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Monday, December 5, 2022

Best Afternoon Getaway: Alcantara Vineyards

In our first Best Of Issue, Green Living Magazine is proud to acknowledge the individuals and businesses that have made a conscious and sustainable impact on the community — all as voted on by readers. Arizona has experienced substantial growth in recent years, and, as such, the focus on sustainability and living more healthful lives has also been in the spotlight. Here, we invite you to learn more about the movers and shakers in the green living space. Congratulations to our winner Best Afternoon Getaway winner, Alcantara Vineyard!

Alcantara Vineyards, a winery that Property Manager, Ron Brumley, compares to the wine-growing regions of Tuscany and the Rhone Valley, was originally founded by Barbara and Bob Premore (they sold it to CCJB Holdings in 2019). While none of the founding family members are part of the winery today, it is Brumley who hand-crafts the wine and manages the 87-acre vineyard.

“The original owners ‘saw’ Tuscany in the landscape and decided to buy the property to develop into a winery and vineyard, with some influence from other family members in the wine industry,” Brumley says. “We have a minerality in our soil from the basalt and limestone. The clay is great for some varietals because of the soil’s richness.”

Alcantara’s vineyard produces a variety of grapes—Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Primitivo, Charbono, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Marsanne, Rousanne, Pinot Noir, Orange Muscat, and Petite Verdot—all grown biodynamically. 

“Soil regeneration efforts come from much of the solid waste coming from beer brewing, marijuana-farm biomass, tea from kombucha manufacturers, horse manure, mushrooms, worm farm castings, and exhausted garden plants from our farm-to-table garden that feeds our kitchen,” Brumley says. “We use the ‘tea’ from our composting efforts to enhance our foliar applications, bringing organic nutrients to the grapevines. We also use it to control weeds and boost our cover-crop production in the winter. We plant barley in the winter, which increases moisture retention in the soils.”

These types of sustainable farming practices are important to the winery, as seen in its wine label. The face of a man in a tree represents the living soul within the natural environment. “We strive for a symbiotic relationship between the land and the wine,” Brumley says. “If you don’t have good farming practices, you won’t have good wine.”

For visitors who would like to stay overnight, Brumley suggests accommodations in downtown Camp Verde and Cottonwood. However, Alcantara will welcome a small hotel and casitas in the next few years. The property currently offers weddings at its chapel, horseback riding, kayaking along the Verde River, hayrides, electric bike tours, and free vineyard and winery tours (Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m.-Noon). https://alcantaravineyard.com

Runner up: Schnepf Farms, www.schnepffarms.com

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