Scott & Joan Dahmer

Scott and Joan decided that they would follow their dream of starting a vineyard and a winery, focusing on southeastern Arizona, whose wine ‘scene’ was still young and not prohibitively as expensive. Ready for a new adventure, the family moved to Carefree, Arizona in 2001.

In 2009 they purchased 40 acres along Turkey Creek in Pearce and began planting an estate vineyard: when they walked the land for the first time, they found themselves moved and inspired by the beauty of its high desert location, which sits at 5,200 feet in elevation in the Chiricahua growing region. They found a historic apple processing barn in the town of Willcox and began renovating it into the largest custom crush facility in Arizona. Later came the addition of a tasting room in Willcox, and then a very successful satellite tasting room in Old Town Scottsdale.

They chose the name Aridus, a play on the Latin word arid, meaning dry---a tribute to their desert setting.

The cellar doors opened in August, 2012, and from the outset the operation was recognized as a stylish newcomer doing things right, whether by using the latest and most sophisticated equipment or the handsome touches such as using reclaimed local lumber and antique light bulbs as part of the décor. In fact, the winery was recognized with the Design Excellence award from the International Interior Design Association’s Southwest Chapter in 2014. The award was for Sustainability and for “Interior Design Excellence.”

Aridus continues to win awards not only for the winery facility, but for the wines themselves, bringing international attention for wines made in Arizona.