Growing wineries putting rural Arizona to work

Jan 27, 2014, 4:38 PM | Updated: 4:38 pm
...
LISTEN: President Arizona Wine Growers Association Peggy Fiandaca

PHOENIX — In the midst of a recovering economy, one industry that is putting Arizona’s rural residents to work is the state’s booming wine industry.

“The beauty of the wine industry is that it’s an economic driver in rural Arizona,” Peggy Fiandaca, president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association, told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Rob & Karie on Monday. “It’s allowing jobs to be created, not only labor jobs, which are in the field during certain times of the year when we have harvests or we’re planting, but it’s also the more technical jobs that are in our wineries.”

While Fiandaca said the current wine industry in Arizona offers jobs, more can be done. She owns Lawrence Dunham Vineyards near Willcox, Ariz. and said she has to purchase a lot of materials out-of-state, including her wine barrels and equipment.

Arizona is also struggling to keep up with the pace for making wine.

“There’s just not enough grapes in Arizona being grown,” she said, adding that some vintners are forced to purchase grapes from California to keep up.

Why the big demand? Arizona wines are beginning to receive both national and international acclaim. While Fiandaca said it is a challenge to have people think of Arizona when they think of wine, she is confident about the future.

“I predict, in the next 10 years, when people are talking about Oregon, Washington and California, they’re going to be talking about Arizona right up there with them,” she said.

Fiandaca said Arizona’s varying climates make it an ideal spot to grow grapes for wine.

“We have the opportunity to produce high-quality wines,” she said.

Most of the grapes are grown between 2,500 and 5,000 feet in elevation in an atmosphere similar to that of the Rhone Valley in southern France.

“They like that rocky, volcanic soil and the grapes are doing great in it.”

Certain kinds of grapes seem to like it even better.

“There are certain varietals of grapes — types of grapes — like Viognier, Grenache, Petite Syrah and Syrah, that are grown there that do very well in Arizona.”

The state has 83 registered wineries, most of which are small to mid-range in size. A majority are represented by Fiandaca’s group.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Javier Arvallo (MCSO Photo)...
KTAR.com

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office seeking suspect in murder near highway

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office asking for the public's help in finding a suspect accused of murder southwest of metro Phoenix on Sunday.
15 hours ago
Ina Jenkins (Arizona DPS Photo)...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert issued for 78-year-old woman with dementia last seen in Gilbert

A Silver Alert was issued Monday for a 78-year-old woman with dementia who was last seen in Gilbert.
15 hours ago
(Right Side Broadcasting Network Screenshot Photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake again bashes ‘McCain machine’ during CPAC appearance

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake continued her affront of John McCain during the Conservative Political Action Conference summit in Dallas on Saturday.
15 hours ago
(Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera)...
KTAR.com

Thunderstorms possibilities in the metro Phoenix forecast throughout the week

Another set of storms are expected to pass through metro Phoenix this week, with the greatest chances of rain forecast for Tuesday.
15 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Most political campaign signs in metro Phoenix to be removed by next week

Tired of seeing political campaign signs around metro Phoenix? Well, most of them have to be gone soon.
15 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Department of Public Safety)...
KTAR.com

Man arrested in Arizona after traffic stop leads to over 26 pounds of fentanyl

A 53-year-old man was arrested last month after authorities discovered over 26 pounds of fentanyl in his truck during a traffic stop in northern Arizona.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Growing wineries putting rural Arizona to work