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Sonoita & Elgin

April 2018 | A product of Herald/Review Media


Wine Country Arizona




Southeast Arizona’s Standard For Quality Healthcare At Canyon Vista Medical Center, we believe you don’t have to leave town to get great healthcare. Backed by a modern, full-service medical facility and a long tradition of serving this community, our experienced team of physicians, nurses, specialists and support staff are equipped with the technology and expertise to provide your family with the area’s highest level of quality care.


Main Number: 520-263-2000 5700 E. Highway 90, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 •


Admissions & Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520-263-2001 Advanced Wound Care Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-263-3770 Behavioral Health Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-263-3130 Billing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-263-3800 Bone & Joint Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520-263-2663 Casa de la Paz Hospice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-263-3400 Laboratory Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-263-2350 Medical Records. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-263-3360 Outpatient Surgery Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-263-2500 Radiology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-263-3900 Rehabilitation Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-263-3700 Thrive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-459-8210 Volunteer Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520-263-3299 Women & Children’s Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .520-263-3300


Callaghan Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Canyon Vista Medical Center . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Cochise Eye & Laser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Cowgirl Flair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Kief-Joshua Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 The Last Stand Guest Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Lightning Ridge Cellars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Many Horses Trading Company . . . . . . . . 19 Sierra Vista Medical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Sonoita Merchant’s Association . . . . . . . . 16 Sonoita Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Tia Nita’s Cantina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Valor Hospice Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Village of Elgin Winery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Xanadu Ranch Getaway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 A PUBLICATION OF

Advertising Director: Becky Bjork Advertising Rep: Melissa Sawa, Kat Hanson, Diane Kuhn, Justyce Flowers

Stories by: Lauren Renteria, Shar Porier, Alexis Ramanjulu, Dana Cole, Eric Petermann Photos by: Mark Levy, submitted



stablished in 1995, Charron Vineyards produces handcrafted wine made from locally-grown grapes. Susan Craig, co-owner of the vineyard and winery, said her business’s goal is to produce a wide variety of wines that appeal to all palates. As the seasons transition from winter to spring, the vines are bursting with flavor — literally. Craig said this spring season brings new grapes and new blends for guests to enjoy. Plus, it’s also a beautiful time to take a look around, she said. “The vines are budding out with this year’s crop, and the roses are blooming. It is a beautiful time of year to visit.” The family-owned and -operated winery gives guests the chance not only to relax, but also to learn more about what’s in their glass. “The higher elevation overlooking the rolling slopes of the Santa Rita and Empire mountains brings fresh mountain air, rich soil and an essence of tranquility,” Criag said. “At Charron, you are encouraged to relax while

each handcrafted wine is brought to your table and a knowledgeable server explains the wine’s journey from grape to glass. “There are also gourmet picnic baskets available to enjoy while you sip, and a delightful wine themed gift shop.”

Specializing in Italian varietals. Come by and enjoy our wines and scenic views.

Charron Vineyards 18585 S. Sonoita Highway, Vail, AZ Susan Craig, owner


Arizona Hops & Vines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Callaghan Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Charron Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Copper Brothel Brewery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Copper Hop Ranch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Dos Cabezas Wineworks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Flying Leap Winery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 JB Vineyards and Cafe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Kief-Joshua Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Lightning Ridge Cellars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Rancho Rossa Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Rune Wines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Sonoita Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Village of Elgin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Wilhelm Family Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

s d r a y e n i V n o C harr




Tuscany, just an hour south of Tucson... 2368 Highway 83, Elgin, Arizona. We’re located 7½ miles south of Sonoita on Hwy 83. 520-455-5383 Open Friday - Sunday 11:00AM to 4:00PM.



What’s inside



WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED. Cardiology 2nd Floor, Ste 200 Vinay Sanghi, MD Mona Youssef, MD

Obstetrics & Gynecology 3rd Floor, Ste 300 B Michael Stevens, MD, FACOG Sidney Semrad, DO, FACOOG

Family Practice 2nd Floor, Ste 200 Blair Goodsell, DO

Orthopaedics/ Sports Medicine 2nd Floor, Ste 200 Brian Daines, MD Randall Roy, MD Laurence Susini, MD Dean Marturello, PA

General Surgery 75 Colonia De Salud, Ste 100C Margaret J. Karges, MD Marge Butler, MD, FACS Renata Brodsky, DO Internal Medicine 2nd Floor, Ste 200 Roberto Molina, MD Abel Diaz, MPA, PA-C

Pulmonology 2nd Floor, Ste 200 J Georges Youssef, MD Wound Care 2nd Floor, Ste 200 Bernadette Esquibel, AGNP-C Tombstone PatientExpress 7 N. San Diego St. Tombstone, AZ 85638 Aaron Castle, DNP

Pediatrics 3rd Floor, Ste 375 Ramon Carampatan, MD Podiatry 2nd Floor, Ste 200 Jarrett Hamilton, DPM



Call 520-263-3500 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.

Medical Office Building 2 • 5750 E. Highway 90, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 •


ancho Rossa has served the community as a 100 percent estate winery for the last 12 years. The wine sold and available for tasting at Rancho Rossa is made with the grapes grown on the vines planted on the 12 ½-acre property. In 2002, Breanna Hamilton and her husband planted their first 12 1/2 acres of vines of premium Bordeaux and Rhone varietals. In 2003 they planted 4 1/2 acres of white varietals on their winery property just across the street. Since 2003 the couple added another 6 1/2 acres of reds and whites. The Hamiltons prefer the “hands off” approach, using oldschool techniques and allowing their grapes to make the wine

Rancho Rossa Address: 201 Cattle Ranch Lane Elgin, AZ 85611 Phone: 520-455-0700 Website: https://www. Hours: Friday to Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

with as little intervention from the winemaker as possible. In 2006 the duo opened the tasting room. Quality is at the top of the couple’s list. They believe quality grapes make quality wine and will always will be 100 percent estate. Rancho Rossa predominantly produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah but has a variety of wines, since they grow 14 different grape varieties. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is rated 95 points, and the Syrah is rated 90 points on a 100-point wine scale. Other than having a wide assortment of wines and grapes, Rancho Rosa separates themselves from other wineries by having a unique atmosphere. Breanna describes the establishment as a laid-back, rock n’ roll tasting room. Classic rock music fills the air and the walls are covered with classic rock memorabilia. In addition to benefiting wine lovers, the winery likes to help animal rescues.The Hamiltons have their own brand label for charity called Rescued Hearts Cellars. Half of the proceeds from those wines go to an animal rescue in Arizona. The tasting room is open from Friday to Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the establishment requests that parties of eight or more call to make a reservation.


Rancho Rossa


Rune Wines T

Rune Wines Address: 3969 State Route 82, Sonoita, AZ 856371 Phone: (520) 338-8823 Website: http://www.runewines. com/ Hours: Thursday 12 to 4 p.m. Friday - Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. room, so visitors can take in beautiful views. The facility is solar powered and his wines are made with wild yeast fermentation — which many wines are not made with. The tasting room is open Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Members of the public can call to request a time.


hree years ago James Callahan opened Rune Wines in Sonoita after discovering his passion for wine in 2005. After receiving his degree in history from Arizona State University, Callahan began his journey to owning his own winery. He said he wanted to work in the winemaking industry for 15 years before opening Rune Wines. His knowledge of wine began from the server and sommelier side of the business. In 2007, he began making wine in Tempe and then traveled to Washington and New Zealand to better learn the craft. Rune Wines features dry wines; Callahan does not offer any sweet wines. He produces three reds, a white and a rose. He carries Viognier, Grenache, Syrah and Apple Cider. Last year, Callahan planted his vines for the first time. What make Rune Wines different from the rest is his outdoor tasting




he oldest commercial vineyard and winery in Arizona, Sonoita Vineyards opened in 1983, and now includes over 30 acres of vines.

As the first winery established in Sonoita, Arizona, our history is as rich as our wines and a great place to start your wine tasting adventure! Sonoita Vineyards is a 30+ acre vineyard situated on the south side of a hillside, surrounded by rolling grasslands and several mountain ranges. This hillside planting protects the vines from harsh winds and frost.

a Sonoit rds Vi n e ya an offers aw a r d f o y a arr s g wine n i n n i w g f ro m n i g n a r fruity d n a p cris and d l o b o t x. comple

In addition to our daily tastings, Sonoita Vineyards hosts events throughout the year, ranging from small private affairs and large weddings to our own massive HarvestFest celebration.


Tasting Hours: Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 290 Elgin-Canelo Road Elgin, AZ 85611 Email:



(520) 455-5893



he Village of Elgin Wines produces wines from more than 30 different types of grapes, all grown in southeastern Arizona and is the second oldest winery in the state. “Bill Letarte put together a merry little band of crazies who have been making wine since dinosaurs roamed Arizona. Our team is family and we thoroughly enjoy everything we do,” said owner Gary Ellan. The vineyard produces an assortment of wines that fits all tastes, Ellan said. From sweet wine to dry and everything in between, this old winery has something for everyone, which Ellan hopes will keep people coming back. But it’s not just wine the team at The Village of Elgin Wine produce. Next door to the wine tasting room is the Elgin Distillery, which produces rum, brandy, vodka and gin.

The liquors are internationally renowned, Ellan said, and the distillery boasts top honors from competitions across the globe. The distillery’s team has a localfirst attitude that transcends into its production. “We hand craft every aspect of our production,” Ellan said. “We malt, grind, ferment, distill, age, and package on site. We use Arizona-grown produce and grains. ‘Local first’ is our prime directive, from Mexican bottles to local botanicals.” Like its winery, the distillery has its own history. It’s the first licensed craft distillery in the state, Ellan said. But it doesn’t stop there. The village is a triple threat — it also has its own brewery. Like its other products, the village’s brewery strives to serve beer with distinct “Arizona characteristics,” Ellan said, with locally-sourced ingredients.


n i g l E f o e g a l Vil The Village of Elgin Wines and Elgin Distillery and Brewery Gary Ellan Owner

s d r a y e n i V a t Sonoi F

ounded by Dr. Gordon Dutt, a retired University of Arizona soil scientist, Sonoita Vineyards Winery started in 1974 and opened in 1983 as the first commercial vineyard in the Sonoita-Elgin area. Today, with Dutt’s granddaughter Lori Reynolds as winemaker and her husband, Robi Reynolds, as vineyard manager, the winery produces 4,000 cases a year from 12 different grape varieties. They include Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah Merlot, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Malbec, Mission and Cabernet Sauvignon. Production features a full range of premium wines from crisp and fruity to bold and complex. Ninety percent of Sonoita Vineyards’ production is sold through the winery tasting room, gift shop and special


Sonoita Vineyards Address: 290 Elgin-Canelo Road, Elgin, Arizona 85611 Phone: 520-455-5893 Website: www.sonoitavineyards. com Hours: Open daily except major holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

events facility. Sonoita Winery is perched on a hilltop at an elevation of 5,000 feet with picturesque views of the region’s rolling grasslands, hillside vineyards and scenic mountain ranges. Sonoita Vineyards hosts three annual festivals, complete with wine tastings and souvenir glasses, winery and vineyard tours and specialty food pairings. Festivals include the annual blessing of Sonoita Vineyards held the first weekend in April, Harvestfest the last weekend in July, and St. Martin’s AVA (American Viticultural Area) New Release Festival the second weekend in November. Known for creating award-winning wines, a Sonoita Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon was chosen by national wine critics as one of the wines served at a presidential inauguration gala.



s k r o W e n i W s Dos Cabeza T

odd and Kelly Bostock farm two vineyards in southern Arizona to produce the grapes for Dos Cabezas WineWorks. The Pronghorn Vineyard is located in Elgin, while Cimarron Vineyard is in Kansas Settlement, south of Willcox. With 15 acres planted in Elgin and 38 in the Kansas Settlement location, this family owned and operated business features wines from grapes representing all regions of the world, including France, Italy and Spain. Dos Cabezas, which is Spanish for ‘two heads,’ is one of the state’s first wineries to roll out canned wine, which has proven popular in summer months since first introduced four years ago, Kelly Bostock said. Its packaging is designed to go everywhere beer goes. The winery produced a canned sparkling wine, Methode Canpenoise, which was named the top wine by judges at the Azcentral Arizona Wine

Competition in January. The winery was started in 1995 by Al Buhl, and purchased by Todd Bostock in 2006. Dos Cabezas produces 6,000 cases of wine a year, including five reds and two whites, Kelly said. Along with Todd and Kelly, the business includes Todd’s parents, the couple’s two children and the family’s dog and cat.

Dos Cabezas WineWorks Address: 3248 State Route 82, Sonoita Phone: 520-455-5141 Website: doscabezaswineworks. com Hours: Thursday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Other times by appointment.

h c n a R p o H r e p p o C



ired of the pace of city life, Melanie and Tom Pyle decided to take a leap of faith and purchased land in Elgin to start their own brewery. “We knew we wanted to open a small business of our own so we wouldn’t have to deal with the normal B.S. that goes along with an unsatisfying corporate life,“ said Melanie, better known as Mel. “As it so happens, we became our county’s first licensed microbrewery. It’s a ton of work owning and running a family farm, but it’s a labor of love and we sure do love it! We are living the dream.” Part of that dream is to grow as many of the ingredients for their beers as they can or use foods grown only in Arizona. The goal is to work with local businesses to produce a delicious product for the community. “From the hot peppers we cultivate from our garden, to the 14 varieties of hops in our fields, if it isn’t 90 percent or more in our community, it doesn’t enter our beer,” Mel said. Copper Hop does grow a variety of hops that produces different flavors in the brewing process, like Cascade, Centennial, Liberty, Nugget, Mount Hood — 14 varieties in all. “We’re limited in what we can grow here. We would have to buy more land to become 100 percent self-reliable on beer ingredients,” Mel added. “We do plan to plant wheat and barley this year to use in the beers.” It is not just beer and a variety of unique ciders they offer. Like any typical farm, critters abound. There are horses,

sheep, turkeys, chickens, and of course, their now-famous donkey, “Buddy- The Super Donk” — a kid and adult favorite. While they can be enjoyed by all who visit, the animals play an important role in the farm’s operation, Mel said. “We have a coffee shop on-site, with gifts as well as plenty of parking. Friendly games of cornhole and horseshoes are available to play while here at the farm,” she added. Right now, Copper Hop Ranch is closed for new construction. There will be new restrooms, an upgraded tasting room, a new ADA parking area and event areas for weddings and parties, with beautiful views of the Huachuca and Rincon mountains.

Copper Hop Ranch and Farm Brewery 2330 Highway 83 Elgin, AZ 85611 (520) 455-4673 (leave a message*) CLOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION THROUGH MAY. HOURS Tasting Room & Gift Shop 11 to 5 p.m. - Fri-Sat-Sun Facebook: Copper Hop Ranch & Microbrewery Email: info@copperhopranch. com Instagram #copperhopranch Website: copperhopranch. com


s d r a y e n i V p a e Flying L M

ark Beres and Marc Moller co-founded Flying Leap Vineyards in 2010 after retiring from the Air Force. The winery, located in Elgin, features about a dozen red wines and a halfdozen whites. Flying Leap Vineyards prides itself on growing and producing their wine on their own properties. The wine produced by the staff are Spanish reds, French reds and Sangiovese Italian wines. Flying Leap Vineyards features a pure varietal of reds and the white are blends, said marketing and events coordinator Tom Kitchens. The winery tasting room is open every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $12.99 for six tastings. However, if you purchase a bottle of wine, $8 is taken off the tasting. New to Flying Leap Vineyards is their distillery, which is conveniently located next to the winery. Like the wines, the vodka, liquors and brandies are made with grapes grown by Flying Leap. Kitchens said vodka made from wine grapes is not common and is one unique aspect to Flying Leap Vineyards. A 6-month-old oak brandy is available, and a 2-year-old oak brandy will be available in 2019.

Flying Leap Vineyards Vine eyards Address: 342 Elgin Rd. Elgin, AZ 85611 Phone: 520-455-5499 Website: http://www. Hours: Daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The distillery offers two types of liquors. One is made with oranges and the other is made with lavender, which is grown outside the distillery. The distillery is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday but may be open during the week depending on how busy the winery is. Customers can try anything from the distillery at $1.99 for a quarterounce pour. The veteran-owned business offers a military discount those who serve or have served with an ID.



Dr. Russell Thompson, O.D.

Dr. Eric Johansen O.D.



Dr. Ricardo Aviles, M.D. Owner


4116 AVENIDA COCHISE, SIERRA VISTA • 520.452.1125 2445 E WILCOX, SIERRA VISTA • 520.458.8131 880 W 4TH ST #3, BENSON • 520.586.7877





s d r a y e n i V a u Kief-Josh



t 35, Kief Joshua Manning is already an “old man” in the Arizona wine industry. Operating namesake vineyards in Elgin and Willcox, Manning has invested the past 20 years pursuing his passion. At the tender age of 15 a family friend helped him secure a job at a Scottsdale wine shop where he started learning about the industry. By 18 he had graduated from high school early and was off to California where he enrolled in college courses to study viniculture and growing grapes. Too young to legally consume alcohol in the United States, Manning transferred to Melbourne, Australia, where he spent five years perfecting the art of making wine. “I was hooked from an early age. When I made wine and beer in my closet at home, I knew this is what I wanted to do,” he said. He spent more than five years “down under,” eventually returning with a Master’s degree in viticulture and enology – the study of grape growing – earned from the University of Western Australia. He promptly began working toward his goal of developing a vineyard, returning to Arizona and purchasing 20 acres in Elgin. In 2003, together with his dad and five friends, Manning built the spectacular structure on Elgin Road. Kief Joshua Vineyards currently grows 14 varietals on two separate parcels – the 20 acres in Elgin and another 40 acre parcel in Willcox. Manning serves as the Vice President of the Arizona Wine Growers Association and his two winemaking locations are centered in newlydesignated American Vinicultural Areas encompassing Sonoita and Willcox. “We’re located in the town of Elgin, but it’s within the Sonoita AVA,” Manning said. “Arizona has been

among the fastest growing areas for the wine industry in recent years and Sonoita now has more than 14 different vineyards.” Inspired by the dream to sustain his vineyard for hundreds of years, Manning is determined to grow vines that are free of all pesticides and herbicides. As an avid reader he is focusing his attention toward a holistic farming approach developed in the 1920s by the Austrian scientistphilosopher Rudolf Steiner. Public tastings are offered daily at the Elgin vineyard from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring five wines for tasting at a cost of $10, which includes a souvenir glass with your wine or $7 if you bring a glass.

Private tastings are offered by reservation, which Manning says delivers the “ultimate wine country experience.” Visitors may taste KiefJoshua’s Classic Wines at the tasting bar, where new releases such as the Tempranillo, and favorites such as the Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel are available. Or, choose to peruse the Wine Shop for that perfect wine country gift or souvenir. Most tastings are hosted by Manning. In Willcox, tastings are offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The public can visit the vineyard where they are offered five wines for tasting at a cost of $10, which includes a souvenir glass with your wine or $7 if you bring a glass.

Kief-Joshua Vineyards Address: 370 Elgin Road, Elgin, AZ 85611 Phone: 520 455-5582 Website: Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week

Unexpected food and wine pairings for your spring feasts STATEPOINT


• 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard b, • 1 (4 to 5 pound) boneless leg of lamb, butterflied • 1 teaspoon salt • Squeeze of lemon • Freshly ground black pepper Method: Evening Before: • In a food storage bag, combine thyme, rosemary, garlic, onion, oil, vinegar, orange juice and mustard. Mix well. • Add the leg of lamb; seal the bag and turn to coat. Massage the meat through the bag for a few minutes to help the marinade set in. Put the storage bag into a large roasting pan to marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Day Of: • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. • Remove the lamb from the marinade and place in shallow roasting pan.

Season with the salt salt, pepper and squeeze of lemon. • Roast, uncovered, basting with the remaining marinade several times while roasting, using all the marinade • Roast for 50 to 70 minutes or until an instant read meat thermometer registers 140 degrees F for medium rare, or 150 degrees F for medium. For food safety, cook to a minimum of 140 degrees F. • Remove from oven, cover with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. • Carve into slices against the grain. Serve with the sauce that forms in the bottom of the pan and a side of mixed root vegetables. Pair with a glass of Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for a delightful meal experience.


pring is here, which means it is time to create sensational seasonal wine and food pairings to elegantly entertain family and friends. Experts suggest Cabernet Sauvignon as a selection well suited for the transition to warmer temperatures, as the bold, bright red and black fruit flavors with hints of spice pair easily with both hearty and lighter fare. “Cabernet Sauvignon is more versatile than most believe. It can be enjoyed with different cheeses, meats, vegetables and even certain types of fish,” says Molly Hill, Winemaker at Sequoia Grove Winery. At your next spring dinner, try

serving the Sequoia Grove 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a full-bodied wine featuring notes of sweet vanilla and spice, followed by blackberry, strawberry, and berry pie aromas. For a timeless pairing, try this recipe for Roasted Leg of Lamb. This dish balances well-seasoned lamb with the acid in citrus to create a delicious pairing for this elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. Ingredients: (Serves 10-12) • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves • 3 garlic cloves, minced • 1 small onion, chopped • 1/4 cup olive oil • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar • 2 tablespoons orange juice





From the savory side, the salty carricantes of Sicily BY ERIC ASIMOV New York Times News Service



o describe a wine as “salty” may not seem like much of a compliment. Yet it can be high praise indeed. Some of the world’s greatest wines have a distinct saline tang. In France, where the vocabulary for describing wine dwarfs the capacity of English, to remark on a wine’s “salinité” is to toss a welcome though perhaps voguish verbal bouquet. In my experience, few wines demonstrate this notion of salinity as well as the whites in the Etna Bianco category, made largely or entirely from carricante grapes grown in the foothills of Mount Etna in Sicily. They are marked by a distinctive savory tang that the winemakers will tell you is blown in by the salty wind off the Mediterranean. Here at Wine School, where for the last month we have been drinking Etna Biancos, we prize savory wines. We also recognize that they are likely to be an acquired taste, especially for palates honed in the United States. For decades, the cliché about American wine drinkers was “they talk dry but drink sweet.” Jackson Family Wines, one of the world’s leading wine companies, built its success on its Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve chardonnay, which embodied the old saw by offering a sweetly fruity flavor without calling attention to it. Moët & Chandon used to make White Star, a special, sweeter cuvée of its nonvintage

Champagne, specifically for the American market. That practice ended a few years ago, and now the United States receives the same nonvintage Moët Champagne as the rest of the world. Has the American palate matured? Wrong question. Vintner’s Reserve is still a topselling bottle, and it’s misleading to generalize about American tastes. I think it is safe to say, however, that a growing number of Americans every year appreciate wines that offer the sort of subtlety and nuance that is rarely possible to achieve in the mass market. Not that these wines must be dry. Moderately sweet German rieslings can be among the most glorious, balanced, refreshing wines in the world. But often, when people have decided they love wine and want to make the effort to learn more about it, they begin to note that many good wines, particularly white, offer not the fruitiness that might be expected from fermented grape juice but savory qualities that are often described using terms derived from spices, herbs and minerals. So it is with Etna Biancos, whites with a pronounced savory quality that belies another wine cliché, that Italy cannot produce white wines with character. Perhaps that was true 30 years ago. But the quality and diversity of Italian whites nowadays is astonishing, from the Alpine Alto Adige and Valle d’Aosta regions in the extreme north to Calabria on the toe of the boot to the island of Sicily. As is customary in Wine School, I

suggested three bottles. They were Benanti Etna Bianco 2016, Graci Etna Bianco 2016 and I Vigneri di Salvo Foto Etna Bianco Aurora 2016. Each of these wines was delicious in its own right and gave a clear idea of the potential of the carricante grape. Yet while they shared certain characteristics, they were entirely different. In common, they all had noticeably firm acidity, relatively low alcohol and those distinctive saline notes. The Benanti had salty, herbal, stony aromas, and though it seemed a bit dilute compared with the other two bottles, with acidity that was not quite as pointed, its flavors had staying power, lingering in the mouth long after the wine had been swallowed. The Graci was a denser wine, richer and with more body. The aromas and flavors were similar — herbs, citrus, saltiness — but the texture was more interesting. This was a wine you could roll around in your mouth even after swallowing, which I think was because of the residual feeling of its acidity. It was tangy, lipsmacking and refreshing. The Aurora seemed to be still more concentrated, with even more salinity and minerality than the other two, and with the herbal and citrus flavors as well. None of the wines were heavy, but all were lasting, evocative of their place and superb with one of my favorite dishes, bigoli with tuna, anchovies and sage. What made these wines different? Of course, each producer has its own sensibilities and intents,

which alone are often enough to account for differences. These three wines also had different grape compositions. The Benanti was 100 percent carricante, while the Graci was 70 percent carricante and 30 percent catarratto, a white grape found throughout Sicily, and the Aurora was 90 percent carricante and 10 percent minnella, a rare Sicilian white found almost exclusively on Etna. The combinations are all permitted by Etna Bianco rules, which require the wines to be at least 60 percent carricante, up to 40 percent catarratto and up to 15 percent minnella. A higher designation, Etna Bianco Superiore, requires a minimum of 80 percent carricante, and all the grapes must come from the Milo area on the east face of Etna, which is regarded as the best area for carricante. One reader, Dan Barron of New York, found the richness of the Graci far more to his taste than the Benanti, and wondered whether the catarratto in the Graci might have accounted for that. My guess is no. While it’s possible that the presence of catarratto added amplitude to the wine, I don’t know of anybody around Etna who considers catarratto to be particularly desirable. Notably, Graci’s higher-end Etna Bianco, Arcurìa, is 100 percent carricante and is even more gorgeous, while Salvo Foti’s superb Etna Bianco Superiore, Vigna di Milo, is likewise entirely carricante, as is Pietra Marina,

See SICILY, Page 13


or Ann Roncone, more than science goes into making wine. She speaks from experience after 21 years as a mechanical engineer, before she and her husband, Ron, took the plunge into fulltime winemaking. Today the couple operates Lightning Ridge Cellars in Elgin, offering classic Italian varietals: Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Malvasia and Muscat Canelli. A San Francisco native, Roncone developed her love for the art of winemaking at a young age, brewing her first batch of Zinfandel from grapes she purchased from a local vineyard. She took her interest to the next step shortly thereafter and began planting vines in the yard at her home, growing grapes in the front yard. She also began working at a local vineyard in Saratoga, California, where she learned more about crafting delicious wines and all that’s involved in operating a vineyard. All the while, Roncone continued in the male-dominated profession of mechanical engineering, which she began in the 1980s. In 2004, she and her husband quit the profession and moved to the Sonoita-Elgin area, identifying a 20-acre parcel where the vineyard now operates. The second career for Roncone has had consistent success, beginning with the purchase of properties for the vineyards, the construction of trellising by hand on the first 7 1/2 acres, then planting that acreage and picking the first harvest. The couple has also built a tasting room and winery at the property since opening in 2005. Located at 2368 State Route 83 in Elgin, the tasting room is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday and features six varietals at a cost of $11, which includes a souvenir wine glass. If you bring your own glass, even from another vineyard, the cost drops to $7.


little-known grape from a volcanic island in the Mediterranean, maybe even more so. As Ferguson of Princeton, New Jersey, said acutely of the Etna Bianco, “You could taste the sea, but it was a warm Mediterranean, not the crisp Atlantic.” One might also cite Chablis. All of these wines have savoriness in common, with herbal, mineral flavors and, in the best versions, a distinct absence of fruit flavors save for citrus. Nothing is wrong with fruitiness in wine. I mentioned moderately sweet German rieslings earlier, which can be gorgeously fruity. Salinity and other savory flavors are simply another aspect of wine’s complexity. What the sweetness and fruitiness of spätlese riesling and the salinity of Etna’s carricante have in common is great acidity. It’s the spine of a wine that gives posture to the flavors, whatever they may be. You might say that acidity is good wine’s not-so-secret weapon.

Lightning Ridge Cellars Address: 2368 Hwy 83, Elgin, AZ 85611 Phone: 520-455-5383 Website: lightningridgecellars. com Hours: Friday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.



FROM PAGE 12 Benanti’s Etna Bianco Superiore, one of Italy’s greatest whites. Many readers were able to find the Graci, and almost everybody seemed to find that the warmer the wine got, the better it was. This is a crucial point for enjoying good white wine. Cold masks nuances as it does flaws. When you get a glass of pinot grigio from the local bar, you want it as cold as possible so that you taste nothing. But for good whites, you want access to every subtlety. “After a half-hour at room temperature, the wine grew exponentially in mouth-feel and floral aroma,” said Smellis of Brooklyn, who drank a 2016 Etna Bianco from Murgo. Several people noted similarities between the Etna Biancos and Muscadet, while another cited assyrtiko from Santorini. The Muscadet, grown near the Atlantic mouth of the Loire in France, seems an apt comparison, and the assyrtiko, a

R i t tto clay l soils, il warm Roncone points summers, cool nights and an old-world style of winemaking as the key elements in creating the perfect combination that produced rich, full-bodied wines.


s r a l l e C e g d Lightning Ri




Select wines that match your style FAMILY FEATURES



or a novice, simply distinguishing a wine preference — white or red, sweet or dry — may be the extent of his or her comfort level. However, a more experienced wine enthusiast knows there is an entire world to explore when it comes to discovering interesting wine styles. For example, winemakers in the Spanish wine regions of Ribera del Duero and Rueda draw on hundreds of years of history perfecting the art of winemaking. Together, these regions produce an array of flavorful, full-bodied reds and crisp, refreshing white wines. Recently, these regions have garnered attention for their wines’ value and versatility, making them solid choices for someone looking to explore and develop his or her palate without breaking the bank. “The wines of Ribera del Duero are generally made in a more generous, international style that would make them a natural transition for a traditional drinker of Cabernet Sauvignon,” said Brahm Callahan, master sommelier and Ribera del Duero y Rueda ambassador. “The same can be said for Rueda. The wines have bright, ripe fruit, great weight and texture, and offer an excellent alternative for someone who likes Sauvignon Blanc.”

Ribera del Duero There are 300 wineries in Ribera del Duero, which surrounds the Duero River for 100 miles across the region. The semiarid terrain and climate create optimal ripening conditions for the Tempranillo grapes that define the region’s wines’ distinctive character. If you like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, the big, rich, bold red wines of the region may be to your liking. * For the party host: A highly rated red that is soft juicy and impressively flavorful is sure to impress guests. Encourage guests to explore beyond their go-to with a Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero. * For the gift-giver: For a special occasion (either as a reward for yourself or someone else), the critically acclaimed Vega Sicilia Unico is a quality choice. This wine boasts the perfect proportion of fruit (plums and berries), tannins and acidity for a true splurge. * For the casual wine drinker: A clean, bright blush rosÈ with notes of raspberries and strawberries is an enjoyable option throughout the day, from brunch to cocktail hour and onto the patio at twilight.

Rueda One of the hallmarks of Rueda’s refreshing white wines is versatility. With just the right amount of fruit and a refreshing finish, wines from Rueda are clean, bright and complex, yet effortlessly drinkable. The region is home to 70 wineries clustered on the plateau of Castilla y Leon at a high altitude of about 2,300-2,600 feet above sea level. The difficult growing environment, mineral-filled gravel soils and abundance of sunshine help create a crisp white wine with character. * For the environmentalist: If organic and sustainable winemaking appeals to you, Menade Verdejo is well-known as a flavorful wine made with the environment in mind. These fifth-generation sibling winemakers are pioneers in organic viticulture with an organic certification for their winery and vineyard. * For the bubble lover: Light bubbles are perfect alone or paired with fish and fruits, and a varietal featuring the Verdejo grape is a less common but delightful way to enjoy a little bubbly. * For the warm weather enthusiast: A crisp, refreshing glass of an option like Beronia Verdejo offers minerality and intense fruit flavors to unveil an intense palate with a refreshing acidity that is ideal for a hot day.


s d r a y e n i V n a Callagh


Callaghan Vineyards Address: 336 Elgin Road, Elgin, AZ 85611 Phone: 520-455-5322 Website: Hours: Thursday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.



ocated off of Elgin Road in Sonoita, the family-owned and -operated Callaghan Vineyards offers a wide range of dry wines. They produce dry whites, dry roses, dry reds, and now offer sparkling wines to their customers. The owners pride themselves on spending most of their time in the vineyards to offer the best possible product. Their indoor training room costs $10, which includes a souvenir 21-ounce crystal glass. Bottles can be purchased, but not opened, on the vineyard property. The winery is in its 28th year of business after being founded by Kent Callaghan and his parents Karen and Harold in 1990. The family decided to open their own winery based on their love of European wines. The company prides itself on its numerous accolades and the multiple times it has had wines served at The White House. Callaghan Vineyards has had its wines featured at the White House four times, with the most recent being for the Governor’s Dinner in January 2017.


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y r e w e r B l e h Copper Brot J

ust a few miles off Interstate 10 and down state Route 83, the Copper Brothel Brewery sits in front of a open field of golden grass and an expansive horizon. The business is one of the many alcoholic wonders of Sonoita and Elgin, serving up craft beer from microbreweries across the state. The brewery is co-owned by mother-daughter duo Cheryl and Sammie Jesser, who originally hail from Colorado. The two operate the business together with some help from Cheryl’s husband and Sammie’s father, Bob. With a goal of bring a healthy beer culture to the Sonoita area, the Jesser women opened their business early last year, and are serving up ales by small breweries from around the state. But the Jessers won’t just serve beer from other breweries. Sammie, the brewmaster, plans to produce a collection of beers special to Copper Brothel, made in

the seven-barrel brewing system in the back. “We have 25 taps, and up 10 will be our own,” she said. “I only have ales right now, but I will serve every style and will rotate them.” The Jessers are also known for their knack for cooking, and have a full-sized kitchen where patrons can order meals and snacks. “I think the most unique thing is that we have food and a full bar all together, as well as enough seating for people to relax,” she said.

Copper Brothel Brewery 3112 state Route 83, Sonoita Cheryl and Sammie Jesser, owners Opened March 2018

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lattering sounds and the hum of machinery meant something was being bottled at the Wilhelm Vineyards in Elgin. “Today we’re bottling Peach Sangria,” said tasting room manager Stephany Rader. Rader runs the tasting room for Kevin and Karyl Wilhelm, a couple who met in the Gulf War while serving in the military. Their idea for the perfect life was working for themselves at something they loved to do. Since Kevin grew up on a farm, growing seemed to be the thing to try. In 2004, they decided to try their hand at wines and now grow a variety of Spanish and French grapes to make their awardwinning sangrias and ports, Rader said. In 2018, Wilhelm Family Vineyards won the Best Dessert Wine Award in the Arizona Grand Wine Competition for their sunset port. It was called a “decadent, tawny dessert-style wine.” Wilhelm Vineyards also won the 2017 Harvest Challenge with its tempranillo. To honor veterans, they came up with a line of wines called Patriot Salute. The label is handcrafted by artist Jim Laurier, a former pilot like Kevin. Some proceeds from the sale of each Patriot Salute bottle go to support the Pima Air

& Space Museum in Tucson, noted Rader. “We feel honored that we can help in some small way to support the efforts of the 390th Bomb Group Memorial Museum, whose mission is to honor and memorialize those who served in the 390th Bombardment Group. Aside from trying to raise awareness of the museum’s goals, we donate a portion of bottle sales of our commemorative wine, 390th Patriot Salute, to the museum,” said K. Wilhelm. One of the best sellers is Arriba, a prickly pear sangria with passion fruit and a jalapeño kick, Rader said. “We cover a lot of bases with our varieties of wine,” Rader said. “There is a wine here that is sure to please anyone.” There is a wine club, free to join, and people can choose to purchase bottles of wine , either 12 or 24 depending on which membership is selected, over the course of a year. Membership also provides a discount on other bottles of wine. “I promise you will enjoy being a part of our Wine Club Family,” says K. Wilhelm. “I offer a wide selection of award-winning wines to please every palate. I personally select the wine club shipments, and I give you the option to adjust your selections anytime.”


s d r a y e n i V y l i m Wilhelm Fa


Winery Tasting Room Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Fri, Sat & Sun 21 Mountain Ranch Dr., Elgin, AZ 85611 520-455-9291

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refrigerators, microwaves, coffee pots, coffee & tea and toasters. We offer a number of options for breakfast, plus local restaurants. The Xanadu caters to birders, bikers, hikers, horse lovers, wine lovers or people who just want to get away from it all! 520.455.0050 92 S. Los Encinos Road, Sonoita Only 1½ miles from all of the finest shops and restaurants at the Sonoita Crossroads Book online and save! Pay nothing until you check-in. Nightly & weekly rates, multiple night savings, cash discounts and promotional savings. email:


Xanadu means “A place of great beauty, peace and contentment, “ Xanadu Ranch is Trip Advisor’s Number One Pick for Sonoita, Elgin and Patagonia. When you check in at the Xanadu, you get a wine tour map, and a wine testing discount card. Take some of our wine glasses and you’ll save even more. So, check in here first and save! One of the oldest homesteads in Sonoita, Xanadu Ranch was built in 1912. All rooms have private entrances and private baths. Our deluxe rooms have full kitchens. All rooms have satellite TV, DVD players, wireless internet,


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s e n i V d n a s p o Arizona H C Arizona Hops & Vines Address: 3450 Highway 82, Sonoita, AZ 85637 Phone: 301-237-6556 Website: Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday

o-owned by sisters Megan Haller-Stranik and Shannon Zouzoulas, Arizona Hops & Vines features robust bolds, blends, chardonnays and an ever-popular moscato in a rather unconventional winery setting. The sisters started the winery in 2011 by stepping away from the traditional “stuffy business� of wine etiquette and created a family-friendly party spot with camping, bonfires (weather permitting), live music, DJs and just an all-around “crazy-good� time, Zouzoulas said. The winery’s uniqueness is what gives Hops & Vines a “cheeky� reputation in a world of glass swirling, wine tastings and food pairings. From morning mimosas made with a sparkling wine called The Fluffer, to The Drag Queen, a wine co-fermented with hops and dressed up like a beer, offerings at Hops & Vines step away from traditional norms, Zouzoulas said. During events, kids enjoy the “Sober Shack,� giving youngsters a fun place to hang out, while parents enjoy events on the 10-acre property. Haller-Stranik was introduced to the world of winemaking while volunteering at Sonoita Vineyards.

From planting and harvesting to becoming an assistant winemaker, she immediately fell in love with the business and aspired to start her own winery. With support from their parents, Zouzoulas packed up her children and moved to Sonoita from Washington D.C. in 2011 to join her


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sister in a winery venture that made Arizona Hops & Vines a reality. Haller-Stranik tends the vineyard and makes wines, while Zouzoulas runs the tasting room and handles marketing and event planning in this unique winery where there are “no rules.�


ight years ago, the first grapevines were planted, but the first harvest did not come until 2016. Now Jon and Jennifer Bollin are not only growing and producing their own wines, but they have opened the Vineyard Café in Sonoita where they feature some of Arizona’s best food, wine and beer. It is the only restaurant that sells its own wine. Donn Ivey, a longtime friend, retired school teacher and a partner in the café, grows vegetables and herbs in a garden behind the restaurant. The vineyard is growing better every year, Jon said. This year they’ll be planting the black-skinned grape Graciano, a primarily Spanish fruit. Jon went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and has 25-plus years of kitchen experience. Jennifer has 25-plus years of experience herself in dining room management, and loves to make every guest feel like a

cherished friend. They own a small, 14-acre piece of Elgin not far from the restaurant planted with petit verdot, Carignan and tannat. These grapes are the hearts of the wines they produce and bottle. The catering service can accommodate small to large groups and provide the best in food, beverage and service. “We wanted to bring all the experience, talent and great food and wine together for a place everyone can come to and feel right at home. Our food isn’t fussy or pretentious. Our prices are very reasonable, and our wine and beer list is one of the very few in Arizona that is Arizona-only,” Jon said. The café opened in 2014, and has been experimenting with different dynamic cuisines over the years. The Bollins have been told they offer the best eggs Benedict and the best-tasting burger. The only way to know is to go see for yourself. Maybe you will discover a favorite all your own.


e f a c d n a s d r a JB Viney


Vineyard Café 3252 Highway 82 Sonoita, AZ 520-455-4779 HOURS Monday, Tuesday Closed Wednesday - 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday - 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday - 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday - 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday- 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner - Friday & Saturday Walk-Ins welcome Good for groups Good for kids Take out Catering Waiter service Outdoor seating www. vineyardcafesonoita. com/our-story.html

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3160 S Highway 83 • Sonoita, AZ 85637

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KIEF-JOSHUA VINEYARDS is a small family business with 20 acres in

beautiful Elgin and 40 acres in Willcox Wine Country. Our Elgin tasting room is open daily and is situated right in the middle of what is known as “winery row.”

STRIVING FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY VINES Kief made the commitment to implement sustainable farming techniques from vineyard to bottle. The vineyard is free of herbicides and pesticides, and this environmentally sound approach will continue to be implemented over the years.

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370 Elgin Road, Elgin, Arizona 85611 Email Address:

(520) 455-5582