Dennis was not far behind his Dad when he started helping his Grandma Josephine make his first batch of alcohol at the age of seven. “The first thing Grandma and I ever made together was a cherry liquor, I was in charge of breaking the cherries and putting everything in to make a fermentation and then I would have to put them in the sun and stir them every day, “ Dennis recalls of his first experience making alcohol. Josephine would make wine every year so Dennis also had the opportunity to watch her blend all the wines and make all of her special recipes.
When Don decided that he was ready to pass the winery down to Dennis the hope Dennis had for the Winery and Bistro would soon turn into what his Dad could have only dreamed it would be. “The decision was not hard at all I enjoyed the concept of pairing wines with food and of course for family tradition I was 3rd generation in the restaurant industry and 4th as a winemaker,” said Dennis.
Dennis felt that there was a tremendous opportunity to grow the Chandler Bistro by staying open for dinner so that people had an opportunity to really learn how to pair wine with meals and learn about our wine. Dennis has not only added a dinner menu to the Chandler location, but also music he said, “we feel that music, wine and made from scratch meals make for an entertaining evening and a great way for people to unwind .” Now the area of Surprise, AZ would also get the great experience of Kokopelli Wine as well as our dinner selection. “We have a great base of guests out there and they have been so welcoming and supportive of the new location everyone seems really pleased with the new restaurant,” said Dennis. Pleasing is what Dennis and the rest of the team at Kokopelli Winery and Bistro will continue to do.