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Major road for Willcox wine industry area set to be paved, helping business expansion

Posted at 4:38 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 21:14:23-04

Cochise County was awarded a $475,000 grant to help improve the Willcox wine industry infrastructure. 

The Arizona Commerce Authority will fund the money that will pave Robbs Road and improve Arzberger Road. 

Barbara Pierce is one of the owners of Bodega Pierce Tasting Room and Rolling View Vineyard located on Robbs Road.

Willcox is one of the top destinations for wine tasting in Arizona and Pierce says the major roadway condition is turning customers away. 

"It depends on the time of year what the road is like," she said. "It can be very washboardy, which is most of the time, dusty, monsoon can be muddy and can kind of cause an issue."

Pierce tells KGUN9, she has been pushing to get the road paved and when she heard the news she was overjoyed.

"Woohoo! I'll tell ya I got tears in my eyes," she said. "I was so, you know you kind of don't want to set yourself up just in case it doesn't pan out and what it did it was just like walking on cloud nine."

A Cochise County spokesperson says the project should be completed in 18 months. 

Willcox vineyards grow about 75% of the grapes used by Arizona winemakers.

Pierce says with the newly paved road, she plans to expand her tasting room and vineyard.

She also says more families in the area are planning to add more tasting rooms as well-- creating more jobs and boosting the wine industry in the state.