Wine to try: “If you only have the chance to try one wine, make it the Merkin Chupacabra red. The Chupacabra is our Shape Shifter red blend, and this year’s moving target is 35 percent Grenache, 35 percent Syrah, 30 percent Mourvedre from the Buhl Memorial Vineyard, located in Willcox. Our easy-to-drink GSM blend provides plenty of ripe fruit with a hint of warm spice. If you get a second chance, try the Caduceus Cellars Petnat. It is our take on an ancient method naturally sparkling wine; unfiltered and a full-flavored adventure,” Jim Cunningham, general manager of Merkin Vineyards Scottsdale.
Even outside of its lineup of local wines, Merkin Vineyards Osteria in Cottonwood and tasting room (where you’ll find a fab food menu; order the gnocchi!) in Old Town Scottsdale are on a mission to be an entirely Arizona-focused experience. Here, a sense of place and sustainability are the goals, thanks Merkin’s lineup of Hayden Mills Flour pastas and breads, Verde Valley-grown, locally sourced produce and dairy and more. Merkin is an extension of the Caduceus Cellars family. To learn more, visit merkinvineyards.org.