— guest author Allan D. Kissam
Wine tasting in Scottsdale, AZ, is a well-known upscale destination for locals and tourists. A special stop in the Old Town Scottsdale district is LDV Winery offering wine selections from grapes produced at its southeastern Arizona vineyards. These vineyards and production occupy 40 acres in the heart of the fast growing Arizona wine country.
You can also taste their wines and see how wine grapes grow in Arizona at their vineyard. It’s a bit of a trek for most, but wine lovers can do tasting at the vineyards. LDV can accommodate groups of up to 15-100 people. The vineyards are located in a remote area, near the top of a Sky Island.
Sky Islands elevation at up to 6,000 feet enables wine grapes to grow in what are one the hottest desert areas of the USA and nearby Mexico. These habitats make wonderful homes for birds, plants, grapes and animals that would not survive on the lower desert elevation.
LDV vineyards, cooled by the 5,000 feet above sea level location and offering the microclimate of hot days, is modified by the 10,000 foot Chiricahua Mountains. This climate is perfect with the volcanic soil to produce the best possible wine grapes.
Nearby the LDV vineyards are other attractions. Western lore fans can see the grave of outlaw Johnny Ringo, rumored to have been left there for the buzzards by Wyatt Earp. This is located approximately 6 miles to the East. Tombstone of shootout fame is 35 miles to the West.
While driving around keep an eye out for a Mexican grizzly bear, also called a silver bear. The bear, smaller than the brown grizzly of northern states, was once resident in the sky island habitats. A victim of extirpation, the last known local bear was shot by a farmer in the 1960’s. The silver bears love eating the wine grapes and survivors may have migrated back into the local area from less populated parts of New Mexico or Mexico.
LDV Wine Tasting
I recently attended a four course food and wine pairing conducted by LDV owner Peggy Fiandaca at the Scottsdale location. I think people will enjoy these wine and food pairings.
2020 Viognier ($36) by Twisted Union label is made from 100% LDV grapes. Fruit forward, a new taste emerged with each sip. Tropical fruit is in the background and this may be due to the observed pineapple in the nose.
Pairing: Thai Spicy Noodles
2015 Genache ($38) has a wonderful dark cherry nose and long smooth finish. My favorite of the tasting.
Pairing: Shrimp Tostado
2014 Sky Island Petite Sirah ($32) nose contains a unique hint of Arizona dust with pleasant acidic finish.
Pairing: Spicy Red-Sauce Meatballs
2015 Petite Sirah ($40) taste showcases dark plumb and blackberry on the palate with a definite blackberry finish.
Pairing: Chocolate Brownie
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Allan Kissam retired from computer system consulting and his company installed records management systems. He also contracted as an adjunct professor for teaching information systems at leading universities in Southern California. Earlier, as a commissioned officer in the NOAA Corps, he was a lieutenant commander and conducted remote ocean surveys and research. Later, he worked with the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command. Supporting work was with Marines on their communications, tactical situation systems, and other networked equipment used in unit deployments.
He is a graduate in masters of engineering at the University of Washington, and MBA at the University of Puget Sound. Certificatons have included Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Ethical Hacker (C|EH). In Washington, Allan is a licensed professional engineer (retired).
Writing began with articles for professional journals, trade magazines, and technical journals. He has published original research and is awarded two U.S. patents. Today, Allan writes about travel destinations with interesting historical stories, and enjoys his passion for science fiction.