Wine tasting in the Verde Valley? There's an app for that.
Manuel Arvizu and Isaias Toledo teamed up about a year ago to create Wine Explorer, an application released in the in the Apple Store last month that follows the wine trails in Arizona with plans to expand to the rest of the country and parts of Mexico.
"Wine Explorer is an app dedicated to showcasing all of those lesser-known wine areas in the United States, and giving people a chance to know and taste the wonderful wines they make," Arvizu said.
Arvizu lives just across the border from Yuma, making Arizona the best place for the app to start.
"Since my wife was born in Arizona, it was natural that we started here," he said.
The app includes wineries like Arizona Stronghold Vineyards in Cottonwood and Jerome Winery, covering Willcox, Sedona, Cottonwood and Prescott.
He said almost half the states in the country have wine producing areas. The next update will include Minnesota wineries.
"We know there are great wineries in the United States, so we're letting people know about them," he said.
Arvizu said his wife loves dressing up, going to wineries and tasting the different varieties, what he calls a "wine lifestyle." After visiting wineries in San Diego and the Guadalupe Valley in Baja Mexico, Arvizu wanted to search out others.
"I don't know anything about wines, so I wanted an app that showed, here are the places and these are the bottles they carry," he said.
Some Verde Valley winery owners provided feedback on information included in the app, like names and grape varieties. Though they expressed interest, there have been fewer than a dozen downloads in the app's first month.
Toledo programmed and coded the app based on information Arvizu collected from wine association websites. The two are working on the app's 2.0 release, which will recommend food pairings and connect people to their social media accounts.
The Apple Store has priced the app at 99 cents to download.