winery

Arizona Wineries for Celebrating National Wine Day

Not far from Arizona’s iconic desert and cactus-spotted landscape, the Grand Canyon State gives way to scenery whose temperate climates and elevation provide the perfect setting for grapes to flourish. The award-winning wines made from these Arizona-grown grapes offer a unique adventure for those ready to seek where they’re grown. Whether it’s sipping wine while looking out on the rolling grasslands of Sonoita or Willcox or paddling a kayak to a tasting room overlooking the Verde Valley, Arizona’s wine scene is truly remarkable.

“Our wine culture honors the agricultural bounty of the state’s high deserts and the dedication of the people who tend the vines,” says Lisa Urias, CEO of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “As our wine production has grown, so have visitor amenities and experiences surrounding our vineyards.”

Arizona wines are as diverse as its landscapes, with an experience for every palate. Come along for a tour of the three main regions putting the state on the map as a must-stop for wine lovers this National Wine Day (May 25).

dos cabezas
Dos Cabezas WineWorks

Destination: Sonoita

Sonoita was the first location in Arizona to be designated as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). Grapes here flourish at its elevations of 4,500 to 5,000 feet, making for some of the highest vineyards in the country. See the handiwork of passionate growers and makers at the tasting rooms in Sonoita during a wine country tour of Southern Arizona.

Dos Cabezas WineWorks

Since 1995, Dos Cabezas WineWorks has been growing grapes and producing wines in Southern Arizona. The winery is supplied with distinctive, high-quality fruit from Pronghorn Vineyard and Cimarron Vineyard, its dual Southern Arizona growing parcels. Dos Cabezas’ Tasting Room is located in the heart of Sonoita, offering Arizona wines, food and private tasting experiences.

To celebrate National Wine Day on May 25, Dos Cabezas is hosting Dining on the Ranch at Babacomari Ranch in Elgin, which offers an evening of outdoor fine dining with award-winning Southern Arizona wines. Wine aficionados can also participate in Dos Cabezas’ online Digital Wine Research Series during the summer, which features interactive, online wine study sessions hosted via Zoom. For more information, visit www.doscabezas.com.

Rune Wines

Rune mixes award-winning Arizona wine with views that can’t be beaten at the state’s only off-grid, solar-powered winery and tasting room in Sonoita. The great views also extend to Rune’s label art, which changes with each vintage and is inspired by its characters and storyline. The labels are intended to be viewed as graphic novels playing out on their bottles over the years. For more information, visit www.runewines.com.

Deep Sky Vineyard

Destination: Willcox

The Willcox area in Southeastern Arizona leads the industry’s grape production by growing about three quarters of the state’s wine grapes and is the source of the many highly rated Arizona wines by Wine Spectator. Vineyard owners have capitalized on the area’s growing reputation by setting up shop in the center of town, making for highly walkable wine tasting tours.

Deep Sky Vineyard

Inspired by a trip to Argentina, Deep Sky Vineyards grows Malbec, as well as Rhone varieties on its 20-acre vineyard near Willcox. Pack a picnic lunch and sample several wines at its indoor-outdoor tasting bar, or relax on the wrap-around patio while enjoying the mountain views and cool breeze across the grassy meadows. For more information, visit deepskyvineyard.com.

Zarpara Vineyard

Tucked under the Dos Cabezas Mountains in the sky islands of southeastern Arizona is Zarpara Vineyard. Take a stroll in the vineyard and bring along a tasty picnic to enjoy with a bottle of Zarpara wine on the outdoor terrace. At an elevation of 4,200 feet, visitors can enjoy cooler temperatures and amazing views of the vineyard with the mountains in the background. For more information, visit www.zarpara.com.

Merkin-Vineyards-Hilltop-Winery-&-Trattoria-Patio
Merkin Vineyards Hilltop Winery & Trattoria

Destination: The Verde Valley

Sedona and the neighboring towns of Cottonwood, Jerome, Clarkdale and Cornville – collectively known as the Verde Valley – are home to a handful of vineyards and a dozen tasting rooms in Northcentral Arizona. Verde Valley’s climate has much in common with Mediterranean wine growing regions. Volcanic soils, mild winters and summers with hot days and cool nights produce grapes with thick skins, dark colors and big flavors.

Merkin Vineyards

Merkin Vineyards Hilltop Winery & Trattoria features 360-degree panoramic views of the Valley with award-winning wines and farm-to-table dining. Sitting adjacent to the 9,500-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art production facility and surrounded by a 4.5-acre vineyard, the destination is the latest must-visit restaurant in Cottonwood. While visiting, take in the winery and barrel room, as well as the on-site greenhouse and bottle shop. Sundays are for Brunch at Hilltop. The delicious, farm-to-table brunch menu offers favorite classic brunch items, plus espresso beverages, all of which can only be found at the Old Town Cottonwood location. For more information, visit merkinvineyards.org.

Alcantara Vineyards

What started as a dream venture created by Barbara and husband Bob, Alcantara Vineyards has grown to more than 20,000 vines and 17 varietals. Sip Arizona wine and enjoy the peaceful surroundings, including the vineyards, a grassy picnic area, the Verde River and bald eagles flying overhead.

For those looking to add some adventure to their winetasting outing, Alcantara Vineyards offers Water-to-Wine kayaking and tubing trips down the Verde River. Exploring the vineyard is also a breeze with E-Bike, Jeep and horseback tours. For more information, visit alcantaravineyard.com.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*