With just a few quiet words, Pavle Milic of FnB, purveyor of Arizona food and wine, twice launched my life onto a completely new trajectory. The first time was in late 2009 when I visited his brand new restaurant in Scottsdale’s Old Town, along with friends AJ Reynolds, Jessica Catlin, and her father, Steve Catlin….
With singular focus, Ann dedicated herself to the art of making wine. She now serves as winemaker, vineyard manager, and tasting room manager for Lightning Ridge Cellars, her family-owned vineyard and winery in Elgin, Arizona.
The story of Zinfandel has been called both a historical romance and a Horatio Alger story. This story starts with the history of early American wine, quietly stretches across the world to Croatia, and closes with a sampling of luscious Zinfandel wines from Arizona and California.
When Amy and I bid on a vineyard tasting with Sand-Reckoner, a winery and vineyard located in the Kansas Settlement region south of Willcox, Arizona, we had little idea what “vineyard tasting” actually meant. Lucky for us, we won our bid, and we embarked together on this new adventure.
While there are many fine winemakers in Arizona who we’ll talk about over time, next we’ll explore the history of the Arizona wine industry through the eyes of four key figures – a philosopher, an ecologist, a rock star and a filmmaker.
Arizona’s first modern winemakers changed Arizona for the future much as Napa Valley’s first modern winemakers changed California.
Long before anyone so much as crushed a wine grape in California, wine made from Arizona grapes was being enjoyed.
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