The judges at the 2010 Wine Competition

Arizona Wine Sweeps Top Spots In Professional Blind Tasting Event Against Heavyweights From Across The Globe.It’s official. Arizona has just made its grand debut in the wine world. The results from the 2010 Judgment of Arizona Wine blind tasting prove that the Grand Canyon State can squeeze some serious juice, scoring higher, in many instances, than popular and revered wines from Italy, California, France, Spain and Australia.

In a risky move to confirm the quality of wines from his state, Pavle Milic , co-owner and general manager of FnB Restaurant in Scottsdale, assembled a team of respected chefs and wine pros to taste and rate 10 Arizona wines against 10 well-known wines from established regions around the globe. In a room packed with media members, camera crews and wine industry experts, the panelists sipped and scored a total of 20 wines that were undisclosed and unlabeled.

Arizona took first place in both red and white categories. Arizona wine industry pioneer Kent Callaghan earned the highest scores for his white Callaghan 2008 Lisa’s. In the red wine category, the 2008 Nagual del Judith by Caduceus was ranked the top pick.

But the news gets even juicier.

In both red and white categories, Arizona wines claimed three of the top five highest scores, beating heavyweights such as Chateau Lynch Bages 2005 Paulliac ‘Grand Cru’ from France and Turley 2007 ‘The White Coat’.

“We didn’t make it easy for Arizona,” says Milic, who selected the competing wines. “Just read the line-up and you’ll see there are some serious contenders and respected big names.”

Milic already believes in Arizona wines. He proudly offers a wine list built exclusively around them. His aim is to re-affirm the growing buzz about Arizona as an important new wine-growing region, producing wines worthy of the serious wine drinker’s consideration.

“The results speak for themselves,” says Milic, “Hat’s off to all Arizona winemakers.”

Two of the Arizona vineyards in the competition, Dos Cabezas Wine Works and Keeling Schaefer Vineyards, are on Fill Your Plate. In fact to get a broad taste of just how expansive Arizona wines are, go to the online directory and select “wine” in the product drop-down menu.


Top 5 highest scoring white wines:

1: Callaghan 2008 ‘Lisa’s AZ

2: Santa Margherita 2008 Pinot Grigio ITALY

3: Cakebread Cellars 2008 Chardonnay CALIFORNIA

4: Caduceus 2008 ‘Dos Ladrones’ AZ

5: Carlson Creek 2008 Chardonnay AZ

Top 5 highest scoring red wines:

1. Caduceus 2008 ‘Nagual del Judith’ AZ

2. Condado de Haza 2006 Ribiera del Duero SPAIN

3. Keeling Schaefer 2007 ‘Three Sisters’ Syrah AZ

4. Arizona Stronghold 2008 ‘Nachise’ AZ

5. Mollydooker 2008 ‘The Boxer’ Shiraz AUSTRALIA


Whites wines (listed in order of tasting, not ranking)

Page Springs 2008 La Serrana AZ

Callaghan 2008 ‘Lisa’s AZ

Santa Margherita 2008 Pinot Grigio ITALY

Conundrum 2008 Meritage CALIFORNIA

Caduceus 2008 ‘Dos Ladrones’ AZ

Freitas 2009 Malvasia Bianca Private Reserve AZ

Carlson Creek 2008 Chardonnay AZ

Doyenne 2006 Metier WASHINGTON

Turley 2007 ‘The White Coat’ CALIFORNIA

Cakebread Cellars 2008 Chardonnay CALIFORNIA

Red wines (listed in order of tasting, not ranking)

Cotes du Rhone 2006 E. Guigal FRANCE

Carlson Creek 2008 Sangiovese AZ

Arizona Stronghold 2008 ‘Nachise’ AZ

Ruffino 2007 ‘Aziano’ Chianti Classico ITALY

Dos Cabezas 2008 ‘El Campo’ AZ

Mollydooker 2008 ‘The Boxer’ Shiraz AUSTRALIA

Caduceus 2008 ‘Nagual del Judith’ AZ

Keeling Schaefer 2007 ‘Three Sisters’ Syrah AZ

Chateau Lynch Bages 2005 Paulliac ‘Grand Cru’ FRANCE

Condado de Haza 2006 Ribiera del Duero SPAIN


Gary Vaynerchuk – Host, WineLibraryTV; author, New York Times bestseller Crush It/ New York

Laura Williamson – Master Sommelier, VinTabla/Tucson

Tadeo Borchardt – Winemaker, Neyers Vineyards/Napa

Anne Rosenzweig Mushroomer/Teacher/Food Anthropologist, formerly Chef of 21 Club, Lobster Club and Arcadia/ New York

Mark Tarbell – Owner, Tarbell’s; wine columnist, The Arizona Republic/ Phoenix

Chris Bianco – Chef-owner, Pizzeria Bianco and Pane Bianco/Phoenix

Payton Curry – Chef, Caffe Boa/Tempe

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FnB Restaurant | 480-425-9463 | | 7133 E Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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  1. Tammy McLeod says:

    Hurrah for AZ Wine! that is wonderful news. I’ve just come in from the Parlour Pizzeria where they are good enough to serve some of those wines. Had a nice glass of AZ Stronghold with the Pizza Puttanesca – yum!

  2. That’s fantastic! Owning an Arizona small business web development company I can certainly appreciate getting local AZ businesses up on the world stage like that! So great for our state and the people here! I love reading stories like this about supporting our local small businesses!

    Which local shops sell these particular wines? Where do I go to get some?


  3. Hi Leann. Go to and use teh searchable database. Select wine and up will pop our Arizona wine growers. Thanks for your comments on our blog! We appreciate hearing from our readers.


  4. If you don’t want to visit the winery, many of our Arizona wines can be found at Wines and More and AJ’s Fine Foods.

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