Arizona Winery Carlson Creek Winning Attention
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August 9, 2017
In 2007, Robert Carlson gambled big. He left a lucrative stockbroker job to start a winery. In Arizona. Arizona wasn't known for its vibrant wine industry, but Carlson had a vision to change that.
Almost a decade later, Carlson Creek Winery has portfolio of over a dozen varietals. Tasting rooms in Scottsdale and Willcox. A 35% annual growth rate over the past five years. And growing name recognition that extends beyond Arizona.
The winery produces a wide variety of styles, from Chardonnay to Merlot to Syrah. Their Sweet Adeline Riesling ($19) surprised experts: the grapes aren't supposed to grow well in the Arizona desert. But experts can't argue with the awards the wine has earned. Other popular wines include a 2015 Malbec ($40), and the Rule of Three ($29), a three-varietal red blend.
Even while working at Charles Schwab, Robert felt that wine was his true calling. He had vineyard photos as his screen saver. He convinced friends with food industry ties to bring him to free tastings, so he could train his palate on the cheap. In his mid-twenties, he decided to turn his back on stockbroking and chase his dream.
Robert admits he couldn't have gotten this far without help. Carlson Creek is very much a family affair. His brother, sister, and parents are investors, and heavily involved in operations. Robert also extends thanks other Arizona wineries that helped him get started.
Carlson Creek is just one of dozens of wineries across Arizona. The industry is beginning to make a name for itself, with both local-food enthusiasts and out-of-state aficionados.
The Carlson Creek wine club offers exclusive discounts and free tastings to members. Bottles can be purchased across the state and into California. For more information, visit http://carlsoncreek.com/.