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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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7/23/2009 4:14:00 PM
Verde Valley Wine Trail will put wineries on the map
The Road to Success
The Verde Valley wine industry continues to make a larger presence on the valley's economic landscape. The Wine Trail, a new marketing program will give the wineries, associated businesses and the valley in general nationwide exposure.
The Verde Valley wine industry continues to make a larger presence on the valley's economic landscape. The Wine Trail, a new marketing program will give the wineries, associated businesses and the valley in general nationwide exposure.
Lana Tolleson
Lana Tolleson

Steve Ayers
Staff Reporter


COTTONWOOD - The Verde Valley Wine Trail may not be a real trail in the sense that you can grab your dog and your daypack and hike it on a Saturday morning.

But it is a real trail in the sense that it will lead you to a destination -- provided your destination is one of the growing number of wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms sprouting about the valley.

The Verde Valley Wine Consortium, a group formed specifically to support, promote and grow the Verde Valley's wine industry, proposed the idea of a cooperative advertising program when it formed just over a year ago.

This week, the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, the group that has been working to bring the idea to fruition, announced it had received a $15,360 grant from the Arizona Office of Tourism to make it happen.

According to Lana Tolleson, director of the Cottonwood Chamber, the Verde Valley Wine Trail is a marketing concept that will use the Internet, print media and other means to promote the local wineries to a larger audience.

"The grant will pay for a Web site and for outreach to the national media," Tolleson says. "We want to start emphasizing local restaurants that serve local wines, tour companies that feature wine tours and of course the wineries themselves."

Casey Rooney, Cottonwood's economic development director, says he see the Wine Trail as the catalyst to move the valley's wine industry into the national spotlight.

"Right now our marketing is flying by the seat of our pants. But in the future, people are going to find us because of the wine trail," Rooney says. "It's not just about a map. It's not just about a Web site. It's about aggressively marketing Verde Valley wine."

With an additional $15,360 in matching funds from the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce and the Cottonwood Economic Development Council, the Chamber will enlist the help of Arizona Communications Group, a tourism marketing company from Tempe.

The Arizona Office of Tourism presented Arizona Communications Group with its 2008 Innovative Marketing award for the development of the Salsa Trail, a similar marketing concept that has drawn hundreds of visitors to some 15 Mexican food restaurants spread around Graham County.

"There is a tremendous mix of resources in place in the Verde Valley," says Finney, "Tourism through the wine experience is a proven vehicle.

"We will borrow some ideas from others that are already marketing their wine industry and apply those ideas to the Verde. You could say it's like we are putting old wine in a new bottle."


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Confused

To make one glass of wine requires 31 gallons of water.

Let's invite the world to come take 31 gallons of our precious water so we can charge them for a glass of wine.

Who's the genius who thought of this?



Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Article comment by: Jeff Arnold

Nice article! I love touring the Verde Valley! Great wineries, stunning views and amazing travel destinations. Make sure to bring the Arizona wine card along with you, as it will save you money all over the Verde Valley wineries. You can find it online@ http://az.winetravelcard.com/

Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Article comment by: Jeff Arnold

Nice article! I love touring the Verde Valley! Great wineries, stunning views and amazing travel destinations. Make sure to bring the Arizona wine card along with you, as it will save you money all over the Verde Valley wineries. You can find it online@ http://az.winetravelcard.com/

Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2012
Article comment by: Kayo Parsons-Korn

Mr. Two Cents, you are wrong. Many of the fruits and vegetables you buy in the grocery store do come from Arizona. According the the Arizona Farm Bureau, agriculture is a $10.3 billion industry in our state. Most of the produce coming from the Yuma area. Here are some various crops grown in Arizona and their value:

http://www.azfb.org/upload/file/top_issues1_314_pie-2012.pdf

Some areas in Arizona are appropriate for agriculture, unfortunately, they are also the places where people want to live (except for Yuma). That's where the problem comes in. SRP can only supply all those households in Phoenix because they retired all the agricultural uses of that water. No more orange orchards, no more cotton, no more alfalfa. You can't have both.

That being said, grapes do use much less water than most crops, and they are irrigated with drip irrigation, which is the most efficient way to water.

Flood irrigation really works, but it may not be the most efficient way of watering. Look for drip irrigation in the future in this valley for all crops. This is how it is done now in much of California.


Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Article comment by: two cents

I applaud vineyards in Arizona. Vineyards are about the only crop that makes any sense in this state. Arizona is not a state suitable for agriculture, it just doesnt have enough water. Even the ranchers here have to import alfalfa for their horses and cattle. Small fields growing a little local produce is okay but farming on any scale is just not right for this arrid climate. The ditch association wastes water that could be used better for other things than golf courses or growing crops for the bigger purpose of getting government subsidities. Our locally grown or even state grown produce doesnt even show up in the grocery stores, prove me wrong on that. The cattle raised here has to be fed imported hay and it is sold as premium beef to a few of the ranchers friends and or neighbors.
The ditch association in Cottonwood is more interested in keeping people from knowing what they do with 'their' water than they are about using the water wisely. When a golf course uses water shares that were meant for the farm that originally occupied that land then you know something stinks, and that isnt the only example. I cant name names but the ditch association in Cottonwood is more about hiding their activities and putting up no tresspassing signsand fences than any other entity in this area. What are you trying to protect or hide from the public with all of those no trespassing signs? I really would like a response from someone belonging to the ditch association. just my two cents worth


Posted: Monday, July 9, 2012
Article comment by: Arizona Freedom

Have you been to the Forest to camp? I have and we had to camp closer together that what my neighbors are. I had people come and put up a tent about 10 feet from my horse. So the Forest service can "watch" us. Why weren’t they out long ago and educate and cite where they needed to. But guess what on Sunday no one in site, ATV going where ever they wanted, across the meadows, doing donates in the road, climbing hills, this is what tears our forest up. Along with horse people not cleaning up after their horse, campers with port-a-pots going out to dig a hole and not digging it deep enough and there is stand for all to see. Come on people respect out land and the beauty of it, stop destroying it.

If we all get together and do the right thing out forest will open back up. If the forest service puts 90% of their personal out in the field on holidays and weekend to educated, ticket with large fines, confiscate property people would start obey the laws. But most important is if parents would teach their children


Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012
Article comment by: out of curiousity a little digging was in order...

per response to question found at:

http://greenanswers.com/q/145189/forests-trees-plants/plants/do-vineyards-need-lot-water-grow-their-grapes

Grapevines as a crop use very little water in the real world. Agneau in the first answer above mentions that Napa grapevines require 35 to 50 inches of rain - this is wrong by a factor of ten, and the confusion probably arises from incorrectly interpreting the information in the article her references concerning the use of plant water stress testing to schedule irrigation.

Based on temperature, humidity, wind speed and other factors, one can calculate how much water a plant can possibly use. The 35 to 50 inches Agneau mentions is the maximum possible water usage of a grapevine during a year - that is, if you fed a grapevine as much water as it could possible transpirate, that is how much it would use.

A grapevine that is given as much water as it can use rapidly grows out of control and becomes a monstrous bush, very difficult to work with, and it's water use efficiency is very low under those conditions - that is, it becomes fat, happy and stupid. Grape growers aren't interested in grapevines like that. In fact, we irrigate grapevines far below that level to encourage water stress, to control the annual growth of the plant, and control the quality of grapes. In the real world, grapevines in California survive quite well on 2 inches of water per month during the hot growing season months of June, July and August, or even half that. Many growers don't irrigate grapevines at all, a practice known as Dry Farming.

Here is a coffee-table factoid: A grapevine given one-half of it's annual water needs will produce roughly 80 percent of it's maximum potential yield. Think on that for a moment - cutting the plants basic food supply in half, it can still produce 80 percent of it's theoretical maximum yield. Clearly these plants have a wide range of water usage ability. And in fact, for premium wine grapes, we operate the plants far below their maximum yield potential - we typically strive for controlled yields of 3 to 4 tons of fruit per acre, while the plants can readily produce 20 tons or more per acre given an infinite supply of water and lots of hot sunny weather.

Anyway, short answer is NO, THEY DON'T NEED A LOT OF WATER. Maybe 2 gallons per mature vine per week in a hot climate.

Citations:http://www.practicalwinery.com/novdec01p42.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519134750.htm

so a quick review hints that grapes might be one of the best options out there as an agrarian crop given our water limitations. might need to be compared to other crops though- but i would guess it uses much less than corn or similar veggies perhaps?


Posted: Monday, July 2, 2012
Article comment by: RESEARCH THIS PLEASE

I don't want to put a damper on a new industry in the Verde Valley, but before you can have grapes and wine, you have to have water. We do not have it to spare. It would be great if our supervisors and planners would research the water table issues that now exist in Napa/Sonoma and the Central Coast of California before they approve new vineyards and wineries. Please, please use common sense. It would be great to have more tourism here and a draw to our towns, but not at the expense of our ability to live in this beautiful area. Maybe our newspapers need to research this and present it to the residents.



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