Highlands Happy Hour

Happy Hour is an educational adult program where participants can participant in various food and drink tastings while discovering the science and history behind what they are trying! Happy hours are offered several evenings a year and take place in the Kieckhefer classroom at the Highland Center’s main campus.

Chocolate Making & Wine Tasting

Friday, February 7th, 2020 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm the Old Firehouse Plaza in Downtown Prescott

In this special edition of Highlands Happy Hour we will begin our evening with a private tour of Black Butterfly Artisan Chocolate shop and kitchen, in downtown Prescott, exploring how local chocolatier, Tracy Taylor, makes her famous artisan chocolate. Then, we will venture next door to Del Rio Springs wine cellar for an exclusive sneak peek at this tasting room not yet open to the public. Here, we will learn from vintners, Rick and Maricor Skladzien,  about how they grow and produce their wine in Paulden, and settle in for a curated chocolate tasting and wine pairing experience. 

Must be 21+ to attend. $72 for Members. $80 for Nonmembers. Chocolate and Wine included with registration. 

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Meet the Chocolatier

Tracy Taylor

Black Buttefly Artisan Chocolates

Meet Tracy Taylor, owner/chocolatier of Black Butterfly Artisan Chocolates. She refers to herself as the Accidental Chocolatier as she never grew up with the vision of ever being a Chocolatier, much less having a career in the food industry. She came from a technical background with 20 plus years climbing the corporate ladder within the Telcom industry until following a completely different path in her 50’s. This different path led her into the world of artisan chocolate. Once the decision was made to fully immerse herself in the world of chocolate, she attended Ecole Chocolat in Vancouver Canada, where she is from, as well as various classes with some of the Masters in the USA. All the little gems in her showcase are all hand painted. Her chocolate truly is edible art.

She has been featured in 5 Senses and VoyagePhoenix.


Meet the Vintners

Rick and Maricor Skladzien

Del Rio Springs Vineyard

A fondness for grapes and fine wines, and having owned and operated a boutique winery (Vollbehr Cellars) in eastern Iowa in the 80’s, spawned a love for making premium wines for Rick Skladzien.  However, this love for wine making was placed on hold while he completed his degree in Public Administration. During his tenure with Petaluma, he and his wife Maricor spent the next five years traveling the northern California and Oregon wine country, viewing vineyards and sampling his favorite wine, Pinot Noir.  Prior to retiring from Petaluma, they both attended classes at Santa Rosa Junior College on establishing and maintaining a vineyard.  Equipped with his wine making experience and their new vineyard training, they decided to make their way back to the beautiful Arizona valley and bring with them the fine traditions of west coast grape growing and wine making.

Past Programs

Cider Science

Stoic Cider lead a special evening in a past Highlands Center Happy Hour! In this program we discovered the science behind small batch cider production, as well as the importance of preserving apple genetic variation and our rich southwestern cultural heritage through orchards. A variety of selected hard ciders were served along with appetizers that complemented their unique flavors.

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