Wine Collective

It’s hard for Zoya Vora-Shah to remember what her life was like before she got involved in the wine industry. 

However, she admits there was a time when she knew very little about the beloved beverage. 

“I didn’t know anything about wine. But I knew that people were passionate about it and people, kind of whoever drank wine, got into it,” she says. 

“So, I had worked at a couple of wine-oriented restaurants, but I had no clue what I was doing. Then a wine rep came in and did a whole sit-down sensory tasting to taste the different wines,” Vora-Shah recalls. “It completely made sense after that why people love wine and why wine goes with certain foods and it clicked.” 

From that moment on, Vora-Shah was hooked. 

She eventually ventured on her own opening My Wine Cellar in Ahwatukee and MWC — the acronym version of My Wine Cellar — in Gilbert but eventually sold both places to two different owners. 

After that, Vora-Shah went back to the corkboard and took a job at Carlson Creek Vineyard, Scottsdale Tasting Room where she learned more about the wine industry. 

“I had an impression about Arizona wines, and it was completely shattered by working there,” she says. 

Vora-Shah then found her spark to get back into the wine business and asked her boss Robert Carlson what her next move should be. 

“I got energized and I was very just motivated, and I asked Robert, ‘What do you think I should do?’” Vora-Shah recalls. “And he said, ‘Well, you have two choices: You can either move to Wilcox and be a farmer and winemaker or you could open a collective where you represent different orders from Arizona.’” 

She chose the latter, and the Wine Collective of Scottsdale was born. 

Vora-Shah began looking for a place to call home. 

After searching three places, she found one place vaulted on the corner of First Avenue and Scottsdale Road, specifically 4020 N. Scottsdale Road, Unit 104.

“He showed me that we were going to do the deck and he showed me that we were going to do all these little things.” 

Even though it took a year to transform the desolate vault into a vibrant wine collective, Vora-Shah used the months leading up to her April opening to reach out to local and prospective wine purveyors to provide their products to her thirsty patrons. 

“I traveled through Sonoita and Wilcox, and I went to see all these vineyards before I opened and they were able to show me showcase like all of their portfolio and I made some relationships with them,” she says. 

However, the prospect of having wine in a space in Old Town was Vora-Shah’s best selling point to the budding vineyards especially because of its traveled wine trail that includes stops at Merkin Vineyards, LDV Vineyards and Carlson Creek who Vora-Shah hopes to foster a community with. 

“My goal is to be a community and the whole goal is for us to recommend each other and showcase Arizona ones and show that we’re here as a community and not a competition,” she says. 

With her business in its first few months of operation, Vora-Shah is using the slow time that the summer provides to get prepared for when tourists begin to flock back to town. 

However, Vora-Shah does have a unique special going on for all local customers where she is offering 20% off all of her nosh boards all month long for customers to munch on as they sip their wines or sample wines from her various wine flight options. 

Next month she also plans to offer all bottles of her wines at the price she pays per bottle. 

“I got my inspiration to do this because the resorts around here do staycation deals in the summertime,” Vora-Shah says. “I feel like in summertime not all of us are lucky enough to have a second home, and I figured why not appreciate locals by doing this.” 

Although she offers several styles of local wine on her shelves and for customers to sip at her bar, Vora-Shah admits her taste in wines is fluid. 

However, she has recently been on a white wine kick. 

“I don’t have a favorite wine; however, I have wine that I drink currently because wine should be drunk based on the weather, the food you are eating and your mood,” Vora-Shah says. “What I’m drinking right now is a lot of white wines.”

Wine Collective of Scottsdale

4020 N. Scottsdale Road, Unit 104, Scottsdale

the-wine-collective.com