When you think about a wine-tasting vacation, Sonoma or Napa Valley in California probably come to mind first. However, many people don’t realize that Arizona contains a thriving wine industry with more than a dozen wineries. This activity centers on three regions of the state: Verde Valley, Willcox and Sonoita. Each one offers a wine trail for your sampling pleasure. See the map below to explore each region and the tasting rooms you can visit.
Click the expand icon in the upper-left corner of the map to see each area and the tasting rooms, or the “view larger map” icon in the upper right to open a larger map in a new browser tab.
The trail orders come from the Arizona Wine Grower’s Association, but feel free to chart your own course. Below the map we’ve included more information on each area.
Verde Valley contains twelve tasting rooms that span from Jerome to Cottonwood and up toward gorgeous Sedona. You can take a day trip to check them out or plan a fantastic weekend getaway. If you like to camp, check out these campgrounds in the area you’ll want to know. If you aren’t into camping, try one of these Sedona resorts.
According to the Arizona Wine Growers Association, the area around Willcox, which resides east of Tucson, produces the most grapes of any region in Arizona. Twelve tasting rooms are spread around the region, with four in downtown Willcox itself. When you’re in Willcox be sure to drop by one of the local farms, such as Apple Annie’s, for fresh produce or one of the many festivals.
Sonoita inhabits the area southeast of Tucson and holds the distinction of being Arizona’s only official American Vitacultural Area (although there’s a proposal to make Willcox an AVA as well). Sonoita can also claim the honor of being one of the highest-elevation growing spots in the U.S. The Sonoita/Eglin area features 11 wine tasting rooms, plus one way over in Tombstone. If you are in that area, take a look at number 5 on this list for a charming alternative to staying in a hotel.
– Justin Ferris, Phoenix.org