Arizona Hops & Vines is a cheeky little winery run by two crazy awesome sisters (Megan and Shannon), with a ton of help from their friends and their many children.
Hops & Vines is the result of some pretty fearless dreaming in the face of many well-meaning and reasonable assertions that their dream of opening a winery “will never work.” Well. If you want to absolutely guarantee that we’re going to do something, all you need to do is assert that it’s impossible.
Megan was first introduced to the world of winemaking at Sonoita Vineyard. Sonoita is the original Sonoita-area vineyard, and was founded in 1983. She spent a year as a volunteer, helping tend the farm. Working outdoors to grow the plants became what she wanted to do with the rest of her life, and opening her own winery quickly became part of that desire.
For many years, she worked at various wineries around the area, learning more and more about the entire process of winemaking: planting, weeding, racking, lab work, fixing flaws, stabilization, bottling, filtration, label approvals, inventory tracking, tasting room work — everything, from beginning to end. A year before Hops & Vines’ debut, she lived with her sister Shannon and her three children. In addition to the adults, there was their six kids, 5 turtles, 6 dogs, 10 chickens, and a lot of crazy ideas – not least of which: Let’s make a winery.
Her three kids have been wonderful helping around the farm, and she loves working with her sister, co-owner Shannon. She has never killed or been bitten by a snake, despite many run-ins with them while creating and tending the fields. When you visit Hops & Vines, she will almost certainly be found outside tending the farm, but is always happy to chat with guests about her wonderful, crazy, and “impossible” little winery.
Shannon and her three kids spent a wild summer living with Megan and her kids before Hops & Vines became a serious venture into the world of family farms and winemaking. On their road trip back, the conversations often turned to whether or not the family should move from their home in Washington, D.C. permanently to help make Hops & Vines a reality. On the way, they stopped at the St. Louis City Museum. In addition to being an extraordinarily fun place to visit, a particular quote caught Shannon’s eye:
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars
– Jack Kerouac
Moments later, she was on the phone with Megan, and the decision was made: Shannon’s family was moving to Sonoita, Arizona, and making a farm. The kids have joined in enthusiastically, and have helped Megan’s kids set up the Sober Shack.
Summer is a tough U.S. Border Patrol Agent and great friend of Shannon and Megan’s. Not only is she Hops & Vines’ first investor, she and her husband have put in countless hours of work into the winery, whether that be driving stakes or getting her fellow Agents to hang out, work weeds, or buy barrels. She is most often found in the tasting room with Shannon, helping the guests, and generally being so incredibly wonderful that we named one of our first wines after her — Summer.
Mike Dupont has been our right-hand-man, who has helped us with a thousand different things around the farm, from planting and driving stakes, teaching Megan all about farming in Sonoita, and risking his very life by teaching Shannon how to drive a manual transmission vehicle. A brave man, an asset, and a friend. He’s the Vineyard Manager over at Sonoita Vineyards.
Steve is the web and graphic designer who put together this website, and does all of the marketing work for Hops & Vines. He has the unusual perspective of a teetotaler in a winery. In fact, he found Hops and Vines because he was the designated driver for some friends who came by the place a week before it opened. Megan came out and greeted the group even though they couldn’t charge anything, and Steve was so impressed that he immediately started working for the company. He’s the one to contact if anything on the site is broken (use the link at the bottom of the page). He owns his own web and graphic design marketing business called Impulse Nine Media.