SAM PILLSBURY AND PILLSBURY WINE COMPANY, COCHISE COUNTY ARIZONA
Pillsbury Wine Company is the evolution of a Dream-Come-True project by NZ Film Director Sam Pillsbury. He has directed 25 movies in NZ and the US, was flown from NZ to Phoenix Phoenix to shoot a pilot for Universal and fell in love with Arizona. Growing up in NZ Sam witnessed the phenomenon of growing classical wine grapes in unusual places. On a camping trip in Arizona thought he could try the same thing here. The location he picked was a high-altitude desert valley in Cochise County, 200 miles SE of Phoenix. This all came from a desire to get away from mass-produced ‘McDonalds’ wines and create a distinctive regional Boutique wine that was 100% Arizona and 100% original. He gambled that the high-altitude, endless sunshine, sandy loam and dry desert would make for a perfect Terroir. It worked.
He now farms sustainably on 100 acres 12 miles south of Willcox, where he grows 11 grape varieties, apples, pecans, and vegetables. There’s a Tasting Room at the Vineyard and another in Old Town Cottonwood.
James Molesworth of the Wine Spectator called him one of the ‘Rising Stars of the Southwest’, Phoenix Magazine has called him ‘Best Local Winemaker’, AZ Foothills Magazine ‘Best AZ Winery’, and the famed wine writer Jancis Robinson in her new book ‘American Wine’ writes he makes ‘some of Arizona’s finest wines.’
You can find the wines in the Tasting Rooms and stores and restaurants all over Arizona.