Kief Joshua Manning, Winemaker
Kief grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and first started making beer and wine in his closet while attending classes at Arizona State University. When he finally made lemon wine from a tree in his backyard, it was so delicious that plans to start a vineyard in Arizona Wine Country were inevitable. From the moment he decided to open Kief-Joshua Vineyards, Kief immersed himself into every aspect of the business. His firsthand experience was complemented by a graduate degree in enology and viticulture at the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. Kief, who also earned his undergraduate degree in Australia in Wine Technology and Marketing, is working full-time in his vineyard South of Tucson. Inspired by the dream to sustain his vineyard for hundreds of years, Kief is determined to grow vines that are virtually free of all pesticides and herbicides. He is and avid reader and is focusing his attention toward a holistic farming approach developed in the 1920s by the Austrian scientist-philosopher Rudolf Steiner. While this philosophy encompasses many principles of organic farming, such as the elimination of all chemicals, it goes further, requiring close attention to the varied forces of nature influencing the vine. It also emphasizes a closed, self-sustaining ecosystem.
Jeff Manning, Wine Sales Manager
Jeff, an Ohio native, moved to Arizona in 1983 in order to pursue a degree in International Business and Marketing from Arizona State University. He worked in private label, food and alcohol distribution, prior to operating a shutter manufacturing business in Phoenix. When Jeff’s father, William Manning (who sadly died just before Grand Opening), started asking questions about vine spacing and canopy management, Jeff was surprised to learn his father worked on a vineyard in his youth.
Charlene Manning, Press Relations
Charlene earned an undergraduate degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Mass Communications and Marketing from Arizona State University. She has volunteered for the Arizona Adopt a Greyhound Organization since 1992 and is an avid pet lover. At many times, tasters may see numerous dogs at the vineyard thanks to Charlene, who is now in love with Baby Doll Sheep. Luckily for Jeff, her plans to buy wallabies fell through. Her Grandfather grew grapes in Leetonia, Ohio and in Calabria, Italy.
Carly Manning, Arizona Wine Sales
Carly grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona and earned a degree in Communication from Arizona State University and an associates degree in Respiratory Therapy. Carly also works for Scottsdale Healthcare-Osborn Campus. She loves her brother's wine and it is her passion to see it on store shelves.
Dizzie Gillespie, Wine Blog Star
Born on January 13, 2006, Dizzy has enjoyed prowling the vineyard and visiting tasters whenever he is not asleep on the couch. He is a listed as a tasting highlight on the Seattle Wine Blog. Dizzy’s favorite pastime is smelling the vines each morning before he starts his day.