Eric Glomski is pouring a glass of wine and talking about rocks. He started Page Springs Cellars 10 years ago the way most entrepreneurs do—with long hours, personal investment and sweat. For Glomski, that meant turning over stones as he tilled the historic land around the spring the winery is named for. As he relates these beginnings, we think of the Robert Frost poem at the same time: “Good fences make good neighbors.”
For Glomski, this is not just a literary reference, but also a real parallel to his life and business. For him, the past decade has been about community and home, pride and passion.
“What makes a place home is landscape and people,” he says. “A spiritual, emotional connection.”
From the earth
The wine he is pouring is an example of what he’s talking about. The Landscape is a blend of Petite Syrah, Syrah, and Mouvedre all grown on the estate. The deep, evolving flavors are a representation of the volcanic earth and waters that create the Page Springs terrain. This is Glomski’s driving passion for the winery.
“Wines are about places and grapes,” he says. “Arizona became home when I felt connected to a place and grew as a human being.”
That connection and growth meant moving impediments, from rocks to preconceptions. Glomski has been a leading force in putting Arizona and the Rim Country on the international wine map.
As he’s strived to use Arizona’s natural resources, he’s created a range of partnerships with local farms and businesses to create award-winning vintages. The accolades have brought people from around the world to the small town of Cornville.
This sleepy town was once on its own road less traveled, a detour on the drive to Sedona with its oasis-like beauty overshadowed by its neighbor’s famous red rock formations. Now, tour buses bring Sedona visitors down for daily tastings and Phoenicians make the trek up the rim for special releases or a break from the heat.
Guests are invited to walk the property and wander through the vines, the herb garden and past the Page Spring. Most congregate on a large patio overlooking Oak Creek and the swimming hole where all of Glomski’s children learned to swim. It’s a sampling of all the ingredients Glomski works into his wines.
Strong as oak
But there are two pieces yet to come. Glomski continues to turn ideas in his head like rocks on his land. He’s been slowly building a supply of oak barrels from Arizona’s one dozen species of oak.
“Barrels are like skin,” he says. “Putting wine in barrels is about aging—breathing—not about oak flavor.”
He continues with an example. “Aging a wine in a stainless steel barrel creates a tight, edgy, fruity wine. It’s young, like a teenager. An oak barrel creates a soft, balanced, wiser wine.”
Glomski explains that an oak barrel is a conduit that enhances where a wine is from. Just another step in creating a distinctive Arizona terroir.
A bright idea
Glomski is also putting one of Arizona’s brightest resources into action: solar power. The winery is building solar panels in its parking area that will generate 85 percent of the energy for the estate. This is a project he couldn’t have taken on without help, and he credits National Bank of Arizona for being a partner in his ideas while letting him maintain his business philosophies.
“NB | AZ has been an amazing partner. They don’t beat us up when we want to do a cool project like solar,” Glomski say. “To buy this property, I sold my house and rented in Sedona. To grow to this size…” His voice trails off for a moment. “It’s amazing to grow horizontally without new business partners.”
NB | AZ has worked with Page Spring Cellars since 2008. Commercial banker Brad Wright, who leads the account and has been working closely with Glomski, explains that for large-scale solar project, NB | AZ has a designated solar group that assists with tax credits and other financial needs.
For small businesses, there is a leasing program. This is the partnership Page Springs and NB | AZ have for the cellar’s project. NB | AZ is financing 100 percent of the costs in an equipment lease-to-own loan with contractor Solar Equipment. In seven years, Page Springs will own the panels and take over managing and running them.
Wright says it’s the perfect fit for Page Spring’s size and Glomski’s management style.
“Eric likes to do things on his own, which is part of his success,” Wright explains. “Management is the key. Eric treats his employees so well. He can withstand different things, and is there 24/7. He lives across the street from the property and he’s right there picking grapes, crushing, doing it all.”
The Arizona wine industry is young, but [Page Springs] is the best in class in what they do, Wright continues.
“That’s why we’re comfortable in growing with them. They are a driving force in the Arizona wine industry and we’re looking forward to seeing what Arizona wineries do. Eric has put us on the map,” he says.