Fri, May 24

Cheers! Wine, pecan fest a big hit

Staff photo by Carol Keefer

JESSICA Hernandez holds up Fort Bowie's popular, "Sweet Water," a mixture of fruit juice and wine considered great to serve as an apéritif.

"It was a wonderful event even with the snow. We were very happy with it," commented Parks and Recreation Events' Coordinator Lynda Moore.

She said 30 wonderful volunteers (Friends of Fort Verde, P&Z commissioners, council members, Kiwanis) pitched in performing all the tasks necessary to keep things going from parking to cooking.

The annual wintertime affair now in its third year had something for everyone. There were homemade pecan pies, pastries and a pecan bakeoff. Inside the nearby courtyard, barbecue sizzled while lively bluegrass musicians played inside a huge circus tent.

Five Arizona wineries brought vintages for sampling along with bottles for sale to the public. At least a dozen antique vendors were on hand with their wares.

University of Arizona experts offered classes on pecan-and-grape growing while master gardeners shared advice on gardening problems. Well-known local pecan grower Richard Tinlin again opened up his farm, A Summer Place, for tours.

Moore said winners of the pecan bakeoff would be announced this week. Anyone interested in obtaining copies of the winning recipes can pick them at the Parks and Recreation Department, 395 S. Main St.

Harry Rotsteen was grand champion in the "Pecan Growing" contest, while John Emerson took home honors as reserve champion.