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  • Writer's pictureSharon Wix

Winery 101

Updated: 20 hours ago

Let me make this story of accidentally finding another wine room [a long and semi-uninteresting story] short!! Shawn and I found a new local accountant to help with our business taxes... the end!! Hahaha [JK] It continues like this... on our first appointment with Tax Doctors, in the Olive Business Park... [just off the loop 101 in Peoria, AZ] I immediately saw a big “WINERY 101" sign when we turned into the parking lot. It was the first window of the corner building so kinda hard to miss!! It was pretty early in the day so it was not open yet, but I knew I’d be back!! On the way back out, I stopped to investigate the "hours" sign posted on the door. I noticed [what I thought as] somewhat strange hours of operation with multiple weekday closures, but this was not going to deter me from visiting!! [p.s. when we go for our tax appointment now, I make sure it's later in the day so we can stop afterwards!! HA]

I would say it wasn’t too long after this that I was meeting some friends for indoor rock climbing. I had some time to kill and guess what was [almost] right on the way?? [I mean wine tasting before rock climbing... winenot!?] I stopped in for a tasting, [didn't have time for much more than that] and I really enjoyed a lot of the wines. I purchased several bottles to take home with me. They told me about these new transport boxes they were excited to use and proceeded to fold it into a "carrier." [I thought it kinda looked like one of those drink carriers from McDonalds] I picked the cardboard carrier up off the counter, turned to walk out, and you’ll never guess what happened!? [bam...gasp...wham...boom...crush...omg] the bottom fell out!!

I was absolutely speechless, and when I turned back around the sommelier [a wine steward… someone who is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional] and I had mirroring looks of horror on our faces, with our mouths literally hanging open!! I’m so thankful she witnessed the entire bloody mess of destruction or no one would have believed it happened so innocently!! I have to give them credit... they replaced the bottles [at no charge to me] but packaged them in their old plastic bags. [in the future they started using those popular cloth, divided bags which are primo!!]


Winery 101 was opened in 2008 and is family owned/operated by Irlyn and Gavin Gallifant. They also have a tasting room in Cottonwood. [which of course I have visited] they offer two lines of wine for your tasting pleasure. Gallifant Cellars [named for obvious reasons] and South Paw Cellars [named thus since Irlyn and Gavin are both left-handed!!] Maybe because they were described as fun blends with a flair, I always seemed more drawn to the South Paw line. I also loved the wine names, [like Summer Sippin’.. Chillaxin Red.. Poolside Pink.. Sweet Amnesia] the labels, and the stories that went along with them.  

I have revisited Winery 101 plenty of times over the years, introducing many of my wine loving friends to their amazing charcuterie boards [as you can see below] delicious wines, and fun tasting room... “Sip.Enjoy.Repeat!” was their motto and boy did we sure do all of these things!! HA!! Also, turns out they aren’t that far from an assignment I did at Banner Thunderbird. It was a nice, relaxing place to hang out with my wine loving co-worker friends… that is in the event we were actually able to get off early enough!! [before 5pm because that is when they closed]


Occasionally we were even served by the owners themselves, and they always added the best stories about their wines and how they were named. Like the Valentine's Day bottle Gavin made special for Irlyn, [aww... he made her wine for Valentines!!] their wineries 10th Anniversary bottle, and good ole Swinging Earnie, the wine and label Gavin made for his Father-in-law [named Ernie] who loved playing golf!! [I would say this was probably my favorite wine, even though it was at the top of my spending range for a bottle of wine] We also got to know some of the staff, or I should say I was known by them as... “oh, you’re the girl who dropped and broke all those wine bottles!” [good thing or not?? LOL]

I could go on and on about Winery 101, the fun times with various friends, the afterwork "meetings" the live music, the upstairs loft where they hosted paint and wine, or even the yoga and wine sessions. However, it would all really be in vain since on November 11, 2023, Gavin and Irlyn announced their intentions to retire. When I first heard they were closing, I felt a real sense of loss. I found out it was because they wanted to live a different dream after 15 years of Winery 101 and I suddenly became very happy for them!! [sometimes a rational is all that is needed]

Though their South Paw Cellars line will be greatly missed... [by me] wine lovers everywhere are pleased to carry on the tasting room motto!! [pictured above with my work daughter, Hayley!!] I also soon found out that the business space was being bought by Turquoise Wine Bar. As of this posting I have already visited a couple times!! Haha... an open house paint and wine event and a birthday party!! [which I will tell you all about in a much later post!!] Turquoise has done a great job making it their own. I’m just delighted that I didn’t lose my "wine" down hangout for our after taxes celebration!! HAHA!!


Next week's wine tasting will prove to be located in a surprisingly interesting setting... join me as Wine with Wixy goes grocery shopping!! [things that make you go hmmm!!]

Cheers to you my wine loving friends, and TTFN!!

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6 days ago

I absolutely Love Family Run Companies & supporting them any way I can!

Sharon Wix
Sharon Wix
a day ago
Replying to

I agree!! It's surprising to me how many of these small wineries and wine tasting rooms are family owned and operated!!

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