Heart of Arizona Wine country just got bigger with 23rd tasting room

Michael Pierce of Clarkdale was pouring his wine for a customer last Friday.VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Michael Pierce of Clarkdale was pouring his wine for a customer last Friday.VVN/Vyto Starinskas

The “Heart of Arizona Wine Country” just got a little bigger. So big, in fact, that the list of tasting rooms in the Verde Valley now has its own map.

Bodega Pierce opened its tasting room at 1341 AZ-89A in Clarkdale earlier this month making it the 23rd in the Verde Valley, according to the Verde Valley Wine Trail map.

The maps can be found at the newest tasting room where owner Michael Pierce of Clarkdale was pouring a glass of his wine for a customer last Friday. Wine enthusiasts can check off a box on the wine map as they visit each tasting room.

“We’re far from reaching a peak,” Pierce said referring to the wine industry in Arizona. “Everybody is growing … We need more grapes,” he continued. “There’s a lot of wine being consumed in Arizona.”

“We continued to expand every year,” Pierce said, referring to the business that he owns with his parents, Dan and Barbara Pierce.

Bodega Pierce wines have been produced in the Verde Valley since 2010 at the Four Eight Wineworks winemaking cooperative in Camp Verde, he said.

Pierce’s father, Dan, oversees the grape-growing operations at the Willcox vineyards in southeast Arizona. “He grows all the grapes,” Pierce said.

They produce 25 unique European-type wines with a total of 18 varieties of grapes found in southern Europe.

“The new tasting room will feature wines grown at the family’s vineyard in Willcox, Arizona. Wine flights, glasses, and bottles are available for purchase as well as meat and cheese pairings,” according to a press release from Bodega Pierce.

Bodega Pierce also has a tasting room at the vineyard in Willcox, and distributes its vino through a wine club, restaurants and retail.

“The Clarkdale tasting room will provide us great visibility and room to grow,” said Barbara Pierce.

Michael Pierce is also the director of Enology & Viticulture at Yavapai College.

He has been in business with his parents in the Bodega Pierce Winery since 2010.

“I live in Clarkdale,” Pierce said. “I want to live here and continue to be part of the wine industry. The tourism is great here. The town’s been great helping us start up the project.”

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