I found a community at Little Old Wine Drinkers in Arizona
Little Old Wine Drinkers (LOWD) is a vineyard and cellar door venue located just outside of Kingman Arizona USA. The owner Steve was all set to retire but found himself bored. So, he decided to break the soil on his property, plant grapevines, harvest the grapes and make delicious wine. Planting over 4000 vines, he harvested 7 tonne of grapes in 2022. One tonne of grapes makes 150 gallons of wine, around 750 bottles. LOWD sold out of their 2022 bottles in three weeks!
I sampled the 42nd batch, a Pinot Gricio, which is a white wine. I am definitely not a wine expert, but I know what tastes good, and this drop hits the spot. It was light and smooth with a rolling after taste that is pleasant on the palate. There were hints of limes, green apples and even honeysuckle in the liquid gold. Other wines made here include an Estate Spanish Tempranillo and a merlo. All wines are made on site.
It was an excellent idea to not retire, as his produce has become very popular. Steve is stringent about how it is made, and he focuses on consistently making good wines. His cellar door is a relaxed and informal, nice cozy hole in the wall. It is quiet and private. LOWD is also a member of Harvest Hosts (HH). He has set aside an acre of land with a fire pit already to fire up, for self-contained RVers to come and stay overnight. HH are a program that invites travelers to stay at a network of wineries, farms, breweries, museums and other attractions around North America. Steve said, "they come as strangers and leave as friends".
This sums up the philosophy at LOWD. In spring, fall and summer there is a Sunset Saturday Night event each week. People bring along food to grill, as well as sides to share. They can then toast the glorious setting sun over the desert. The blues, oranges, reds and creams of the landscape as the sun sets in the west delights everyone. The fun game is to bet one dollar on which solar light will come on first. Anyone is invited to the Saturday nights.
This is where the overnight camping comes in very handy, after a few glasses, you don't have to drive anywhere.
The day I turned up to check out the venue, there were a group of locals celebrating a birthday. They invited me to join them, taste their snacks and chat for a while. Several hours passed by in the blink of an eye and new friends made. We only all left as Steve had to close up for the night.
Ladies Day is also a regular Tuesday event at LOWD. Ladies can come sample the wines, read a book, chat with others and really relax. What a fabulous idea. The cellar door has seating areas that just call out for you to sit and spell for a while.
Apart from the fabulous wine, the charm of the venue is Steve himself. An ex-Las Vegas lounge singer (he has performed with the legendary Debbie Reynolds), he has a wealth of quotes and sayings that need writing down. My two favourites were:
- "wine should be drunk with friends, or strangers"
- "friends gather here, even if you don't know each other"
Steve's place is a little off the beaten track, around half an hour drive from Kingman, Arizona. I thought at one stage I had gone the wrong way when I went through a residential area and turned down a dirt track. However, my GPS was accurate with its directions. Once you arrive though, you won't be in a hurry to leave. You will find wonderful Arizona hospitality here. The views over the vineyard aren't half bad either!
LOWD is a community, not just a winery. My one regret - I wish I lived near here, rather than just passing through as a visitor!
10919 N Sharon Rd, Kingman, AZ 86401
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