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Custom winery creates vintages from grapes sourced worldwide
YUMA, ARIZONA – The climate that’s landed this Arizona border town in the record books as the world’s sunniest destination is great for all kinds of agriculture – but for fine wine grapes, not so much.
But that didn’t stop Fred Earle – a self-described “wine guy” – from opening a winery in Yuma’s historic downtown last fall. The retired marketing executive sources the flavors that Mother Nature doesn’t favor here from vineyards around the world to create unique wines that are made and bottled on the premises.
Visitors can taste the fruits of his labor at the more than reasonable price of $5 for a sampling of five different wines. You can also order wine by the glass or grab some bottles to take home, complete with customized labels if you’d like. About a dozen wines are available daily by the glass or taste, and about 45-50 wines available for purchase by the bottle.
For a fun, grapes-to-glass experience, customers can even choose their own “must” (crushed grapes), add yeast for fermentation – then return for a bottling party when their creation is ready to share. Earle says a special wine is a great way to mark a wedding or anniversary or serves as a unique corporate gift.
Located in an building that dates back to the 1920’s, the winery’s décor spotlights an aspect of Yuma’s history - the many movie stars that had “quicky weddings” here during the 1930’s, thanks to no-wait Arizona laws and Yuma’s proximity to Hollywood. Charlie Chaplin, Mary Astor, Loretta Young, Claudette Colbert and Betty Davis are among the stars whose glamour shots grace the walls.
With a bar from the 1940’s complemented by an antique back bar dating from the late 1800’s, deep, wine-colored walls and the work of local artists showcased in the display windows fronting on Main Street, the result is a chic but cozy gathering place that draws an eclectic local crowd.
The wine bar also offers cheese plates and other items to enjoy with your wine, along with live music on Saturday nights, which is especially enjoyable through the winter months on the winery’s outdoor patio. The winery or patio areas also may be reserved for special events.
Located at 251 S. Main Street, Yuma’s Main Squeeze is open Monday through Saturday throughout the year, with hours from noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and noon to 11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. For more information, visit the website at www.yumasmainsqueeze.com or call 928-247-9338.
Yuma Visitors Bureau markets the Yuma area within the travel and tourism industry and to the general public. Direct travel spending in Yuma County totaled more than $577 million in 2009 and supported nearly 6,000 jobs. Travel spending in the county also generated more than $36 million in state and local taxes. For more information, including summer specials at area hotels, call 800-293-0100 or visit www.visityuma.com .
Visitor Information Center: 1-800-293-0071
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