Tag Archives: Wine

Wine: A visit to the Carlson Creek Tasting Room

I tasted some great wines in Willcox today and talked with John Carlson, one member of the  family who runs the Carlson Creek, a vineyard in Cochise County.

I uploaded a short video to youtube.com. John was a bit nervous, but he did great! Check it out at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnZZ8kXvl-E

Tasting room hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday thru Sunday. $6 will get you a taste of their Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Syrah and Cabernet. Plus you get a souvenir glass!

For more info, check out http://www.carlsoncreek.com/carlsoncreek/index.jsp.

If you’d like ideas on other things to do when visiting Willcox, call the Willcox Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-200-2272.

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Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards to open tasting room March 13

Another new tasting room will open in Willcox on Saturday, March 13, 2010!

Rod Keeling and Jan Schaefer of Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards have been renovating the old Willcox Bank and Trust building. Their tasting room will open this week. On Saturday the winemaker will be on hand to sign bottles from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It used to be that you could taste their wines by appointment only at their Chiricahua Mountain foothills tasting room. Wine lovers will be able to sample their Three Sisters Syrah, Two Reds Grenache, Best Friends Chardonnay and Rock Creek Rosé vintages.

The Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards tasting room is in the former Willcox Bank and Trust Building, which was built in 1917 and sits next to Willcox’s famous Rex Allen Museum on Railroad Avenue. The wine library will be housed in what used to be the bank vault.

Hours for the tasting room are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.

Details: Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards, 154 Railroad Avenue, Willcox, AZ, 520-824-2500, www.KeelingSchaeferVineyards.com.

For nearby accommodations or other attractions in the area, call the Willcox Chamber of Commerce at 1-520-384-2272.

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Wine Tasting Rooms to open in Willcox, Ariz.

One of the wines available at the Carlson Creek grand opening Feb. 13.Carlson Creek Vineyards tasting room will have its grand opening celebration Feb. 13. Located on Railview Avenue just across the railroad tracks from the Rex Allen Museum, it will feature four wine varietals, a Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese.

The vineyard is family owned and operated. Robert Carlson is the winemaker; his brother John will manage the tasting room, and father, Bob, directs the farming operations. Robert Carlson’s sister and mother are also involved. Robert, Bob and John Carlson have completed viticulture and winemaking classes at University of California Davis. Their first vintages are from grapes they purchased grapes from their Cochise County neighbors. In 2009, they planted their first vines, which they will harvest in 2011. Initially, they will plant grapes on 16 of the 80 acres they own in Cochise County.

Details: Carlson Creek Vineyards, 115 Railview Ave., Willcox, Arizona, 520-776-3000. www.CarlsonCreek.com

Wine from Keeling-Schaefer VineyardsAnother tasting room, Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards, will open in 2010. It used to be that you could taste their wines by appointment only at their Chiricahua Mountain foothills tasting room. Owners Rod Keeling and Jan Schaefer are hard at work on their downtown Willcox location. Visitors will be able to sample their Three Sisters Syrah, Two Reds Grenache, Best Friends Chardonnay and Rock Creek Rosé vintages.

The Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards tasting room is in the former Willcox Bank and Trust Building, which was built in 1917 and sits next to Willcox’s famous Rex Allen Museum on Railroad Avenue. The wine library will be housed in what used to be the bank vault.

Details: Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards, Railroad Avenue, Willcox, AZ, 520-824-2500, www.KeelingSchaeferVineyards.com.

For nearby accommodations or other attractions in the area, call the Willcox Chamber of Commerce at 1-520-384-2272.

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Dos Cabezas in Cochise County

Snow covered mountains in Cochise County

Dos Cabezas Photo (c) Luanne Mattson

I was in Willcox in Cochise County for a meeting today and took this photo  of the Dos Cabezas Mountains. “Dos Cabezas” means two heads in Spanish, which makes sense when you look at it. See the two heads?

The snow was left over from last week’s storm, and there was rain coming down in Willcox this morning. There will probably be more snow after this weather system passes through. That precipitation is good news for the farmers and wine growers in the region. Willcox is fertile ground where a lot of grapes are grown that eventually are made into Arizona wine. More on that on a later post.

Cheers!

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Willcox Wine and Art Show Oct. 17 & 18

Have you tasted Arizona’s wines yet?

Coronado Vineyards in Willcox (c) Luanne Mattson

Coronado Vineyards in Willcox (c) Luanne Mattson

If not, you might want to check out Willcox this weekend. Willcox’s weather looks fantastic (highs in the 80s; lows in the 50s)!

Eight Arizona wineries are gearing up for the Willcox Wine and Art Show. Six of the eight wineries are grown in Cochise County. The event will also include a juried art show of 30 artists, five food booths, music and a wine tasting area.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 17 & 18

Where: Railroad Park, on Railroad Ave. in historic downtown Willcox

Cost: Wine tasting will be $10 for those over 21 and includes six tasting coupons and a commemorative Arizona Wine glass. Attendance and parking  is FREE and open to the public.

Check the Willcox Wine and Art Show website for more info.

Looking for more to do in Willcox? Check out the Rex Allen Museum, dedicated to preserving the memory of Rex Allen, who was the “voice of Disney” for years. If you’re a fan of country music, you might also stop by the Marty Robbins exhibit, which is also on Railroad Avenue. Marty is famous for his song, El Paso, but he has hundreds of other great songs. Outside Willcox’s downtown are Apple Annie’s Orchard and a number of other u-pick farms if you want to pick your own apples or pumpkins (can you say “pie”?). Click here for the Willcox harvest brochure.

Stop by the Willcox Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture for more information on places to see and things to do in the area.

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AZ/Cochise County score in presidential wine taste-off

The Wall Street Journal’s wine columnists, Dorthy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, had a presidential taste-off with wines selected from Illinois and Arizona vineyards.

Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards

Chiricahua Mountains make a great backdrop for the vineyards. Photo: Keeling-Schaefer Vineyards

Of the three vintages they tasted, Keeling Schaefer Vineyards’ Three Sisters 2006 fared well. The winery is located in the foothills of the Chiricahua Mountains. Dos Cabezas Wine Works and Page Springs Cellars were also tasted. They have good notes for all three Arizona wines. Bostock Winery makes Dos Cabezas’ Viognier they tasted.

The heart of Arizona’s wine industry is in Cochise County. That’s where most of the grapes have been grown over the years. Sonoita is the well-known wine market for Arizona, but Willcox and the mountainous regions surrounding the town, famous for Rex Allen, the singing cowboy, are making serious inroads in the winemaking biz. The wine industry has been active for more than 25 years, and visiting u-pick farms is a great way to enjoy local foods.

So, which state won? Arizona! No telling if this taste-off will have any impact on the election on Nov. 4, but the results were interesting.

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Events in Cochise County this weekend

A roper waits his turn at the Butterfield Rodeo. Photo by Cathy Murphy

A roper waits his turn at the Butterfield Rodeo. Photo by Cathy Murphy

Looking for something to do this weekend? The communities in Cochise County have nine events for you to consider. Take a look… there’s bound to be something to spark your interest. From ghost riders in Tombstone to Butterfield Overland Stage Days in Benson. So much to do!

Oct. 9-12, Corvettes and Ghost Riders, Tombstone

Events include an Early Cowpoke Rendezvous, Welcome Rustlers Corral, Boardwalk Rally, People’s Choice NCCC Car Show, Cochise County Road Tour and more!

When:  10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Where:  Allen Street, Tombstone, Admission: Free, Infowww.corvettesandghostriders.com

Oct. 10-12, St. Patrick’s Fall Festival, Bisbee

One of Bisbee’s most historic churches hosts this annual family fun event, with prizes, silent auction, arts and crafts, children’s games and food. A dance from 9 p.m. to midnight will cap off Saturday’s fun.

When: daily Where: St. Patrick’s Church, Bisbee, Admission: Free, Info: 520-432-5753

Oct. 11, 21st Annual Cars in the Park, Sierra Vista

More than 300 custom cars will be polished and shined at the 20th Annual Cars in the Park, considered the largest outdoor car show in Arizona. Vehicles in 22 classes will compete for trophies and prizes.

When: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sat., Where: Veterans’ Memorial Park, Admission: Free, Info: 520-227-8318

Oct. 11, Butterfield Overland Stage Days, Benson

This event commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the Overland Mail Route. Pony express riders will take letters postmarked with a commemorative cancellation stamp on horseback from Benson to Dragoon. Entertainment will be provided in Lion’s Park, with the Benson Fire Department marking its 101st birthday. Festivities begin with a parade and will include arts, crafts, food and fireworks. 

When: begins at 10 a.m., Where: Downtown Benson, Admission: Free, Info: 520-586-2842

Oct. 11, Cochise County Cycling Classic, Douglas

Ultra cycling event in Cochise County’s high desert landscape of Dragoon and Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. 45-, 92-, 157 and 252-mile rides Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Inc. Cyclist participating in the 157- and 25- mile rides must have their own support crews. Benefits DARC.

Start times: 2 a.m., 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., Where: Douglas, Info: 520-745-2033 or http://www.perimeterbicycling.com/!CCCC/CCCChome.html 

Oct. 11, Butterfield Rodeo & Dance, Benson

The Benson Butterfield Rodeo Committee will host the annual Benson Butterfield Rodeo. Events include rough stock and timed events plus a kid’s rodeo.

When: 5:30 p.m. Rodeo, 8:30 p.m. Dance, Where: Arena Bar, 250 N. Prickly Pear Ave., Admission: Adults, $8; children, age 6-12, $5; Info: 520-586-4293

Oct. 11, Vintage Bisbee Wine Festival, Bisbee
Sample more than 50 Old and New World wines and an afternoon of food, music and fun. Sponsored by the Bisbee Rotary Club, the festival’s proceeds will benefit scholarship programs, community projects and help the world-wide fight against polio.

When:  4 – 7 p.m., Where:  City Park, Brewery Gulch, Admission: $45 per person, Info: 520-432-3554, 1-866-2BISBEE or www.bisbeerotaryclub.org

Oct. 11, Annual Fiber Arts Festival, Bisbee

The juried show celebrating its 16th year includes more than 30 artists’ works made from natural fibers such as wool, cotton, flax and paper. Vendors will have artists’ materials and finished products for sale. Spinning and natural dyeing classes will be held Oct. 11 & 12 with Jill Holbrook and Alexandro Martinez, a Zapotec weaver from Oaxaca. Registration required for classes.

When: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Where: Vista Park, in Bisbee’s Warren district; Admission: Free, Info: 520-642-3603 or www.Bisbeefiberarts.com

Oct. 12, Butterfield Golf Tournament, Benson

Enjoy the day as a player or a spectator on a beautiful course! Applications to participate are available at the Benson Visitor Center.

 When:  9 a.m. Where:  Turquoise Hills Family Golf Center, Info:  Applications at 249 E. 4th Street or www.bensonchamberaz.com,

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