When I was planning my now husband Matt’s and my April 2011 wedding, wine country was the first thing on our minds. But wine country where? One of the first trips we took together, two months into dating, was to Napa. Over the years, Napa was followed by Carmel, Monterey, Temecula, Rhode Island (yes, there is a wine country in Rhode Island!), Ensenada, Mexico, and more trips to Napa and Sonoma. And of course, we dreamed of going to Tuscany together some day. But our most memorable and enjoyable wine country travels have been in Arizona, from Sonoita to Sedona, and everywhere in between.
We ultimately decided we wanted to showcase everything we know and love about Arizona – the food, the wine, the beer, the flowers – and give our friends and family a chance to experience it through our love. During the process we had the lucky fortune of finding Dancing Apache Lodge in Cornville, Arizona. When I first visited the Lodge, I knew it was THE place. The Lodge reminded me of the “big house” at my Northern California summer camp, and when I found out that the family’s vines were planted and vinted in partnership with the one and only Eric Glomski and Page Springs Cellars, I was smitten.
Over the course of several months, Matt and I met with Eric and we talked about our plans for the wedding and desire to feature Arizona wine and beer. Eric asked his Events Coordinator Justin Ove to reach out to us. Through our friendship with Justin and many visits to Page Springs Cellars, we came up with a unique celebration of our marriage and love for Arizona wine – a blending ceremony after our vows. Justin, Matt and I tasted several different varietals to ultimately come up with the best blend. It wasn’t until after we decided on the blend based on taste that we realized Eric’s tasting notes fit us perfectly as well: “2009 Grenache Colibri Vineyards: Our most intensely flavored Grenache, it’s both a little unruly and a little refined. The polished feminine fruit, silky texture and hint of lipstick on the nose are balanced by a wild green spice, gritty tannins & an unmistakably Colibri earthiness.” “2009 Syrah Norte Block: The Syrah is among the best from the vineyard and always in high demand. It is dark and powerful, yet approachable with an elegance that defies its ability to age well. Its vineyard designation every year is a testament to its consistency and quality in this often unpredictable environment.” You can guess for yourself who’s who!
Our ceremony was followed by a wine tasting with Justin featuring Page Springs Cellars and Arizona Stronghold during our cocktail hour, and PSC served throughout the evening at our dinner and reception. Our wedding weekend ended with a Build-a-Blend event at Page Springs with our family and a few close friends, including Justin helping us along as we fumbled our way through the blending!
After our honeymoon in Italy where we tasted and learned even more about wine, Matt and I visited the Page Springs tasting room for the first time since the wedding and discovered a new wine on the tasting menu – Dancing Apache Red Barn Zinfandel – made with grapes from the Dancing Apache Lodge vineyards. It was all so fitting. And that’s what I love about living in the midst of our burgeoning Arizona wine country – the opportunities it creates for us to relive wonderful memories over a glass of delicious Arizona wine.
Article by Stacy Reinstein. Photos by Sergio Photographer.
Originally Published in Arizona Vines and Wines Winter 2011 Issue.