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Category: Summer 2009

Schuermann Vine

The Schuerman Vines: The effort to resurrect a 100-year-old Arizona vine

By Steve Ayers Stephen Schwartz says he is more a wine taster than a wine drinker. Sherman Loy will be the first to tell you he’s a beer...

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Inside Arizona Wine Law

By Robert Carlson, Attorney at Law, Owner Carlson Creek Vineyards My oldest son approached me about making and selling wine about two years...

The Vision is Underway By Rob Dunaway, Pillsbury Wine Co. Although award-winning Hollywood director/producer and Phoenix resident Sam Pillsbury has been in the Arizona wine industry for many years, he is very excited about his latest project, Pillsbury Wine Company. His smash introduction of Rhone Valley style wines opened last year to rave critical reviews. The winery’s 2006 Roan Red, a classic Rhone Valley style blend, rated a stellar 93 points from Mark Tarbell, acclaimed owner of Tarbell’s in Phoenix and Arizona’s own Iron Chef. Sam also produces another bold red blend called ‘Diva’, a Pinot Gris named ‘Casa Blanca’ (due to the fact that wines produced from the same vines have been poured at the White House). a rosé called ‘One Night Stand’ (the vines that produced this wine were subsequently pulled and replanted, therefore this production will be the only vintage of this wine) and a Petite Sirah. Premium Rhone Valley varietals and blends produced from Arizona grown grapes are just the tip of the iceberg with Sam, however, as Pillsbury Wine Company was established to fulfill a much larger vision. “The vineyard and wines are just part of the vision,” says Sam, “with some quite exciting pieces of the puzzle still under development.” The company owns 80 acres of land near Willcox in the prime grape growing area known as the Willcox Bench, south of town in Kansas Settlement. Surrounded by vineyards, the area is quickly becoming a destination for tourists. Tasting rooms are springing up to showcase the excellent wines made from this special terroir . . . so like the real Rhone Valley. Pillsbury envisions an integrated winery, restaurant and vacation villa development nestled in the picturesque vineyards and surrounded by the nearby majestic Chiricahua Mountains. “The place I want to build is analogous to a French Wine Country Village, but built on Arizona land with our own choice of simple ‘green’ materials. The design will be architecturally modern, yet grounded in the environment and the area’s history, both elegant and simple. It will be an eco-village; the well-water servicing the village will be treated and given back to the vines. The winery will make, house and serve the wine. I want to found a restaurant that will become world-famous, and become a destination in itself. We will serve organic vegetables and fruit grown on our land, along with organically grown lamb and Limousine beef grown locally, Arizona Sweet Shrimp, and seafood from the nearby Sea of Cortez. The food will all be cooked on open fires of mesquite and grapevine coals. A spa will treat visitors with by-products of wine production, rich in polyphenols like grape skins, crushed grape seeds, grape seed oil and creams prepared from local plants like Sage, Ironwood and Mesquite.” Pillsbury waxes eloquent when speaking of potential harvest and music festivals, Arizona art filling the buildings, movie evenings, winemaker dinners and other special events. “There is room for approximately 30 town home villas on our vineyard property,” says Pillsbury. “We are in the process of talking with investors right now to continue our vineyard plantings and to take our eco-village vacation in the vines concept to the next stage. There is a special opportunity here to do something totally unique and beautiful.” If the romance and potential reward of owning a piece of a rising star winery and a unique real estate development project tugs at your pocketbook, contact Sam Pillsbury for more information at 310-508-3348. For current wine offerings, visit www.PillsburyWineCompany.com Published in Arizona Vines & Wines, Summer 2009 PHOTOS Pillsbury_roan: Photo by Rhonni Moffitt Pillsbury_vineyard_side: Photo courtesy of Sam Pillsbury Sam sampling: Photo courtesy of Sam Pillsbury

The Vision is Underway

By Rob Dunaway, Pillsbury Wine Co. Although award-winning Hollywood director/producer and Phoenix resident Sam Pillsbury has been in the...