The 3rd annual Verde Valley Wine Symposium took place on Saturday, June 7, at the campus of Yavapai College, Clarkdale. There was a full day of lectures, workshops and panel discussions geared towards industry insiders as well as the casual wine enthusiast. Whether your interest leaned towards learning more about new AZ liquor law legislation (with Alan Everett, Director AZDLLC), wine and food pairings (with REDS Chef Ron Moler) or a comparison of Arizona vs. Italian wines (with Lorenzo Mattoni and Gary Spadafore) the symposium was a full day of all things wine in the Verde Valley. Following a tour of the impressive new Southwest Wine Center, guests were invited to a reception and people's choice wine tasting at the Mabery Pavilion; winners of the previous days panel judging of Verde Valley wines were also announced. The Winemakers Challenge winners were: Panel Judging Red: "2012 Diva," from Pillsbury Wine Company; People's Choice Red: "2012 Legacy Zinfandel" from Javelina Leap; Panel Judging White AND People's Choice White went to "2012 The Seraph" from Burning Tree Cellars.
Twelve wineries participated in the Panel Judging of the Verde Valley Wine Consortium on Friday, June 6, held at the currently not-open-to-the-public Revelation Wine Company building in Old Town Cottonwood. 11 white wines and 12 red wines were scored in a blind tasting by representatives from each Verde Valley winery entered in the competition. Following the tasting, VVWC President Tom Schumacher invited members of the consortium, and guests, to a celebratory dinner at his residence in Clarkdale. He and VVWC Vice President Paula Woolsey organized the barbeque dinner, deliciously served up by Sweet Grace caterers, as a lead up to the annual Verde Valley Wine Symposium held at Yavapai College on Saturday. Winners of the panel judging and people's choice wine tasting are expected to be announced on Saturday at the symposium, post deadline for this issue.