Off the Vine: Arizona Wine Festival

When & Where Saturday February 17, 2024 | Kalista Park, Tucson, AZ

Reviewer Patricia Cassidy

Sunny weather, no wind, blue skies, a sold-out event, great music, 25 or more of Arizona’s finestwineries in a beautiful venue, made for a great day.

The 11th Annual “Off the Vine” Arizona Wine Festival which is hosted by the Arizona Wine Growers Association, took place this past weekend from 11-5 PM in Kallista Park, at Medella Vina Ranch in Tucson.

If you like bold reds or crisp whites the wineries were there to introduce you to their wines, via a ticket for a sample. You could stroll throughthe grounds between sips, talk to some of the talented craft vendors and eat at one the many food trucks available in this very pleasantand relaxedlocation.

The first band to, start off the event at 11 am was the Phoenix based “What’s the big idea” a bass, drums and piano trio who performed what I would call fusion jazz. Syncopated beats and a nice selection of great jazz arrangements. They were good. My kind of music.
The Second band for the day was Lexa Raquel and her band (saxophone, bass guitar, drums and electronic piano and she as lead vocalist). Excellent band, and Alexa sang a lot of Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin covers and was a big hit with the audience. They were at last year’s event and she has a very nice, easy rapport with the crowd. Her rendition of “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse was really good.

Last band up was Jennifer McMillan but it was the three thirty and I was hot from the sun and had to leave. Unfortunately, as I heard she was great. Lastly, The Tucson Foodie folk were in attendance, with a booth, as Tucson continues to gain an international reputation as a great foodie place to visit.

© 2024 Patricia Cassidy