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Prescott, located about two hours north of Phoenix, welcomed its first wine tasting room last weekend during Prescott Winery's four-day grand opening event. Filled with live music, small bites, and unique Arizona wines, the quaint winery was crowded with locals and visitors.
Located several blocks from Prescott's historic Whiskey Row, Prescott Winery occupies a small house that's cozy, modern, and welcoming. Owner Bill Smoot was on hand to greet guests personally, engaging in a casual meet-and-greet more akin to a family gathering than a business opening.
Smoot became interested in opening a winery after spending time in Sonoita and Verde Valley wine country. In a press statement, he says, "I continuously came across very open, friendly and positive folks . . . I watched couples, siblings and friends working together and saw an opportunity to be involved with a great community."
Prescott Winery will focus on boutique, small batch wines that are produced based on customer demand. Several of its first offerings are named in the spirit of Arizona history. They include a Chardonnay named "Heritage," a white blend named "One Fifty" to commemorate Prescott's 150th birthday, and "Alias," a red blend named after John Miller, "who claimed he was the legendary Billy the Kid."
Well-known Arizona winemaker Eric Glomski (of Page Springs Cellars and Arizona Stronghold) helped blend several of Prescott Winery's blends. Other winemakers showcased their wines during the event, including "Our Lady of Questionable Decisions," a Chardonnay from Yavapai College's viticulture and enology professor Paula Woolsey.
We were particularly taken with the "One Fifty" white blend, a complex blend dominated by Malvasia Bianca. With flavors of melon and summer grass, "One Fifty" was a unique, refreshing take on a popular Arizona grape.
Future plans for Prescott Winery include a move to the main square in downtown Prescott, as well as the cultivation of a nine-acre vineyard outside Prescott Valley. For more information about the winery, visit the Prescott Winery website.