Wine Tour Cornville: Javelina Leap Vineyard & Winery
First there was Stag’s Leap, then there was Frog’s Leap, and now we have Javelina Leap. All that leaping could drive one to drink! You betcha’. Fortunately, this leap is just up the road in the Verde Valley, no plane ticket, just a ride in the car.
Cornville’s third winery along North Page Springs road is the smallest of the lot with just 10 acres under cultivation at the estate. Rod Snapp (owner) provides a small selection of estate wines that are supplemented by others they produce using southeast Arizona fruit and California fruit. This variety rounds out their wine offering for a very worthwhile tasting experience. It also provides an excellent opportunity to compare works from 3 geographic regions, side-by-side.
Javelina Leap’s tasting room is quite well done and is fully equipped with wine, gift, and other items. The large U-shaped bar allows large groups to spread out and the view out the front gives a very good perspective of the Page Springs area. Its rustic Arizona beauty provides a testament to growing conditions that are very similar to France’s Rhone valley, except a little higher and dryer.
Sourced from California grapes, their Sauvignon Blanc shows off Rod’s winemaking skill with a classic combination of vanilla, grapefruit, and orange peel in the bouquet; it’s followed by perfectly balanced acid in the finish. For those who like Sauvignon Blanc, this selection alone is worth the stop.
For a direct contrast using a “grapes-to-grapes” tasting of southeast Arizona vs. Verde valley, have them pour a sample of “Zinthia” next to a sample of one of their S.E. AZ Zinfandels. Compare the body and finish between these two wines and you will get a very good evaluation of these two regions. It’s all in the tannins, fruit, and acid. This sums up an experience that may be repeated in many of the Verde Valley’s tasting rooms when the red wines of the southeast are compared to those from other regions.
Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at Examiner.com
View more of Tom’s articles on Examiner.com by visiting his writer’s page.