This is a northern Arizona member spotlight for Four-Eight Wineworks in Clarkdale About a year ago, the local business scene in Clarkdale started to change. Empty store fronts started to become filled, buildings were renovated, local business groups formed and new businesses emerged. The little town has since seen a boom in local business - over a half a dozen businesses have opened in historic downtown Clarkdale in the past year.
One of the first catalysts to this burgeoning business scene was Four-Eight Wineworks, Clarkdale's first wine tasting room. Opened in late summer/early fall of last year, the winemaker's cooperative filled the historic bank building on Main Street in Clarkdale. Artfully renovated, the bank turned tasting room still holds the 1920s charm that it once had as a bank, with many of the architectural details of the period still in tact, and replicated with a modern twist.
Four-Eight Wineworks is the brainchild of Maynard Keenan, owner and operator of Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards. It is named after Arizona, the 48th state of our nation, and is the first winemaker's cooperative in northern Arizona. Four-Eight offers emerging vintners a place where they can make their wine, a place to sell it and is establishing a following among the community who is starting to demand it. Think "Community Supported Wine" instead of "Community Supported Agriculture." The cooperative provides space and equipment for these new winemakers, so that they don't have to invest the large sums of money required to do get started themselves. It's an amazing concept and a model that is surely leading the way for this budding wine region. Keenan, who is already one of the Southwest Wine Center's key supporters, is doubling his support of Arizona winemaking with this effort. Bravo!
Four-Eight showcases the wines from the cooperative in the tasting room on a regular basis and has periodic releases throughout the year. The best way to keep in touch with them about their events and activities is through the Facebook page. Two of the staple cooperative wines (among others) are Chateau Tumbleweed and Iniquus Cellars, both made by Verde Valley winemakers, Joe Bechard and Tim White. The tasting room also sells Merkin Vineyard wines, and just released the 2013 Shinola Rosada this summer!
The tasting room also has live music periodically on the weekends, and all are welcome to sign up for their wine club. They are also now starting to serve small plates so that guests can have something to nosh on while tasting, and they have new outside seating right on Main Street so you can feel a part of the action in Clarkdale. Visit www.four8wineworks.com or go by the tasting room at 907 Main Street from 12 noon to 7pm any day of the week to have a glass of local, cooperative-made wine, sign up for the wine club or relax with live music on the weekends.