The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 34 of 100

34  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2018 B ased in Willcox, a small city in southeast Arizona, Aridus Wine Company chose its name as a direct homage to the state's extreme conditions: Meaning parched, dry, or lacking water in Latin, Aridus and its desert vineyards survive in an environ- ment where water is at a premium. Owners Scott and Joan Dahmer were first drawn to wine while living in Sonoma, and after moving to Arizona, Scott was convinced great bottlings could also be made there. While the wine industry is newly established in the southwestern state, its climate and conditions are similar to winegrowing areas in Argentina, where high-quality Malbec and Tempranillo are produced on a large scale. The Dahmers launched their winery in 2009 after purchasing 40 acres along Turkey Creek in nearby Pearce; nestled at an elevation of 5,200 feet above sea level, the site now serves as the winery's estate vineyard. In 2012, they transformed an old apple-processing plant into a state-of-the-art custom crush facility, which has won awards from organizations like the International Interior Design Association's Southwest Chapter for both its design and usage of reclaimed materials. During a recent tasting of the com- pany's portfolio at the Napa Valley Wine Academy in Napa, California, Aridus Winemaker Lisa Strid emphasized the company's commitment to remaining on the cutting edge of winemaking practices and techniques. To make Aridus' wines, Strid ventures beyond Arizona to source additional grapes from other mountain- desert vineyards in the Southwest, including sites in neighboring New Mexico. Strid also detailed the chal- lenges she faces in desert winemaking, including canopy management, water conservation, balancing pH and acid levels, and managing the various critters that roam the vineyards. Aridus has tasting rooms in Willcox and Old Town Scottsdale. For more information, visit THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Beating the Heat ARIDUS PROVES ARIZONA'S DESERT TERROIR CAN PRODUCE GREAT WINE story by Amber Burke Aridus Winemaker Lisa Strid recently led a tasting of the Arizona-based company's portfolio in Napa, CA. We tasted ten current releases from the winery's lineup of 22 bottlings. Among the standouts were the tropical and fresh 2017 Sauvignon Blanc ($34) with notes of papaya and citrus and a vegetal tinge; the spicy and rich 2016 Syrah ($37), which, with its dark, ripe fruit, would pair well with barbeque or Mexican food; and, for those who enjoy lightly sweet and floral white wines, the 2016 Malvasia Bianca ($37). PHOTOS COURTESY OF ARIDUS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - September 2018