Desert Rock Winery & Distillery

About Us

Our Story

A True Taste of Arizona

Desert Rock Winery and Distillery was founded in 2006 by winemaker, Paul J. Hoffman, to produce and sell fine wines from Napa and Sonoma, CA. While the timing of a new startup did not coincide with prosperous economic conditions, Hoffman’s decades of industry experience pulled the company through, allowing it to expand in national and international markets.

Distributed wine brands, 401K and Headbanger, led the charge while the company opened tasting rooms on the famous Sonoma Plaza and historic Treasure Island. The company continued to expand with strategic partners joining the efforts which enabled the launch of Headbanger American Gold Whiskey.

In 2015 the company decided to move all of it’s winemaking operations to the thriving Scottsdale, Arizona market. Here, they opened The Desert Rock Urban Winery, Tasting Room, and Wine Education Center. The goal was to utilize 16 years of winemaking experience and bring the wine country feel plus educational efforts to the nation’s fifth largest metropolitan area.

In 2016, the Desert Rock Team plans to expand the Urban Winery concept to other markets and make each one a part of the local community. There will also be three more spirit lines launched in addition to other wines under the umbrella.

Paul Hoffman has always had a passion for fine wines and the wine business. Having over sixteen years experience in hospitality, sales & marketing, distribution, winemaking/production, and business ownership, he has experienced the world of wine through many facets. Paul began his career in the hotel industry with Stouffer, and then Renaissance Resorts, gaining a great understanding of sales and marketing. In 1995 he took a position as Director of Sales at Bellows International in St. Thomas (USVI) and expanded his skills in profitably managing a diverse product portfolio and preserving strong partner relations. Paul left the Caribbean in 2000 and joined Robert Mondavi Corporation. He moved up quickly through the organization assuming responsibility for wine education programs, developing a new sales function for private label wine, and enhancing and developing worldwide sales, marketing and educational programs for fine wine accounts, including duty free. His organizational contributions in national accounts and wine education resulted in his selection of the prestigious Michael Mondavi “Inspiration and Leadership” award.

In 2002, Paul teamed up with three other partners to follow their passion and start producing wine. The partners began Medusa & Spellbound Wines. Paul took the helm and established these two new brands nationally and key international markets. In a two year period he grew the brands to impressive levels, won several wine quality awards, received “outstanding” scores from periodicals, and managed the company to a profitable position.

In 2006, Paul had the opportunity to partner with a few renowned winegrowers and harvest grapes from their vineyards to make wine of his own. These wines represent unique parcels of pristine vineyards in Sonoma County farmed with A+ quality in mind. In addition to the vineyard and winery influence, Paul believes a large part of wine’s magic is due to your surroundings while enjoying a bottle, therefore he named the program, Atmosphere Wines. Knowing these vineyards could only produce a small amount of wine, Paul decided to create Curveball. These highly acclaimed wines are focused on putting different appellations, varietals, winemaking techniques and taste profiles together to represent the best of the vintage. The Rock n Roll infused brand, Headbanger, launched in 2010 followed by 401K in 2011. In 2014, the Headbanger brand expanded into spirits with it’s American Gold Whiskey selection.

In addition to the nationally distributed wine and spirits programs, Paul recently opened the Desert Rock Winery-Tasting Room-Educational Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. He splits his time between quiet wine country setting of Sonoma Valley and energetic surroundings of Phoenix, Arizona.

Good Wines Taste Like a Grape, Great Wines Taste Like a Place."

- Robert Mondavi

About Paul

Paul J. Hoffman

Paul Hoffman has always had a passion for fine wines and the wine business. Having over sixteen years experience in hospitality, sales & marketing, distribution, winemaking/production, and business ownership, he has experienced the world of wine through many facets. Paul began his career in the hotel industry with Stouffer, and then Renaissance Resorts, gaining a great understanding of sales and marketing. In 1995 he took a position as Director of Sales at Bellows International in St. Thomas (USVI) and expanded his skills in profitably managing a diverse product portfolio and preserving strong partner relations. 

Paul left the Caribbean in 2000 and joined Robert Mondavi Corporation. He moved up quickly through the organization assuming responsibility for wine education programs, developing a new sales function for private label wine, and enhancing and developing worldwide sales, marketing and educational programs for fine wine accounts, including duty free. His organizational contributions in national accounts and wine education resulted in his selection of the prestigious Michael Mondavi “Inspiration and Leadership” award.

In 2002, Paul teamed up with three other partners to follow their passion and start producing wine. The partners began Medusa & Spellbound Wines. Paul took the helm and established these two new brands nationally and key international markets. In a two year period he grew the brands to impressive levels, won several wine quality awards, received “outstanding” scores from periodicals, and managed the company to a profitable position.

In 2006, Paul had the opportunity to partner with a few renowned winegrowers and harvest grapes from their vineyards to make wine of his own. These wines represent unique parcels of pristine vineyards in Sonoma County farmed with A+ quality in mind. In addition to the vineyard and winery influence, Paul believes a large part of wine’s magic is due to your surroundings while enjoying a bottle, therefore he named the program, Atmosphere Wines. Knowing these vineyards could only produce a small amount of wine, Paul decided to create Curveball. These highly acclaimed wines are focused on putting different appellations, varietals, winemaking techniques and taste profiles together to represent the best of the vintage. The Rock n Roll infused brand, Headbanger, launched in 2010 followed by 401K in 2011. In 2014, the Headbanger brand expanded into spirits with it’s American Gold Whiskey selection.

In addition to the nationally distributed wine and spirits programs, Paul recently opened the Desert Rock Winery-Tasting Room-Educational Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. He splits his time between quiet wine country setting of Sonoma Valley and energetic surroundings of Phoenix, Arizona.

Distributed wine brands, 401K and Headbanger, led the charge while the company opened tasting rooms on the famous Sonoma Plaza and historic Treasure Island. The company continued to expand with strategic partners joining the efforts which enabled the launch of Headbanger American Gold Whiskey.

In 2015 the company decided to move all of it’s winemaking operations to the thriving Scottsdale, Arizona market. Here, they opened The Desert Rock Urban Winery, Tasting Room, and Wine Education Center. The goal was to utilize 16 years of winemaking experience and bring the wine country feel plus educational efforts to the nation’s fifth largest metropolitan area.

In 2016, the Desert Rock Team plans to expand the Urban Winery concept to other markets and make each one a part of the local community. There will also be three more spirit lines launched in addition to other wines under the umbrella.

Founder, Winemaker & Distiller, Desert Rock Industries
Owner & Designer, Napa Valley Surf Club Clothing Line
Retired President, Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance Board of Directors

Testimonials

Best wine and cider in town. Actually, one of the best happy hours in the valley! All local. You seriously can't get better than this!

Jon Stephenson

Wise Guys Web Design

In AZ for a long weekend, were just out sightseeing from the safety of our rental car, and decided we were parched after walking on a pretty cool trail. Google maps lead us here and we are happy it did. Sampled two of the local vodkas and a whisky, because that's a thing here! Ordered one of their no sugar seltzer beers, on tap (what, tap you say, why yes I do!) and the drink of the day, then pondered if the risk of a booze soaked suitcase was worth it to take some back on the plane. The Golden oak whisky, you try it and let me know if you aren't willing to give it a shot). Then being responsible Iowan's we grabbed our tab and were on our way. They constantly checked with us to make sure we had everything we needed, too bad we don't live here, this is a hidden gem.

Joann Tucker

Google Local Guide

Owner and service is amazing. Wine and whiskey is out of this world, truly. When they have live music, it's amazing. So thankful we found this place!

Sandy Jagger

Google Local Guide

Such a nice friendly atmosphere. The owners are great. The wine is good, they give you nice pours too. They are dog friendly. What else could you ask for to make a great time.

Melinda Diehl