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1:29 PM Wed, Nov. 21st

Kingman pads reputation as Arizona Wine Country

Valle Vista's vineyards now include Cella Wines' vines

Cella Wines/Courtesy<BR>
Carlos Cella with a bunch of his first harvest of wine grapes. Cella purchased property in Valle Vista and started growing wine grapes a few years ago. The vines finally matured this year and were harvested for Cella Wine’s first bottles earlier this month.

Cella Wines/Courtesy<BR> Carlos Cella with a bunch of his first harvest of wine grapes. Cella purchased property in Valle Vista and started growing wine grapes a few years ago. The vines finally matured this year and were harvested for Cella Wine’s first bottles earlier this month.

KINGMAN - Kingman's second winery is getting ready to open to the public.

Cella Wines, near Valle Vista, is planning to open its tasting room around Jan. 20, said winery owner Carlos Cella.

Cella started his winery, Cella Wines, about five years ago after working for 35 years as a car body shop owner in California.

He was hoping to open the winery this year but the state and federal wine license process was a bit more involved than he expected.

Cella was waiting on one of the last parts of the licensing process, approval of his bottle labels, when the federal sequestration hit.

The process ground to a halt. Then the government shut down in October slowed the process even further, he said. But he finally has the license.

Cella said he does not plan to build a large event center like his friend Don Stetson of Stetson Wines.

"I just have a little tasting room," he said. "I may, in the future, add on a little patio where people can enjoy the wines outdoors."

Cella got the idea to start a winery after Stetson purchased several acres of land near Valle Vista a few years ago and encouraged Cella to come out and look at the area.

Cella liked the property and bought several acres.

"The area is perfect for growing grapes," Cella said. "The weather is mild, there's very little humidity, very few pests and the soil is great."

This is the first time he has ever tried to grow the grapes to produce wine, Cella said. His father, an immigrant from Italy, taught him how to make wine as a teenager.

Cella planted his vines in 2008 with the help of family and friends and converted part of his garage into a winemaking facility. The vines include grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sirah and Sangiovese.

The winery is located at 6927 East Brooks Blvd. in Valle Vista. It can be tricky to locate using GPS. For directions, call (928) 692-9600.

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