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Arizona Winemaker Presents Class on Arizona Wines


Napa Valley Wine Academy Launches American Wine Visitor Series

Napa, California, June 2018 —- Napa Valley Wine Academy announces a class on Arizona wines to be conducted by Lisa Strid (rhymes with ‘steed), winemaker for Aridus Wine Company, based in Willcox, Arizona. In a recent article on the wine website SevenFifty by GuildSomm writer Jessica Dupuy, Arizona was characterized as “while most often associated with cactus-riddled vistas and images of the old West, in recent years, it’s been enlivened with the glimmer of excellent wine.”

Lisa Strid

If you’re interested to see what all the talk is about when it comes to American wines made around the country, then this is a class to take: it is the first of a visiting winemaker series that the Napa Valley Wine Academy is offering.

The Wines of Arizona will be conducted on Tuesday, July 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Napa Valley Wine Academy, 2501 Oak Street in Napa. Cost is $20 per person and can be purchased at https://napavalleywineacademy.com/product/napa-visitors-series-a-taste-of-arizona/ .

Nine wines will be tasted, from Aridus Wine Company as well as from Chateau Tumbleweed, Sándor Vineyards and Four Tails Vineyard. This is a rare opportunity to taste wines made from the high altitude desert climates of southeastern Arizona, including wines from all of the state’s major growing regions.  Learn about what makes the state and each region unique, how Arizona fits into the national and international wine conversation, and some possible directions the state’s wine industry may head in the future.  The class will taste ten wines Strid has chosen to illustrate various aspects of Arizona winemaking. “Photos of desert flora and fauna are highly likely,” she adds, in explaining that her presentation will include slides and photos of vineyards and wineries in Arizona.

One of the wines to be tasted will be from Aridus’ estate vineyard in the Willcox appellation outside the town of Pierce, situated in the Chiricahua Foothills growing region at an elevation of 5,200 feet. At Aridus Lisa makes wines from selected vineyards in New Mexico as well as Arizona. The range of wines she makes include a Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia Bianca, Orange Muscat, Rosé, Mourvèdre, Montepulciano, Tempranillo, Syrah and Graciano.

Lisa is a Wyoming native who fell in love with wine while working alongside her uncle on his small vineyard and winery in the wilds of western Washington. She graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in enology and viticulture; while in school, she interned at Alexana Winery in Oregon’s Dundee Hills, where she learned the ins and outs of luxury, small-lot winemaking. She moved to California upon graduation to take a position at E&J Gallo Winery where she worked on the Specialty Winemaking team and later became a Research Winemaker. Lisa joined the Aridus team in June of 2016. Lisa has just returned from a three-month harvest sojourn in Australia, detailed here https://www.ariduswineco.com/blog/Lisa-s-Harvest-Experience-in-Australia .

Scott and Joan Dahmer founded Aridus Wine Company in 2012. The name comes from the Latin word meaning dry or arid, pronounced air-i-duhs. Aridus makes its wines from grapes sourced from vineyards in Arizona, New Mexico and California as well as from its own estate vineyard. The Dahmers chose the location for the winery’s estate vineyard when they realized that Malbec thrives in Argentina in the same latitude and a similar elevation to southeastern Arizona.

Surrounded by majestic mountains, the winery is an appealing combination of a historic setting and modern design. The building was once an apple warehouse; it was stylishly renovated using recycled local lumber with design touches including antique light bulbs. Aridus has a tasting room in the town of Willcox as well in the Old Town neighborhood of Scottsdale, Arizona. More info at https://www.ariduswineco.com/Visit-Aridus/Visit-Aridus.


The Napa Valley Wine Academy was awarded the coveted Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Global Educator of the Year award at the annual WSET awards ceremony in London’s Guild Hall in January 2017. Napa Valley Wine Academy was chosen for this honor out of the WSET’s extensive network of 650+ Approved Program Providers in over 73 countries.

Wine classes include those for consumer enthusiasts such as Wine 101 as well as numerous certification courses for beginners through advanced students and members of the wine industry. Napa Valley Wine Academy offers its own curriculum of programs developed in-house, including SommDay School, a tasting and service sommelier class with Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser, and a sensory analysis course based on Le Nez du Vin, the industry standard kit. Additional professional certifications the NVWA offers include the Italian Wine Professional, French Wine Scholar and Certified Specialist of Wine. In addition, the Academy also has a robust offering of online courses that students can take no matter what their location.

Six Masters of Wine currently instruct and host classes and webinars at the Napa Valley Wine Academy: Peter Marks, Christy Canterbury, Mary Margaret McCamic, Matt Deller, Tim Hanni and Nova Cadamatre.



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