As a licensed and bonded winery, Blendz is able to purchase excellent wines in bulk, at good prices, and pass that value on to our customers. We purchase wine by the barrel from other wineries throughout California and Arizona. Since vintage quality and annual yields vary dramatically, the team at Blendz is continuously shopping for new wines to add to its line-up. While we try very hard to be as consistent as possible, our wines do change fairly frequently due to factors outside of our control, which is why sourcing great wines is such a high priority.
Once a wine has been chosen a trip to the winery is planned and coordinated with other wines needing to be picked up. At current volumes we travel to California and Southern Arizona about once every six weeks and optimize each trip by picking up as many barrels as possible. Unless already posted on the barrel, we inquire with the winemaker about current pH and SO2 levels, as well as any additional insight to help us get the most out of the wine prior to processing.
When the wine arrives at our Flagstaff location, usually in 55 gallon transport drums unless an oak barrel is being retired, we immediately prepare for processing. pH and SO2 levels are taken and documented, and sulfites are added to the wines as needed. Our goal is to assure that each wine is stable and at optimal quality on the day we filter and process into kegs. This often means that wines remain in barrels or transport drums for several weeks on the main floor of the Flagstaff location. pH and SO2 levels are monitored and documented weekly at a minimum until the wine is eventually processed.
Unlike most wine bars, we don’t open bottles all day either, making the process a very environmentally friendly system. Once the wine is deemed stable and at optimal quality, the wine is processed from drum/barrel directly into stainless steel kegs. The wine is racked, filtered, and pumped through a hole in the floor at Blendz, negating any need to move the 500+ pound wine drum downstairs. Once the wine is safely in kegs in our wine cellar, the activity is documented for our records, and the keg is hooked up to our compressed nitrogen draft system to be enjoyed by all!