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Pillsbury Wine Company

Alcantara Vineyards

Pillsbury Wine Company came into being when Sam Pillsbury, a film director from New Zealand, visited the Valley to shoot a pilot. He fell instantly in love with the area and decided to purchase 80 acres in the high altitudes in Cochise County to see if he could grow grapes in this unusual location. His vineyards sit at 4,300 feet, giving them endless sun and extra UV, while the cool nigh-time climate allows for ripening to slow down and give the grapes more good acids. The first vineyard was planted in 2000, and his wines were all the rage in the Southwest less than five years after releasing his first batch. In 2010, Pillsbury opened the winery and tasting room in Old Town

Cottonwood where he showcases his wines as well as local cheeses, nuts, gourmet chocolates, and works of local artists. The room pairs the wines with foods that bring out these flavors, celebrating the unique quality of wines that comes out of the high-desert terroir. Pillsbury has seen an extraordinary amount of growth and success, and continues to raise its production. The wines are available at the top resorts and restaurants in Phoenix, Tucson, Sedona, and Flagstaff. “In a world of generic food and wine, I wanted to make wines with complexity and nuance but which were entirely original and distinctive,” Pillsbury says.

Alcantara Vineyards is more than just a winery and tasting room—it’s like a home away from home on over 20 acres of gorgeous land filled with grapes ripe for picking. It is owned by Barbara and Bob Predmore, who bought over 87 acres of land in the Verde River area in2005 to carry out their dream of winemaking. Named for Barbara Predmore’s grandmother’s maiden name, Alcantara is the first winery to open on the Verde River and is one of the largest in the area. The winery itself is a beautiful Tuscan-inspired estate that is open for tastings all year round, and guests are encouraged to bring a picnic basket so that they can enjoy the views in a completely private setting. The winery is also available for weddings and special events. Barbara’s mission when opening Alcantara was a bit different from the usual winemaker’s goal; it was to create a sustainable vineyard community in the Verde Valley area that could eventually become similar in scope to places like Napa and Sonoma. Building such a community would bring tourism to the state and make the public more aware of ways to honor nature and the environment. With the 20,000 vines Barbara has planted using green technology, her vision continues to grow.

You can pick up a bottle of wine made by any one of these Valley-area wineries. Visit the wineries online to check out one a location near you. Sometimes, the best things are closer to home than you ever thought. Cheers to that! AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2012 North Valley


Profile for North Valley Magazine

North Valley Magazine Aug.-Sep. 2012  

North Valley Magazine Aug.-Sep. 2012

North Valley Magazine Aug.-Sep. 2012  

North Valley Magazine Aug.-Sep. 2012