Pav on Juice: Arizona Wineries Ecstatic for 2023 Harvest

Pavle MilicNovember 1, 2023
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A monthly look at Arizona wine with Valley dining impresario Pavle Milic.

Photo courtesy Pavle Milic

The 2023 vintage is one for the ages in Arizona. At my winery, Los Milics, and others across the state, we were lucky to have an unusually dry season immediately before and during harvest time. (Thank you, Mother Nature!) The extra sunshine made this vintage ripe with sugars, known as its brix measure, and gave us yields that outpaced projections.  

I wanted to get a temperature check from other winegrowers to see how they fared. It seems we’re all in agreement:

“I would not call it a once in a lifetime, but after 19 harvests in Arizona, it was up there. Beautiful fruit, great acid, no rot and plentiful juiciness.”
— Joe Bechard, Chateau Tumbleweed

“2023’s growing season was 180 degrees from 2022’s all-rain, all-the-time vintage… So much high-quality fruit this year. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity for grapes to ripen, we saw an avalanche of great stuff coming in all at once. It was a wildly ripe ride.”
— Todd Bostock, Dos Cabezas Wineworks

“Cold, cold winter [and] extended cool spring. A very hot then very wet summer. Bizarre vintage that yielded easily 10-15 percent more fruit than average. All gorgeous.”
— Maynard James Keenan, Caduceus and Merkin Vineyards

“Perfect weather for our estate harvest… Best since 2009.”
— Kent Callaghan, Callaghan Vineyards

“An excellent vintage with balanced acidity and alcohol. The flavors are phenomenal. I am very excited to share.”
— Jason McCluskey, Arizona Stronghold