Verde Valley Wine Trail Benefits Yavapai College
The Verde Valley Wine Trail was created by the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce to promote the wineries, tasting rooms, and tourism experiences in the Verde Valley. Last year over 40 area artists painted wine barrels which have been on display in businesses throughout Cottonwood, Sedona, Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cornville, and Jerome (pictured is the Painted Barrel by Annabel Sclippa and Joan Bourque on display at Annabel Inn, Cottonwood, Arizona).
The Painted Barrels were auctioned by the Chamber to raise funds for the Yavapai College Viticulture Program, the first viticulture program in the state of Arizona. The wine barrels-turned-canvases raised $8,000 and on May 22, 2012, a check for that amount was presented to Dr. Penny Wills, President of Yavapai College, by Lana Tolleson, CEO of the Cottonwood Chamber.
The Yavapai College Viticulture Program, modeled after well-established programs in California, provides the education that is needed to obtain a job in the rapidly growing Arizona wine industry.
This past summer Yavapai College planted their very first acre of grapes to assist in the education of their students, and have eighteen more acres reserved for planting of new vineyards.
The Painted Barrels auction was part of the Verde Valley Wine Symposium, which took place at Cliff Castle Casino Hotel in Camp Verde, Arizona, and included an interactive wine tasting event with the Painted Barrels artists, accompanied by hors d’oeuvres and an entertaining live auctioneer. The bidding started off with a minimum bid of $100 but quickly jumped to bids well over $600 each.
If you did not get a chance to visit the Painted Barrels along the Verde Valley Wine Trail before they went to auction, not to worry! A second phase with 40 brand new painted wine barrels is set to roll out in just a few months.
Information on the Verde Valley Wine Trail and the next phase of the Painted Barrels are available online, or call the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce at 928:634-7593. Information on the Yavapai College Viticulture Program is available from Yavapai College at 928:634-7501.
(Photo courtesy of Verde Valley Wine Trail)