Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Verde Valley Wine Consortium

Last Wednesday I attended the monthly meeting of the Verde Valley Wine Consortium. This is a group composed of many of the movers and shakers in the valley's wine industry. I hate to call it an industry. It's not, clearly, and hopefully never will be. We've got enough industrial wine in this country. Anyhow, on the recommendation of Lisa Pender, manager of the Pillsbury Wine Company Tasting Room in Cottonwood, I went. The meetings are open to the public and very interesting. Anyone who thinks the valley's wine thing is some bunch of hippies trying to grow grapes instead of weed or a poorly funded flash in the pan that's doomed to failure will quickly have their eyes opened to exactly the opposite. It's not my place to publish their meeting minutes, but here are a few quick tidbits that I found quite amazing.

A representative from Yavapai College was present. Yavapai college has jumped on wine full force. They've planted a vineyard, albeit a demonstration siezed one at present, are offering viticulture and wine appreciation courses, and plan a full blown curriculum in winemaking and even hope to one day bottle their own wine! They have a very interesting painted wine barrel project ongoing wherein barrels are painted by local artists and placed at local wine businesses for a time. At the end of the project they'll be auctioned off, I suspect for big dollars, to help support the viticulture program. This endeavor is being heavily promoted by the wine trail discussed below. Here's a PDF that explains the program. Quite a few noted local artists are jumping on board and you can expect to see their barrels ultimately go for big bucks.

I think it's generally understood that the Chamber of Commerce is and has always been essentially an arm of the Republican party. I make no judgments in that regard, it's just how it is. As such, they're traditionally a very conservative bunch who do not eagerly embrace the newest business craze until they're sure it's got serious dollar potential and long legs. They are ALL OVER Verde Valley wines. I'd love to have been at the members only C of C meeting sometime in the recent past where they all slapped themselves in the forehead and realized "holy crap, tourists are actually COMING HERE FOR WINE!! WE GOTTA JUMP ON THIS!!" Well god bless 'em they have. Check out The Verde Valley Wine Trail homepage.

1 comment:

John Parsons said...

What is Yavapai College going to award? A degree? Please do a followup post or more on this topic. It's incredibly intriguing.