Arizona is quickly becoming known for its wine industry. As part of the emerging wine culture of the area, Fountain Hills will host the Phoenix-area “Great Grape Stomp” to be held the weekend of November 5th. The family-oriented event will include a 5K race/walk, a 2K kids walk and a series of tasting, dining and entertainment events featuring a significant sampling from Arizona’s 200+ vineyards.
One of four “stomps” taking place across the state, this event will feature tastings from vineyards representing the four main wine regions of Arizona. Participation in the Great Grape Stomp is a unique way to have fun, become more knowledgeable about the maturing Arizona wine culture, and it supports
the development and promotion of this significant addition to our quality of
life. For more information about the upcoming “Stomp” go to www.arizonawine.org.
On Thursday, November 3rd, plan to attend an afternoon of Art on the Avenue
and Farmer’s Market, followed by a wine tasting event by Lawrence Dunham Vineyards and Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate, 4:30-6:00 pm. Cost is $8 per flight and tickets to the Saturday Stomp event will be available. Later that evening, enjoy a wine makers dinner at 6:30-8:00 pm at Sofrita Restaurant co-hosted by Lawrence Dunham Vineyards. The dinner includes a 4 wine pairings with dinner and desert for $55. For dinner reservations call 480-816-5316. Both events take place on the Avenue of the Fountains.
Fountain Hills: Not Exactly Wine Country
Now, a quick geography lesson: Fountain Hills, Arizona, smack dab in the
middle of the state, only minutes from Scottsdale and nestled at the foothills
of the arid McDowell Mountains, is at least an hour and half drive from any notable vineyards. But here’s the irony. Many local residents are under the misguided belief that Fountain Hills is wine country!
Now, to be fair, I have seen a few meager grape vines at private homes during my 25 years as a Realtor in Fountain Hills. However, these aren’t the bountiful vines serious vintners work so hard to nurture on their way to delivering a consistent bottling of wine. All that being said, spare yourself the grief and don’t try to debate with any of the local wine enthusiasts that Fountain Hills is anything but a respectable haven for great wines, wine aficionados and wine events.
To emphasize…do not suggest to Dave and Diane Links, owners of Grapeables Wine Bar at the Plaza Fountainside, that Fountain Hills residents can’t hold their own when it comes to an appreciation and knowledge of the finest vintages. Here, at the base of the World’s Tallest Fountain, Dave and Diane play host to an enthusiastic group of local wine devotees. These folks don’t hesitate to invest in the latest and greatest vintages, delivered by regional and international wine experts who bring their bounty to Grapeables by the truck load for event
tastings and various presentations.
And for sure don’t try to tell Peggy and Curt Dunham, the owners of Lawrence Dunham Winery in the Chiricaua Mountains of Southern Arizona, that Fountain Hills isn’t a good place to promote and sell fine wines. Their schedule of release and tasting events are always well attended. The bulk of their founders group, The Chiricahua Circle is made up of Fountain Hills residents who eagerly await each event and opportunity to taste the latest samplings. If the hands-on vineyard experience appeals to you, check out the Chiracahua Circle Founder’s Guild at www.Lawrencedunhamvineyard.com.
Finally, it would be sheer folly to tell the folks who plan to attend the Fountain Hills Great Grape Stomp that “stomping grapes” in Fountain Hills might be a little out of place among the Saguaro and Prickly Pear cactus. The participants in the “Stomp” might be devastated if you even suggested that Fountain Hills isn’t the center of the wine industry…at least for that week-end!
For information about the diverse and interesting lifestyle in Fountain Hills, real
estate opportunities or the local events and celebrations , check out www.TheSonoranLifestyle.com. Go to “calendar” for weekly event details. Or, call me, Dori Wittrig, Designated Broker for Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate at 602-558-5901. I love telling folks about the community of Fountain Hills and the mountain and desert lifestyle we enjoy!