Somm Insider: Vol. 7 ~ Down Time Wines, Inc.

Somm Insider: Volume 7
What: Down Time Wines, Inc.
By: Darla Hoffmann

If you are one of those people who wants to learn about wine but find it somewhat intimidating, Down Time Wines, Inc. is for you. Owners, Basil and Colleen Kaspar are extremely welcoming, and more than happy to answer any of your questions.

Basil started making wine for the couple’s own enjoyment in 2003, and a little over a decade later, they opened their first storefront location in Chandler, AZ. Colleen was happy to have her kitchen space back when they moved production to a larger facility, and eager to bring their wines to the open market. Basil, an engineer by trade, is quite the experimental guy who isn’t afraid to take risks. He often infuses different fruit and nut essences into the base wines to add depth and character. They have everything from dry to sweet, red to white, and even specialty products like wine gummy bears. Stay tuned for lime and watermelon wines!

Down Time Wines is a small-batch winery, but they hand craft over 30 varieties. The fruit is sourced from all over the world including Chile, Australia, and Italy. “The reason I make so much,” says Basil, “is because everyone has a different palate. Once we get our specified juice, we make our wine in a secret fermentation style and cork and bottle everything here by hand.” He explains that all of their wines have no ethyl glycol, very low sulfites and 12% alcohol.

Down Time Wines is also a fun, social gathering place. Along with monthly wine dinners, they host wine tasting events that incorporate painting (whether it’s on canvases, wine glasses or wine bottles), live music, comedy, and even creating personalized wine labels–a great gift idea. You can also reserve their space for private events and tastings, and have food catered in. For more information on all the happenings at the winery, visit their Facebook page HERE.

So, you can put your fears to rest, because Basil and Colleen look forward to meeting all the fun, inquisitive people who walk into their humble domain. Down Time Wines, Inc. is located at 393 W. Warner Rd., #109, Chandler, AZ 85225. Hours of operation are Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 12 pm to 6 pm, Wednesday 12 pm to 8 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm.

Business owner, Darla Hoffmann, passed both her Sommelier Level 1 and Certified Level 2 exams with the highest score in her class, earning the esteemed “Walter Clore Scholarship”. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine and Hospitality Beverage under the Society of Wine Educators, and a member of The Wine Century Club. She works in the tasting room of Scottsdale’s LDV Wine Gallery, has written for City Sun Times, MYnewsMesa, and The Society of Wine Educators’ website. Darla is the sole proprietor of About Wine, which focuses on wine education and marketing through means of tastings, classes, and promotions. She conducts customized classes at various restaurants and events in Phoenix, such as Wine 101: ‘The Grape Expedition’ series, and Italian Varietals: Wines of Bordeaux, Spain & Portugal. For more info, visit:

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