Pillsbury Wine Company
Pillsbury Wine Company is the evolution of a Dream-Come-True project by NZ Film Director Sam Pillsbury. Growing up in NZ, Sam witnessed the phenomenon of growing classical wine grapes in unusual places. On a camping trip in Arizona thought he could try the same thing here.
The location he picked in 2000 was a high-altitude desert valley in Cochise County, 200 miles SE of Phoenix. This all came from a desire to get away from mass-produced ‘McDonalds’ wines and create a distinctive regional boutique wine that was 100% Arizona and 100% original
He now grows Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Viognier, Malvasia, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Symphony, Rousanne, Sangiovese, and Chenin Blanc.
Pillsbury was named ‘Best Local Winemaker’ by Phoenix Magazine, and ‘Best Arizona Winery’ by Arizona Foothills Magazine. The Wine Spectator called him one of the ‘Rising Stars of the Southwest’. Jancis Robinson in her new book American Wine wrote that he makes ‘some of Arizona’s finest wines.’ The accolades keep coming with Best Wine in Arizona (msn.com/foodanddrink) and 26 Medals in 2015 and 2016 from events including AZ Republic Competition, the Jefferson Cup, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Sam is a chef, and makes wines to pair with food, which he calls ‘food wines’, rather than ‘cocktail wines’, wines with delicate balance and complexity that will pair with and enhance food, rather than blockbuster fruit bombs that make tasting food impossible.
Sam also feels that there’s too much generic food and wine in the world. We don’t bring fruit in, we only make wines from the fruit we grow on our organically farmed 100 acre Estate In Cochise County. We ferment all our wines with the wild yeasts that come in on our fruit. We hand prune, hand harvest, hand sort all our fruit. We use neutral oak and stainless steel barrels for fermenting and aging. I don’t want my Arizona wines to taste of trees from France or Kentucky.
The Pillsbury Tasting Room on the rustic Vineyard/Winery property offers a unique experience in wine tasting. We encourage you to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy with a bottle or glass of Pillsbury wine. Tables and chairs scattered under the pines and pecan trees allow maximum satisfaction of the magical mountain and valley views.
In the last 7 years we have won 100 medals in the San Francisco Chronicle, including
2 Best of Class Medals
9 Double Gold Medals
12 Gold Medals
56 Silver Medals
21 Bronze Medals