For Valentine’s Day, Chris and I opted to celebrate a day late with the Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival. We used to love spending the day wine-tasting pre-kids in Willcox or in Woodinville, Washington. I figured this was the perfect way to celebrate and spend some one-on-one time – the first since celebrating our wedding anniversary at The Parish in November.
Off the Vine Arizona’s 7th Annual Wine Festival featured 27 wineries, vendors, local food trucks, and live music set among Steam Pump Ranch. It just so happened this year the festival coincided with Second Saturdays. There were extra vendors from the Farmer’s Market along with bonus food trucks as well.
We arrived at 11:10am, about 10 minutes after the start time. There was a separate line to check your ID and a separate line to scan your tickets to get into the event. By 11:25am, we were in the festival ready to imbibe!
We took advantage of the Early Bird tickets. $25 got you 8 tasting tickets and a commemorative wine glass. Tickets were $30 at the door.
With the eight tasting tickets we each had, Chris and I sampled a variety of wines. Chris stuck with all red varieties while I sampled whites, rosés, and reds. Here are a list of our favorites:
The Oddity Wines – 2015 Unsanctioned – a 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Petite Sirah. Unsanctioned – “One of the only words in the English language to be its own opposite, this wine is just that. A blend that is sanctioned and yet unexpected. Fruit foreword Sangio from Buhl Memorial artfully welded together with the structural power of Petite Sirah from both Buhl and Rolling View Vineyards. Aged for ten months in neutral mixed American and French oak barrels.“
The Oddity Wines – 2016 Datura – 100% Petite Verdot. “A somewhat unusual grape to come accross, we were so pleased to let it shine all on its own. A hint of french oak gives this one a little bit of roundness to compliment its whole cluster characteristics.“
High Lonesome – Mourverdre. “Mourvedre originated in Spain, aka Monastrell or Mataro. It has a dark garnet red-to-deep purple color that looks deep and thick and murky. It has a strong, gamy barnyard aroma as well as the rich, luscious scent of dark berry jam. Lots of dark fruit with just a touch of sweetness.“
Heartwood Cellars – 2017 Tempranillo
Pierce – 2017 Gallia. “A Bordeaux-style blend of estate Merlot 61% and Cabernet Franc 39%. Barrel aged 18-months. Beautiful red fruits, leather, earth, subtle green peppercorns, and finishes with a refined structure.“
Page Springs Cellars – 2018 La Flor Rosé. 42% Nebbiolo, 16% Mourvedre, 13% Counoise, 10% Viognier, 9% Malvasia Bianca, 8% French Colombard, 2% Pinot Noir. “Page Springs has been making dry, European-style rosé since we first opened our doors. We are firm believers that pink wines have been wrongfully maligned in our country due to the visual association with the similarly colored sweet wines (the name of which we shall not utter here). So…we are here to restore your faith in these elegant, refreshing wines and can only suggest that you drink them chilled on a warm summer day or enjoy them with oysters, sushi or even a salad.“
Keeling-Schaefer – 2018 Rosé Grenache. “Pale salmon orange color. Grassy aromas and flavors of wet hay, fallen apple, egg white, and old strawberry with a lean, crisp, dry light body and a smooth, rapid finish that exhibits shades of red apple skin and dried nectarine with fruit tannins and no oak flavor. A crisp quaffer that offers laid-back summertime refreshment.“
After completing our tastings, Chris opted to get a glass of Heartwood Cellar’s Tempranillo and I purchased a glass of Page Sping’s La Flor Rosé. You could even purchase bottles to share on-site or take to-go.
We packed some snacks for the festival including some prosciutto, cheese, crackers, grapes, nuts, and chocolates. We enjoyed our glasses of wine and snacks along with some live music.
We loved spending time at Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival. From the wineries to the vendors, there is something for everyone. While sampling wines, Chris and I enjoyed looking at the Indian jewelry, peruvian chocolate and caramels, and furniture made out of wine barrels.
The festival is kid-friendly. People brought in their own lawn chairs and tables and set up their own picnics and lunch spreads. There was also a spot with multiple cornhole games along with a life-size version of chess.
You are allowed to bring in outside food however there were food trucks on-site. This year they had House of Brats, Stack’s Culinary Creations, and a BBQ truck (I’m sorry I don’t remember the name but the whiffs of food smelled delicious!)
After enjoying our snacks, we realized we forgot to try the offerings from Maynard Keenan’s winery. Luckily, you’re able to purchase extra tasting tickets. It was $5 for 3 tickets. We decided to try the Chupacabra and Airavata by Caduceus which ended up making the favorites list. We ended the festival with the Cabernet Sauvignon by Heartwood Cellars. I loved their logo so much I ended up purchasing a glass to take home.
We spent about 2 hours at the festival. As we were leaving around 1pm, the lines inside were getting longer but there was no line to get into the festival. We felt everything ran smoothly and we look forward to making this festival a part of our traditions.
Take advantage of the early bird ticket pricing
Get there early to claim the shady spots, pack a picnic blanket, snacks, and chairs.