Pillsbury Wine Company

Filmmaker and winemaker Sam Pillsbury, of  Pillsbury Wine Company, tastes grapes after harvest in his vineyards south of Willcox on the Chiricahua bench near Kansas Settlment. Pillsbury Wine Company was awarded the best wine in the state of Arizona by MSN.com, along with 26 other medals from various competitions. 

Pillsbury Wine Company took the top honor for Best Wine Made in Arizona in the MSN.com food and drink competition for each U.S. State. 

Filmmaker Sam Pillsbury runs the show at this Willcox-based vineyard, which produces 14 (mostly Rhone) blends of award-winning wine. The Roan Red is a crowd favorite, a delicious combo of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre grapes. 

Recently winning 26 medals in three competitions, including three golds with the Arizona Republic for the Petite Sirah 13, Diva 13 and Viognier 14; two in the invitation-only Jefferson Cup for the Petite Sirah 2013 and the Chardonnay Reserve 2014; and a double gold in the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle for the Shiraz ‘Guns and Kisses’ 2013, one of only three awarded in this most expensive Syrah category, which had 55 entries.

More inside

Pillsbury’s facility and products are entirely sustainably grown and made. And he has recently added 20-percent capacity to their ‘Mad Max’ Winery, which was built in four weeks in 2014 from entirely locally sourced recycled materials, including old reefer truck trailers, abandoned buildings and used equipment. 

One of the first to pioneer planting wine grapes in Cochise County, along with Al Buhl in 2000, Pillsbury works with Rune Wines’ James Callahan using only local fruit, fermenting most wines with wild yeasts. He has a passionate commitment to honor the uniqueness of place in a world where he wants to move away from mass production and  consumption of generic food and wine. 

Pillsbury Wine Company has a tasting room in Old Town Cottonwood, which is open seven days a week and another open on weekends at its vineyard, 15 miles south of Willcox.

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