Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912 Arizona is noted for its desert climate, exceptionally hot summers, and mild winters, however it also features pine forests and mountain ranges in the northern high country, with cooler weather than in the lower deserts.
Arizona has three major wine growing regions, all in the high desert. The first region is in southern Arizona in the Sonoita/Elgin area. The Willcox area in Cochise County was the second area to come on board. And now the Verde Valley is the third region for growing grapes. The elevation of these vineyards range between 3800 ft. to almost 6000 ft., allowing nice hot days and cool nights during the grape growing season. Another up-and-coming area up north is the Skull Valley area with three vineyards. You’ll also find grapes growing scattered around the state in other areas such as Tombstone, Benson, Payson and Portal. The state has one American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Sonoita AVA is located in southeast Arizona, south of the city of Tucson. The Sonoita area is a basin surrounded by three mountain ranges, the Huachuca Mountains, the Santa Rita Mountains, and the Whetstone Mountains.
My parents reside in Cornville. I (almost) faithfully phone my mom every Saturday. When I tire of the wet weather here in Seattle, I envy the Arizona sunshine. Of course mom gets up at 4am to work in the yard and is in by 10am because it is too hot to be outdoors. Her husband Karl is making some wonderful creations from clay and is getting tons of recognition from the art community. Check out a few pieces of his artwork which is also presented in a local winery;
Wine in the Desert? Several varieties of wine grapes do very well in Arizona, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sangiovese. Vineyards were first planted in Arizona in the 17th century by Franciscan missionaries. Today there are thirteen active wineries in the state, with over 650 acres of grapes being grown for the purpose of wine production.
Places to visit!
Phone: (928) 649-8463
Arizona Stronghold Vineyards
Phone: (928) 639-3004
Phone: (928) 639-9463
Phone: (520) 455-5322
Dos Cabezas WineWorks
Phone: (520) 455-5141
Javelina Leap Vineyard & Winery
Phone: (928) 649-2681
Oak Creek Vineyards & Winery
Phone: (928) 649-0290
Visit these great tour offerings to help make your Arizona Wine experience both entertaining and informative;
The Verde Valley Wine Trail connects the dots between 4 wineries: Alcantara Vineyards, Page Springs Cellars, Oak Creek Vineyards, & Javelina Leap Vineyards, and 4 tasting rooms: Caduceus Cellars, Jerome Winery, Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, and Pillsbury Wine Company.
Arizona Vines and Wines features a variety of tours suited to the enjoyment of Arizona wines. Take a look at these creative maps for planning your tour(s). NORTHERN ARIZONA WINE TOUR – SONOITA/ELGIN WINE TOUR - SOUTHEASTERN ARIZONA WINE TOUR
Including a picnic lunch, you are guided through tastings at four wineries.
Arizona Grape Escapes
Arizona Horseback Experience
Phone: (520) 455-5696
Sedona Adventure Tours
Phone: (877) 673-3661