September 22, 2023

Episode #561 – What Hops, Quacks and Pairs Perfectly With Fermented Grapes?

Two Women-Owned Wineries That Go Beyond!
Here’s an unusual theme for our show: Women-owned-and-operated wineries in two different states that produce additional products unrelated to grapes! Intrigued? Good.

This week’s show begins on the high plains of Sonoita, Arizona, where Arizona Hops and Vines not only produces, well, hops and wines, but also puts on some very intriguing events throughout the year. Meet Shannon Austin who, along with her sister Megan, have tamed the Arizona high country and turned it into an unlikely, but altogether irresistible, wine destination. This is one very unique operation where you can enjoy wines made from grapes and hops, cheer on drag racers (featuring bonafide drag queens) and take part in the “Bad Decisions Camp Out.” It’s almost as if Las Vegas hijacked the “what happens in…” concept from Arizona wine’s first ladies of fun!

We hate to leave Sonoita, but it’s off to Sonoma, where Jennifer Reichardt’s Raft Wines offer the perfect pairing with delectable duck raised by Liberty Ducks. Liberty Ducks are a strain of Pekin Duck developed in Denmark and raised in a less-stressful style by Jennifer’s Father, Jim; a fourth-generation duck farmer.

These are definitely NOT conventional wineries, but what do you expect from America’s most unconventional wine broadcast!

Today’s edition of Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More, where you’ll find thousands of wines produced by folks who started with a dream and never looked back. Be sure to spend a little time online at You’ll be very glad you did!

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