Arizona Wine Gets a Shout Out from SF Chronicle

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Chow Bella

By Pavle Milic

In this occasional series, FnB's Pavle Milic spills about his current mission to learn how wine is made, literally, from the Southern Arizona ground up.

I have lived in Arizona on and off for twenty-four years. In that time I've seen a lot of growth and change especially and the food and wine scene. One area that has grown and become a current topic is our wine industry. As some of you may know, I have been part of that conversation at some limited capacity. Needless to say, I was elated when this last Saturday I read the article by Jon Bonné (San Francisco Chronicle's wine critic) titled "Arizona takes aim at wine's big leagues."

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"Los Milics" Blended Last Week and Scheduled for Bottling in July

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In this occasional series, FnB's Pavle Milic spills about his current mission to learn how wine is made, literally, from the Southern Arizona ground up.

See also:
- Maynard Keenan, Sam Pillsbury, Todd Bostock and other Wine Experts Give Pavle Milic Advice on Designing Wine Labels -- and Pavle Finally Names His Wine
- Sam Pillsbury Spills on the Reason He Landed in Arizona, and Launches a Wine Column for Chow Bella

Back in May 2012, I announced that Todd Bostock from Dos Cabezas Wineworks had agreed to help me learn about his craft -- by collaborating on a red wine blend. I even called it a "Quixotic Exploit" mainly because, aside from being a self-proclaimed oenophile that has never made wine, making wine is a craft that requires years of hard work and study. Needless to say, I felt very fortunate that Todd agreed to let me rub elbows with him in this endeavor to become better informed about what it really takes to make wine.

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Maynard Keenan, Sam Pillsbury, Todd Bostock and other Wine Experts Give Pavle Milic Advice on Designing Wine Labels -- and Pavle Finally Names His Wine

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"Los Milics"

In this occasional series, Pavle Milic (co-owner of FnB, Baratin, Bodega and AZ Wine Merchants in Scottsdale) will spill about his current mission to learn how wine is made -- literally from the Southern Arizona ground up. Today: What's in a name? And some advice from the pros on labeling.

Todd Bostock (winemaker at Dos Cabezas Wine Works) and I have been talking about the name and label of this wine since we started our collaboration. Naming anything that is close to the heart is taxing. I have three healthy, beautiful, precocious children and naming them was not easy. Needless to say, I've been obsessing over this.... What do I name this wine?

See Also:
- Pavle Milic's Quest to Make Wine: A Quixotic Exploit?
- Pavle Prunes the Vines -- and Keeps an Eye out for Rattlesnakes
- Pavle Prepares to Harvest the Grapes and Reveals the Blend
- Pavle Milic Harvests the Grapes for His Still Unnamed Wine

Stay with me because it's going to seem as though I'm detouring from the subject, but I'm not. I don't know what happens when we die.


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Pavle Milic Harvests the Grapes for His Still Unnamed Wine

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In this occasional series, Pavle Milic (co-owner of FnB, Baratin, Bodega and AZ Wine Merchants in Scottsdale) will spill about his current mission to learn how wine is made -- literally from the Southern Arizona ground up. Today: the harvest.

Momentary Suspension of Reality

I have made the drive to Elgin's Dos Cabezas WineWorks many times, but this time -- at dawn on a mid-September day -- I feel an extra sense of ease as I exit onto State Route 83 from the I-10. Perhaps it's the majestic panorama that elicits a mood shift or the fact that I'm getting farther away from all things urban and going toward beautiful rural Arizona. It also helps that I'm listening to Baltimore's Beach House's latest album: "Bloom."

Or maybe it's the fact that it's finally time for the harvest.

See Also:
- Pavle Milic's Quest to Make Wine: A Quixotic Exploit?
- Pavle Prunes the Vines -- and Keeps an Eye out for Rattlesnakes
- Pavle Prepares to Harvest the Grapes and Reveals the Blend


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Pavle Prepares to Harvest the Grapes and Reveals the Blend

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Can you guess what the blend is?

In this occasional series, Pavle Milic will spill about his current mission to learn how wine is made -- literally from the Southern Arizona ground up. Today: preparing for the harvest.

See also: Pavle Milic's Quest to Make Wine: A Quixotic Exploit?
See also: Pavle Prunes the Vines -- and Keeps an Eye out for Rattlesnakes

For the past two months I have been going down to the Dos Cabezas winery on an average of every other week. On one occasion, I walked into the winery and Todd Bostock, who runs the place, wasn't there. Patsy Cline's "Crazy" was playing on the speakers. I thought to myself: "Wow, this is nice and relaxing and romantic all at the same time."


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Pavle Prunes the Vines -- and Keeps an Eye out for Rattlesnakes



In this occasional series, Pavle Milic will spill about his current mission to learn how wine is made -- literally from the Southern Arizona ground up. Today: pruning and weeding.
The alarm goes off at 4:30 am. I jounce out of bed in fear of pressing snooze to enjoy the proverbial "five more minutes" that can possibly turn into "oh my god I overslept minutes." Everyone is asleep for the exception of Lucy and Luna (our pound doggies) following me around the house wondering what's going on.

Today's itinerary:


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Pavle Milic's Quest to Make Wine: A Quixotic Exploit?

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Earlier this spring, we launched Vine Geeks -- in which AZ Wine Merchants' Brian Reeder and Pavle Milic share advice, news and a little levity from the world of wine. Today, we bring you Romancing the Grape. In this occasional series, Milic will spill about his current mission to learn how wine is made -- literally from the Southern Arizona ground up.

To say that I have been around wine all my life is a severe understatement. But it was not until my early 20s that wine spoke to me. It grabbed my senses, all of them. At the time, I was already a decade into my career in the restaurant industry (a business that chose me -- my first restaurant job was working for my stepfather at Franco's Trattoria in Scottsdale) working as a server at Rancho Pinot in Scottsdale. Then co-owner Tom Kaufman, a die-hard pinot-phile, asked me if I liked wine. I said no.

Let me paint a picture. I used to wear red Dr. Martens, sleeveless plaid shirts, pierced ears, platinum-white bleached hair (yes, I had hair) and a pearl white Honda CBR 600. Oh, and Morrissey and the Cure were my Discman buds. My drink of choice was Red Stripe beer from Jamaica, and it always seemed to taste better at TT Roadhouse.

One night after the shift at Rancho Pinto, Tom opened a bottle of Calera Pinot Noir.


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