Zarpara’s Mark Jorve says that to be in the wine business you need to run a vineyard, a tasting room and a winery. Hey, sounds reasonable, but when he adds, “If you are running any two of these yourself, you’re ‘certifiable’!” Now it really comes into focus. Of course, he and his partner Rhona MacMillan, want to run all three, so that puts them “way off the scale”.
And with Zarpara’s new operation taking root along the Willcox, Arizona wine trail, Mark and Rhona expect a lot more fun to come. They are rolling out a new brand and right now have 4 wines to pick from. That’s good news for those of us wanting a taste of these AZ newbies.
Like many of the startup wineries here in Arizona, Zarpara is currently sourcing most of their fruit from California. Mark and Rhona currently favor Paso Robles and Lodi as their locales of choice. This enables them to “prove the process”, and put their best foot forward with quality wines under their label from day one.
One of their most interesting varietals is Verdelho and it nabbed a silver medal at the Arizona state fair. Verdelho’s fruit is sourced from Lodi’s Bokisch Ranch area and is often used in the production of Madiera wine. But in this case, Zarpara is using this varietal to produce a dry white table wine, a twist for sure (a Portuguese favorite & later the Aussies).
Rob Hammelman, Zarpara’s wine maker, is well-known as an expert with our Arizona Terroir. Zarpara is currently using his facility and creative skills to produce their vinos and plan on phasing in their own winemaking equipment starting this year with a gradual shift to more of their own production in the future. Rob will no doubt remain a big part of whatever comes up next.
Wanna’ taste? Zarpara will be pouring at the Wedge & Bottle Cheese shop in Ahwatukee (4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 44, Phoenix) this Sunday from 1-4pm. This is a great opportunity to check them out and enjoy a nice variety (white, rosé, and red) of their Spanish - French inspired creations.
Not to worry, if you miss the tasting, they take orders and will ship to Arizona addresses. And of course, Wedge & Bottle will be keeping Zarpara on their shelf to purchase later.