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Birds and Barrels Vineyards — A place friendships grow

WILLCOX — Birds and Barrels Vineyards embraces the craft of winemaking.

Located at 5000 E. Arzberger Rd. in Willcox, the Birds and Barrels vineyard consists of 50/50 white and red grape vines. Chad and Monica Preston established the vineyard in 2015 and carved it from what they called ‘feral land.’

The Birds and Barrels Vineyards has a tasting room and event center on the property to coincide with the carefully planted grape vines. The Prestons have also recently finished a new fermentation room and are planning on a grand opening June 6, 2020.

“It was a hobby of mine. My story is, I was in the military in the First Gulf War right out of high school. I came back, used my G.I. Bill and, when I was ASU for college, I got into wine making. I made all the wine for our wedding,” Chad said. “We have 11 varietals — seven reds, and four whites.”

Monica refers to Chad as the instrumental idealist while she is part of the team in charge of making those ideas a reality. Another aspect of the Birds and Barrels team is the fact that they wanted to embrace the unique traits of the environment around them, thus their branding and name.

“Everything is done by hand and by us. For the 1,120 T-posts, all the holes were dug by us,” Chad said. “Everything in here is done by hand, quite literally.”

Chad told the Range News that their vineyard is about “the Arizona wine experience,” including collaboration and friendship with his fellow wine makers.

“What’s unique about what we have in the Willcox Wine Country is that we’re all friends; we all work together. There’s a whole bunch of collaboration,” said Chad. “The tide raises all ships. We’re all just about trying to make the best wine we can. We’re not in competition with each other, we’re in competition with ourselves.”

WASA moves forward with treatment opportunities

WILLCOX — Medication-assisted treatment for those in the throes of addiction may yet become available . . . via transportation.

Alicia Hernandez, director of Willcox Against Substance Abuse (WASA) discussed the progress of the nonprofit’s efforts to construct a medically assisted treatment center on Wednesday in a podcast through the Arizona Range News.

The efforts of WASA to bring a medically-assisted treatment clinic to Willcox has been ongoing for roughly a year. During a August 2019 Willcox City Council meeting, WASA requested a letter of support from the city in the effort to create a medically assisted treatment center. The Willcox City Council approved the request, showing support for WASA’s efforts.

However, the nonprofit has now taken a different approach to assist those in the Willcox area to access medically-assisted treatment.

“When I went to work at the school, just being around the students just kind of made it real that there are so little resources in Willcox,” Hernandez said. “I don’t want to say there’s not a need because there is a need. But it’s not enough for a sustainable clinic in Willcox.

“What CMS really doesn’t want to do is put something in there, it not be sustainable, and then take it away from the community. So right now different avenues that we are exploring are maybe getting a transportation van that will go to Willcox, pick individuals up, bring them to Safford to get their medically-assisted treatment, and take them back to Willcox.”

Hernandez told the Range News that a vehicle traveling to and from Safford to a proposed medically-assisted treatment clinic may make several trips a day Monday through Saturday.

To listen to the complete podcast, visit www.willcoxrangenews.com/podcast.