I started working at Maynards a little over a year ago, just a few months after I moved to Arizona from Northern Lower Michigan. As I settle in after a 3-month home renovation, I’m getting more time to get out and experience Tucson and the surrounding area, especially the wine! When I moved here, I was really interested in how grapes grow in this particular climate and what the wine production process looks like. Now that I’ve had a year in Tucson, I’ve had time to explore Arizona wines, and I’ve even gotten to be a part of the process!
There are a couple of wineries that have stood out to me that I think deserve mention and some of your time to visit and taste. Rob and Sara Hammelman at Sand -Reckoner have done amazing job growing and sourcing the grapes that made up the fourth edition of our private label Maynards AZ Red, a Tempranillo blend. I was lucky enough to have a hand in the selection of barrels that made up our blend (10 barrels in all). I learned so much about the process — it isn’t just about the liquid in the barrel. There are a lot of decisions besides that juice that make up the final blend. Financial and logistical decisions can be every bit as important as the juice itself. Check out Sand-Reckoner here: https://sand-reckoner.com
Then there is the crew at Flying Leap Vineyards. These guys have put some serious effort and investment into their operation, and it shows with some great wines. Mark Beres, Marc Moeller, and Tom Kitchens are all pilots and in one way or another involved with the wine industry through their families. I first tasted their wines with Greg Macuilla (the winery’s Sales Director) and then showcased them at our annual Grapes to Glass event. Two of their wines have made it to our retail shelf and also on our wine list in the restaurant. Check them out here: https://www.flyingleapvineyards.com/
I look forward to getting to know more of the Arizona wineries and representing them in our retail store and restaurant. If you can’t make it out to these places, stop by the Market Wine Shop to pick up a bottle!
Will Olendorf, Maynards Market & Kitchen Sommelier
White Wine of the Month
Sicalia | Sicily, Italy | 2015 | Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio does come from other areas of Italy besides the northeast. This example is from Sicily and shows a fresh and crisp version that pairs well with a variety of foods.
Red Wine of the Month
Natura | Valle Central, Chile | 2014 | Syrah
Baked plum, dark cherry, and some spice dominate this organically grown Syrah. Pairs well with grilled and cured meats, cheeses, and chocolate deserts.