Vintage Arizona: The Growth, Death, and Rebirth of a Local Wine Industry (1700-2000)


Arizona’s wine industry is booming. Starting from almost nothing in the 1970s, there are now over 50 wineries across the state and more starting every year.  Despite the youth of the current industry, there is a long history of wine-making in Arizona dating back some 200 years. Using numerous illustrations, this presentation traces the fascinating – and often amusing – story of Arizona wine from the Spanish Colonial period to the present.  Topics include pioneering efforts using wild grapes, Mesa’s forgotten 19th century wine industry, the illegal raisin wineries of the Great Depression, and the unlikely band of aspiring winemakers that led the modern rebirth of Arizona wine in the 1980s and 90s.


Please note 100% of all donations collected for this event will be donated to the Sulphur Springs Valley Historical Society

Speaker Bio

Erik Berg is an award-winning historian and writer with a special interest in the early twentieth century Southwest and the impact of science and technology. In addition to contributing to several books, his work has appeared in the Journal of Arizona History, Arizona Highways, and Sedona Magazine. A past president of the Grand Canyon Historical Society, Berg currently lives in Phoenix.