Photo by The Daily Courier.
Originally Published: May 12, 2017 5:56 a.m.
The Mountain Artists Guild invites the public to the 31st annual Prescott Fine Arts & Wine Festival this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 13-14, on the courthouse plaza. The juried art show is free; the wine festival tasting tickets are $12 each day, and include a souvenir wine glass.
Beginning at 9 a.m. both days, the festival ends at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.
On the art side, about 120 artists are participating this year; all have been juried in, said Alex Rudolph, MAG event coordinator. Most of the 140 total vendors are returning from past festivals.
“We have a lot of artists from all around Arizona, as well as Palm Springs and a few from Colorado,” Rudolph said. “There’s a lot of jewelry, wood and metal artists, and some really cool stuff with mixed media and photography.”
The jury judges look for a wide range of art styles, materials and methodology in the artists’ work. Rudolph said there were some exciting new wood furniture, tables and beautiful bowls made from salvaged wood.
On the wine end of things, nine vineyards will be represented – all with wines made from grapes grown in Arizona.
Brighid McLoughlin, director of operations for Dragoon Mountain Vineyard in Willcox, said the winemaker from Sonoita Vineyards, the tenth entrant, is due to have her baby and won’t be at the festival.
The nine others, however, include: AZ Angel Wines, AZ Stronghold, Cellar 433, Javelina Leap, Kief-Joshua Vineyards, Chateau Tumbleweed, Oak Creek Vineyards, Passion Cellars, and Page Springs Cellars.
The $12 ticket is good for five tastings. Participants also can buy wine by the glass from the different winemakers.
“The purpose of this festival is to introduce people to Arizona wines,” Rudolph said, adding that it is difficult for the smaller vineyards to find distributors. “Getting your wines into a grocery store is not easy. It can take six to ten months to get into a grocery chain.”
Many of the winemakers will be doing the pouring during the festival and are available to answer questions.
McLoughlin said she works with the Prescott Police Department, and all the servers hold a Title 4 certificate and are trained to watch for signs of intoxication. She reminds participants that they should not leave the secured wine garden with their glasses of wine to wander the art festival. However, they can purchase wine to take home.
The wine festival takes place on Goodwin Street this year. Two local food vendors will be present, one providing samosas and a new Asian-inspired vendor called Hot Bamboo.
“There’s comfortable seating. It’s a nice event. We keep a close eye on things,” McLoughlin said.
Mountain Artists Guild is conducting a silent auction of two distinct lots of Arizona wines each valued at more than $500. All proceeds will benefit the Mountain Artists Guild.