Like so many of us Washingtonians I escaped the grey and rain in February for a week in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona. Did you know that every state in the United States produces wine? Every time I travel I do research to see what local wineries are around. When you think of the hot desert of Arizona cactus come to mind but not wine grapes. I found out first hand that Arizona is producing some great wines.
While in old town Scottsdale I got to visit Aridus Wine Company. It was fun to visit the tasting room right in the heart of the old west style part of town. The tasting room is set amongst all the different art galleries so it was a nice stop to sip some wine between enjoying the local art. We were welcomed into the tasting room by very friendly staff and quickly had a glass and choices of wine to sample.
I was surprised by the variety of wines that Aridus Wine Co. produced. I had heard that cabernet sauvignon like the dry hot temperatures of Arizona but I had no idea what other varietals they would have. I quickly found that they had about eleven different wines on the tasting menu and they plan to release upwards of 25 new wines this year. In the tasting room they have an impressive wall of the wines, and the simple labels, which for white wines are shades of yellow and cream, the reds are shades of red and pink give a look of a hardware store paint swatch display.
The wines they produce range from classic white and red varietals as well as a few sweet dessert style wines. My favorite wine from Aridus was the 2016 sauvignon blanc which was a winner at the 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition. I loved that it was clean and delicate with citrus and tropical fruit flavors, but with a bit of fresh ginger on the end which gave a spicy bite. The staff also told me that the grapes for this wine aren’t actually from Arizona. Aridus gets the grapes for this sauvignon blanch from New Mexico! The amazing fact about this wine was that while I was there it was on sale for $15.00, but drinks like a much higher priced wine.
As for the reds I felt the 2015 cabernet sauvignon was a great representation of cabernet. The tannin structure was very smooth but the wine still had a meatiness that we all seem to love. The finish had a bit of cocoa, which makes this the perfect wine to take you from dinner to dessert. The 2015 vintage seems a bit light probably from fruit that didn’t have as high of sugar rate, meaning this wine is perfect for anyone that likes a wine that isn’t heavy.
I know it’s now getting towards the hot season in Arizona but next winter make a plan to escape Seattle’s gloom and get some sun and wine in Arizona. Learn more about Aridus Wine Company at Ariduswineco.com. Lastly they ship to Washington so order some of the sauvignon blanc to enjoy this spring! I already had mine shipped so that I can pretend I’m still in the desert sun!