“I had a farm in Africa “ were words that profoundly affected me when I was a teen. The adventure, learning a new way of life, and the romance. After seeing the movie Out Of Africa I was enthralled, so I read the book, twice. Now in my 40’s I recall those words when I think of the direction my life has taken. My name is Michelle and I have a farm in Arizona at the foot of the Dos Cabezas mountains. I didn’t travel to another country. I didn’t even travel to a different state. I just went a few hundred miles south of Phoenix, where I was born and raised, to a completely different way of life, full of adventure, and of course, romance.
My husband and I had been looking for some property in northern Az when we ran into Sam Pillsbury at a local grocery store. Sam was selling his wine. We were quite familiar with his wine as it was sold at many of the local restaurants we frequented. We introduced ourselves and that was that. Sam being the incredibly gracious person he is, invited us to his vineyard, south of Willcox, AZ. We went. Why not? We were all about supporting local so it made perfect sense. As with most Arizonans we were familiar with Sonoita but not with Willcox, and so the adventure began.
While we were on our first tour of Willcox wine country we learned so much. Not all Arizona wines are actually made from Arizona grapes. We take that for granted now, but at the time we were very surprised. At the end of our stay and after meeting many local wine makers the overwhelming take away message was: Arizona needs more local grapes! Of course that got us thinking: what if..