Arizona Specialty Crops Blog
Long time readers of this blog know of my obsession also of the geologic underpinnings of the major wine regions in Arizona; an undertaking which is still as yet incomplete since I have yet to explore the geology of Kingman, and parts of the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains where rumored vineyards exist, but I’m waiting until I visit those sites in person. While I was undertaking research for the Sonoita and Elgin section, I contacted Michael Conway at the Arizona Geological Survey for resources and received stunning news about a secret project: an interactive map that would be mobile-friendly and cover every single winery and tasting room in the state. I’ve been looking more forward to the release of this map than Fallout 4.
This is big. I spent a lot of time compiling a list for myself that had to come from several places, and even then, the list wasn’t always clear. (and in some cases, still isn’t–nobody at all actually seems to know whether San Domingo still exists, or even exactly where it is, which has prevented me from performing the footwork myself.) I threw in some thoughts and suggestions when they told me about it back then, and now it’s out!
This is, by far, the most complete list I’ve seen in one place, and it will be continuously updated. In fact, the goal is to have the the winemakers to update their own information on the site as needed. It’s another example of how individuals in the Arizona industry can work together to benefit the whole. This way the winemakers will be in control of their own information; those who aren’t part of any particular organization will still be represented!
It also, more excitingly, is mobile and tablet friendly, unlike many of the other lists floating around online. Best of all, it uploads quickly, even on a 3G connection, so if you’re on the go and don’t have access to WiFi, you’re covered. I predict this will be a major resource, and hopefully a sign of more fantastic things to come.
All in all, I’m glad this winery map has been released, and it promises to be the opening of a new chapter where Arizona is being taken more seriously for our wines, and the terroir that influences their character. With the rapid growth and increasing renown of our wines, a map like this is made all the more essential. I’ve already encountered a few people while working in the tasting room that had come to Arizona specifically to try wine; wine tourism is going to be a thing here, and we need to be ready for it. The map is a step decidedly in the right direction.
In other news, the Vineyards in Willcox, as well as watchers of the Sandhill Cranes that spend their winter in the region scored a victory over the BLM regarding a power line proposal that would have cut right through the heart of the Willcox Bench. This is good, especially since Passion Cellars, the winery I work for, owns land in the area and is hoping to plant there starting next year.