wine Day and I hope you get to try many Arizona wines and our unique wine varietals.
Being in the wine touring business, it’s not always easy to catch up on all of the new wines and varietals that are being offered in the Verde Valley and Arizona. Therefore, I’m thrilled to be attending the Arizona Vignerons Alliance Symposium and Grand Tasting in Phoenix this weekend.
The first exciting event on Sunday will be the symposium on wild grapes. No, we’re not talking about those wild grapes known as Vitis Arizonica that grow along our riverbanks in the Verde Valley, but unique, indigenous varietals from around the world that we are growing in Arizona including Mourvedre, Vermentino, Petit Manseng, Aglianico, Graciano, Sagrantino, Tannat and Vranac. I’ve had the opportunity to try most of these, but am looking forward to learning more about each one.
Next on the panel is an Arizona wine competition, with our varietals being compared to the same wine varietals from other areas around the world. I’ve done some of these comparisons on my own, but I’m very interested to see which National and International wines will be placed against ours, and which Arizona wines will be chosen.
Finally, a beautiful Rose’ lunch catered by The Farm at South Mountain followed by a lively auction and a Grand Tasting of Arizona Wines and Wine Sale.
What could be better?
Sue Schurgin is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She is studying for her CSW and sommelier certifications.