Interview with Eric Glomski of Arizona Stronghold Vineyards
Recently, PhoenixBites had the opportunity to ask Eric Glomski a few questions about himself, his winemaking and tidbits of take-away information.
Eric is the Vineyard Founder and Director of Winemaking at Arizona Stronghold, featuring Arizona wines from Cochise County.
Read the interview with Eric Glomski
PhoenixBites: What first attracted you to winemaking?
Eric Glomski: A sense of connectivity with the earth and my senses. The first solid wine I ever crafted came from heirloom apples that I harvested in the National Forest outside of Prescott. A year after picking that fruit and making the wine, I opened a bottle at a solstice celebration and the wine reminded me so strongly of the little field where that apple tree grew that I actually felt like I was there again. It was epiphanous. I was possessed after that. It was like speaking to God for the first time.
PhoenixBites: What is your winemaking philosophy… meaning what is it that you want to achieve with your wines?
Eric Glomski: Well…I have a core philosophy that flows from the experience that I just shared with you above – and many facets of this core that are constantly evolving. There are certainly some intersecting values here, though, that have to do with the land, people, culture, growing things, working with your hands, sharing and celebrating. It’s all about being close to the earth and each other. Wine plays a transcendental role in nurturing these values.
PhoenixBites: What is your favorite variety and region you like to drink?
Eric Glomski: The wines of northern Arizona of course! Just today I tasted through the library of wines we have archived since we first started fermenting several years ago. A stunning, elegant and perfumy Petite Sirah from of Estate Vineyard in Page Springs stood out for me. Our Petites are not heavy and alcoholic – they are nuanced and balanced like a good Pinot or Gamay.
Outside of AZ I would have to say that I love red Burgundy – particularly Pommard and Gevry-Chambertin. The synergy of earth, spice and fruit here are incredibly compelling for me.
I also love Barbaresco and Barolo, and then there’s Cru Beaujolais and Alsatian Gewürztraminer and and…
PhoenixBites: Can you recommend a good table wine for our readers? Maybe something reasonably priced, not too fancy?
Eric Glomski: Well, if it was one of ours I would suggest the Vino del Barrio from Page Springs or Nachise from Arizona Stronghold. These wines are $15 and $20 respectively and are tasty and complex well above their price point.
Outside of AZ, I would suggest Tres Picos, Borsao Grenache from Spain or any of the very affordable Gamay’s from Morgon, Fleurie or Moulin-a-Vent in France.
PhoenixBites: How long will red wine last once it’s opened?
Eric Glomski: Depends on the wine. Anywhere from 1 to 100 years… Really!
PhoenixBites: Corks versus screw-tops. What’s your stance?
Eric Glomski: This is complex and would take too long to explain here. I have done a lot of experiments. Just let me say that differing closures have different strengths and weaknesses. It has a lot to do with risk management. Its not just about corks versus screws caps because there are many different kinds of corks (natural from differing countries, foam core, polyethylene etc. etc.) and there are different screws caps with different seals. Without being too technical I would say that each affects the wine differently and the winemakers goals is to pair up the right closure with the right wine.
PhoenixBites: Have you ever had a boxed wine that tasted good?
Eric Glomski: It’s all about context. I can remember losing my virginity to first girlfriend in high school – and I am pretty sure boxed wine was in the equation.
PhoenixBites: There are many home winery kits out on the market. Do you think they can produce a GOOD bottle of wine?
Eric Glomski: Again, I think this is very relative. If it makes someone smile then I would say yes. If it compels someone to take another step in appreciating wine I would unequivocally say yes. It’s like White Zin. “Serious” wine drinkers may slam it, but there a lot of people enjoying it out there and it may open some vinous doors too.
PhoenixBites: Lastly, where can our readers purchase your wines?