Many of my customers enjoy dry red wines and luckily for them we have some amazing red wines in our state. However, when they come to Arizona, I love to expand their horizon to something a little different…our Malvasia Bianca. Malvasia is a prominent family of Mediterranean grapes which grow quite well in Arizona. It’s a major varietal in Italy and supposedly has its roots in Crete. Malvasia Bianca can showcase notes of tropical fruit, cinnamon, peach, jasmine and the list goes on. So I added a lateral Malvasia Bianca tasting to a tour. Our first stop was the Art of Wine where they sampled the 2015 Bodega Pierce. Recently, in the 2016 Arizona Republic Wine Competition, Bodega Pierce won the best Malvasia Bianca for their 2015 release. Our next stop was Page Springs which has a 100% Malvasia Bianca. Page Springs also used 89% Malvasia Bianca in their 2015 Vino de La Familia Blanca. Our last stop was Pillsbury, which won a Bronze medal at the San Francisco Wine Chronicle competition for their 2014 Malvasia Bianca. Since our Malvasias vary quite a bit from year to year, I’m sure they would have enjoyed a vertical tasting of each vineyard’s Malvasia Bianca, but alas, there just wasn’t time. Which one did they like best? Sorry that’s a secret, but I will say their horizons were expanded and they even bought a bottle.
Sue Schurgin is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours and is studying for her CSW and sommelier certificates.