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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Arizona Grape Growers Anticipate Good 2012 Season


The Arizona wine industry is receiving a lot of attention in recent years as the number of vineyard acres are expanding, wine production is increasing, and the quality of Arizona wines are being recognized. There are now over 60 bonded wineries in Arizona up from nine in 2000. However, wine grape acres have not kept up with the demand sending Arizona wineries to purchase grapes from outside of the state. According to recent articles, the California wine grape supply is facing long-term shortages due to myriad of issues facing that industry, including water.

Peggy Fiandaca, President of the Arizona Wine Growers Association, http://www.arizonawine.org/ said “The opportunities of the Arizona wine industry are great, and there is no reason that the wine industry cannot be the next Billion Dollar wine region like Washington and Oregon.” A recent study The Arizona Wine Tourism Industry, June 2011 funded by the Arizona Office of Tourism found that the wine visitor had an estimated $22.7 Million in direct expenditures resulting in a total economic impact of $37.6 Million, supporting 405 total jobs.
“We are pretty excited about this year’s growing season because it appears we have finally skirted the frost season. It’s been a few years since we have had a decent sized harvest; and, if the long term forecasts out there come in even close to predictions – this should be the year,” according to Eric Glomski, co-owner and director of winegrowing of Page Springs Cellars. Eric says that they have planted an additional 16 acres at the Page Springs estate and are managing the ColibriVineyards in the Chiricahua Mountains in Southeastern Arizona. They are focusing on Rhone red and white varietals but have some Pinot Noir in a cool site and planted Vermentino, Teraldage, and Counoise.

In Arizona’s oldest wine region, the anticipation for a good growing season is also high. Kent Callaghan, winemaker of Callaghan Vineyards in Sonoita, had their first vintage in 1991. Today Callaghan’s estate winery is looking forward to a really good year in the vineyard. According to Kent, “We have planted new varieties that will produce small crops so we can get a feel for them here (Fiano, Vermentino, Petit Manseng, Malbec, Carmenere, and TourigaNacional). We also planted about two acres of whites (Petit Manseng, Malvasi Bianca, and Roussanne).” Kent anticipates harvesting a sizable crop of Graciano from their 3.25 acres planted. “It looks like a good, fun year so far,” he stated.

Southeastern Arizona is the third major wine grape growing region and one of the fastest in the amount of acres being planted. “After two spring frost years in a row, we had very minimal damage from the only frost event in mid-April,” according Curt Dunham, owner/winemaker of Lawrence Dunham Vineyards. “So far, we have a very encouraging amount of buds in the entire vineyard. Our Viognier, which is typically considered a light producer, is absolutely loaded with buds. If we get a good fruit set and normal weather, it should be a very good year in terms of volume.”

“The Arizona wine industry is excited about the start of the 2012 growing season. The increase in vineyard acreage and the fantastic wines being produced will support our efforts to put Arizona on the map as a quality winemaking and grape growing region,” said Peggy Fiandaca, president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CHOMPIE'S 3RD ANNUAL ULTIMATE SLIDER CELEBRATION Featuring Jewish Sliders, a Customer Favorite Featured on Travel Channel's Man v. Food, for Just 99 Cents


 
On Wednesday, July 18, 2012, Chompie's, Arizona's New York Deli Since 1979, will host their 3rd Annual Customer Appreciation Ultimate Slider Celebration, offering customers Jewish Sliders™ (normally $3.99 each) for just $.99 each from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (or while supplies last) to thank them for their support over the past 33 years Chompie's has enjoyed their patronage.

The annual event was born on July 14, 2010 to celebrate the premiere TV broadcast of Chompie's Ultimate Slider Challenge on Travel Channel's Man v. Food season 3 "Phoenix" episode, featuring host Adam Richman attempting the Challenge. That day, Chompie's four locations in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and Chandler sold more than 7,600 $.99 Jewish Sliders combined. At one point, the crowd waiting to get into Chompie’s Tempe, where Man v. Food was filmed, filled the lobby and wrapped around the building. The following summer's Ultimate Slider Celebration proved to be even more popular with customers, a.k.a. "Chompers", who enjoyed over 8,650 $.99 Jewish Sliders on July 20, 2011.

The Ultimate Slider Challenge was conceived in late 2009, when, as big fans of Travel Channel's Man v. Food, Chompie's owners, the Borenstein family, thought, if anybody is known for huge portions, it's us. Shortly thereafter, in early 2010, Chompie's put the Challenge on the menu. It consists of a platter filled with twelve original Jewish Sliders and a mound of onion strings, totaling 5 pounds of food, which a challenger must finish within 30 minutes. Winners are awarded a free Ultimate Slider Challenge t-shirt, a coveted spot on Chompie's Wall of Fame and the meal free.

Within a few months of its introduction, Travel Channel's Man v. Food producers happened across Chompie's Ultimate Slider Challenge online and called to say the show's host, Adam Richman, wanted visit Chompie's to give the challenge a try. The rest is Jewish Slider history. "When we first put it on our menu, we just thought the challenge would be fun for our customers," says co-owner, Wendy Borenstein-Tucker, who enjoys seeing the astonished look on customers' faces when the gargantuan platter is set before a challenger. "We dreamed, of course, but we never expected it would actually be on national TV! We knew our customers would be thrilled too, so we held a celebration that included them--our first Ultimate Slider Celebration." Chompie's Man v. Food episode, featuring Adam's Ultimate Slider Challenge, was filmed at Chompie's Tempe location on March 18, 2010. When the show premiered, no one had yet succeeded in winning the Challenge, including Adam. To-date, only 9 people have succeeded out of nearly 200 attempts.

The popularity of Chompie's famous Jewish Slider continues to grow. "It's amazing what a not-so-little sandwich can do," says Wendy. "It makes people happy and brings people together. That's what Chompie's has always been about."


Chompie's original Jewish Slider consists of a mini-challah roll filled with moist lean beef brisket, Jack cheese, a crispy homemade potato pancake and brown gravy. Chompie’s N.Y. style delicatessen, restaurant, bagel factory, bakery, and caterer, has served the Valley since 1979 with mouthwatering breakfast-all-day, lunch, and dinner 7-days a week. Chompie’s four restaurants in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and Chandler are individually owned and operated. For more information, visit www.chompies.com.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FATHER’S DAY SPECIALS AT PHOENIX CITY GRILLE HELP TO CREATE WEEKEND TO REMEMBER


Set in the Madison neighborhood of Central Phoenix at 16th Street and Bethany Home Road, Phoenix City Grille is consistently recognized for its delicious menu combinations, unique daily specials and personalized, attentive service, and Father’s Day is no exception.  In addition to its regular and weekend brunch menus, Phoenix City Grille this year will offer the following Father’s Day specials, using a combination of fresh and local ingredients created by Executive Chef Rory Hewitt:
-          Starters:  Toasts with roasted red pepper-fresno chile relish, brie cheese and balsamic reduction.
-          Featured EntrĂ©e:  Grilled Rib-eye steak with a roasted green chile butter.  Served with a fingerling potato and green-bean salad, with smoked bacon and blue cheese crumbles.
-          Catch of the Day:  Corn-meal-crusted catfish with a Shreiner’s Andouille sausage and wild rice pilaf, and a shrimp and red chile veloute.
            “As a father, I enjoy hosting our customers and their families on this special day,” says owner Sheldon Knapp.  “We hope our ambience, specials and service make Father’s Day gatherings even better!”
Every day of the week Phoenix City Grille offers a full menu of American Contemporary cuisine, plus daily lunch and dinner specials, and on the weekends, brunch.  The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
For more information or to make reservations, which are highly recommended, call (602) 266-3001 or visit www.PhoenixCityGrill.com.