Originally Published: August 13, 2015 7:06 p.m.
The 99 bottles of wine on the wall may be taken down, but they will end up at the Sharlot Hall Museum for its annual Sharlot's Cellar August 22 wine-tasting event. Now in its third year, Sharlot's Cellar is the largest wine tasting opportunity in Prescott and will feature area vineyards and distributors, breweries, distilleries and restaurants.
The original event, known then as "Prescott Crush," took shape from an interest in taking advantage of the Sharlot Hall Museum's grounds, according to Ken Leja, museum media and marketing manager.
"The idea came up, what about a wine tasting event," he said, adding that it gave people the opportunity to sample the tastes of local vineyards while enjoying the grounds.
Leja said the original name came from the practice of crushing grapes for wine in Arizona throughout the state's history. However, the name was changed this year to "Sharlot's Cellar" to avoid confusion with Prescott Wine Crush Café, although, the tagline "99 bottles of wine in the hall" has stayed the same.
The event has grown over the years, according to Leja, who said the first year had an attendance of 200-250 people, and last year 400-450 people came, with 350 buying tickets in advance. Leja said this year 500 tickets are available. She noted their desire to limit attendance.
"We want people to enjoy the event without feeling like they have to fight for a place in line," he said.
Besides wine, brews and spirits at Sharlot's Cellar, food tastings will be available and include hearty samplings, including hors d'oeuvres and desserts. He added there will be something to please nearly every attendee's palette.
Leja said Sharlot's Cellar will have eight vineyards or distributors, six craft breweries, two distilleries and at least six restaurants. In a separate email, he said they will have Barley Hound paired with Action Wines, Prescott Crush paired with Alliance Vineyards, Whole Foods, Hungry Monk, Papa Johns, Sally Bees, Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Young's Vineyard, Alliance Vineyards, Action Wine, Clear Creek Winery, Thumb Butte Distillery, Crater Lake Distillery, Granite Mountain IPA, Mudshark Wheat Beer, Four Peaks White Ale, Chocolate Ale from Prescott Brewing Company and Summer Festival Cider from Woodchuck.
And they won't be sharing only their products, Leja said.
"They will be sharing stories of each of their vineyards," he said, "It's as if this is your opportunity to go to each of these wineries."
Leja said participants will receive a commemorative wine glass along with 12 tasting coupons for sample pours or tastings.
Sharlot's Cellar will be at the museum, 415 W. Gurley St., Saturday, August 22, at 4 p.m.
Tickets for Sharlot's Cellar are limited to the first 500 people and cost $25 per person presale or $30 at the door, if available, and can be purchased at Sharlot's Depot and Museum Store as well as at Prescott Crush Wine Café, 1751 AZ-69 #15.
For more information, call the museum at 928-445-3122.
- Jason Wheeler