Brooke Lowry Ide, who runs Vino Stache, plans to be pouring off four reds from her 2019 harvesting in this year’s Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival this weekend at Historic Steam Pump Ranch.
Ide, who called her winery a “one-woman show,” holds many hats in both her personal and professional life. She is a shipper, receiver, delivery woman, winemaker, owner, bookkeeper, mom, wife and coach to her daughter’s volleyball team in Scottsdale.
How does she handle it all? “I’m crazy,” she said with a laugh. “I wear a lot of hats, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. You gotta just figure it out as you go.”
A one-time college athlete, Ide said she still has a lot of energy. After a bout of shingles, she decided to let life to take her into a new place.
Before she was a winemaker, she was working a corporate job in marketing and advertising she didn’t find fulfilling. And she didn’t have enough time to spend with her daughter.
“I like manual labor, I like being outside, I like working with my hands,” she said, “and so I thought maybe I would just for fun take some classes on viniculture.”
Ide grew up in a food and wine family from north central Phoenix. After living in Andalucía, Spain, for a while, her love and appreciation for food and wine culture grew.
“Making wine, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” Ide said. “Every job, I feel like has prepared me for this job. I can’t believe I get to do this.”
Ide said she is inspired by Arizona, so she enjoys making wines that represent the terrain. From a creative aspect, she likes the fact that Arizona is so versatile and has limited rules, so she can make her own brand of balanced and delicious wine.
“That’s kind of the cool thing about Arizona, nowhere in the world would you have a wine that has Spanish varietal and Italian varietal,” she said.
Ide studied at the Southwest Wine Center in Cottonwood, Arizona, and worked for a winery up there for three harvests.
Ide credits Kent Callaghan from Callaghan Vineyards for most of her success. Not only had she completed her fourth harvest with Callaghan, but Callaghan encouraged Ide to build her 54-acre winery in Elgin in Southern Arizona wine country. He also helped Ide find growers for her winery while the she awaited the opportunity to plant at her main vineyard.
Ide sources her fruit from three locations in Sonoita, Elgin and Wilcox.
“Having a diversified crop from different sites kind of hedges my bet on having reliable fruit every year,” she said.
She also credited help from the close-knit wine community for her
“I am kind of like the annoying little cousin that gets all the hand-me-down equipment,” she said.
With every harvest, winery owners reach out, asking others if they need any of the extra supply they have.
“For sure I would not be making wine if it wasn’t for my wine making community around me.”
The versatility of grapes and climates really make her selection of wine unique, as well as her hand-bucket technique for every bottle of wine. “Most of it is just me and a lot of buckets.”
One of the reds she will be pouring at the event will be a grenache, which is a versatile grape that thrives in Arizona and allows for the creation of many different types of wine, including rose, ports, and red wine.
She will also be pouring an Aglianico, which is native to Italy, as well as a Tannat and a Graciano native to Spain. Ide's Tannat is from France but is the national grape of Uruguay and is planted all around South America.
Graciano grows in clusters, which allows them to easier withstand the hail from the heavy monsoons that hit Sonoita and Wilcox locations.
Typically, she likes to put a chill on some of her red wines, so they are drinkable for the summer. She said her audience is usually people who have an open palate and those who like to try wines from different regions and well as “moms who like to drink wine” and “people who like food friendly wines.”
She just started selling her wine to bottle shops around Tucson, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Sedona and Jerome in October 2021. “I am just trying to spread out and get wine to all the corners of our state,” she said.
She gives a portion of the proceeds from sales to Chrysalis, Phoenix-area nonprofit dedicated to preventing domestic violence.
“In the game of life, you know, I am making alcohol, right?” she said. “I had to kind of check my ego a little bit and say, ‘Hey, we need to have a portion of this go to making someone else’s life better.’”
Having been to only a few wine events, she is excited for what the Oro Valley festival will have in store for Vino Stache.
“The opportunity to have wine festivals again post COVID is super attractive,” she said.