The long and winding road that leads to Page Springs Cellars is a tranquility trail. A freedom from the hustle and bustle of life. I took it all in with an involuntary smile on my face. I reached the vineyard and was immediately greeted by owner Eric Glomski, who was driving a work cart from the fields.
I was instantly blanketed by a feeling of family.
We sat at the picnic tables shaded by trees, overlooking the serene view of the springs. He began to share the story of this incredibly beautiful place that just happens to produce wine. Eric, along with his stepfather, father, mother and brother own Page Springs.
They own Arizona Stronghold and his wife Gayle does massage and yoga on the property. This family is pretty darn business savvy, and from what I could tell they are each other’s biggest advocates.
The people at Page Springs not only roll with the changes, they actually welcome new adventures.
“I love change and want to keep artistic talent and a mosaic of experiment with our wines. I don’t want to get bored and I don’t want my staff to get bored” said Glomski.
Rhone Varietals have a huge presence at Page Springs but you will also see a plethora of lesser known varietals. They place a large amount of emphasis on creating unique and exciting smaller batch wines. He loves the balance and experiments at each level.
Page Springs offers esoteric fine wines. Arizona Stronghold makes more of the median value wines, and the Provisioner, his newest creation, is what he calls the wine for the people. It’s good wine at a fair price for daily drinking.
He’s a champion of producing wine that anyone can enjoy. “I’ve been accused of devaluing Arizona wine, but I disagree. I think if you make wines that are more approachable, it helps people step that ladder to try wine” said Glomski.
The first batch of Provisioner sold out in four months. They are making more to be released later this year.
As the wineries evolved, they underwent a series of changes. In 2014, the family bought out Maynard Keenan, who was a co-owner of Arizona Stronghold.
“We got a lot out of working together, but we are different people with different approaches. We compare it to the Beatles. They did wonderful things together, but separately they were able to unleash their own unique styles.” said Glomski.
Eric just hired his replacement at Stronghold. He will be involved artistically but won’t be a part of operations.
To say Eric is artistic would be an understatement. He is genuine and expressive about his passions, a person with myriad interests. Thankfully for us, wine and food top the list. He grows fresh vegetables and herbs on his property and serves samplings of cheeses and bruschetta, as well as fresh salads and stone fired pizzas in the tasting room.
He likes to experiment with beer and spirits in addition to wine. “Maybe I’ll make my own bitters someday, or make wine cocktails to serve with locally grown food on the patio” said Glomski.
I asked how he fairs at blind tasting and he replied, “I retain knowledge when I’ve been where the wine is made. I am an experienced learner. I need to eat the food and smell on premise to connect with people and place”.
Eric lives a high-adventure life. He’s an avid rock climber, diver, hiker, botanist and oh yeah, a winemaker of 20 years. Eric and his wife have four children, who I would bet have acquired some of their creative genes. In another year they will be empty nesters.
So what’s next for this dynamic family?
“I’ll never forget my teacher at UC Davis telling me to focus, focus, focus and don’t spread myself too thin” he laughed. “I’ll always be involved in wine. I need to get my hands dirty otherwise I am not nurturing my soul. I’m still highly involved in Page Springs. Who knows? maybe I’ll make my own little label wines that I’ll only sell to a specific mailing list,” he added.
Contrary to what many people think, Arizona is an excellent place to grow wine grapes. Grapevines thrive in high desert because they are a drought tolerant species. Furthermore, the quality of winemaking is only going to get better as we learn more about the different microclimates of our state.
I encourage you to explore our wine regions and meet the local winemakers. Page Springs Cellars, pagespringscellars.com is located at 1500 N Page Springs Rd, Cornville, just 20 minutes from downtown Cottonwood.
Well, it’s time to pack up and head back down the hill. Eric told me to pick out a wine to take home. I asked Ashley in the tasting room for her recommendation. She gave me the Vino De la Familia.
Wine of the Family. Well, that sounds about right to me.
Darla S. Hoffmann is a certified specialist of wine and hospitality beverage specialist.
Information: AboutWine@mail.com; 480-540-7555