From Flagstaff To The Gorge: Discovering Arizona\’s Best Wineries
Arizona might not be the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of wine, but the state has a thriving wine industry with over 100 wineries, producing some of the best wines in
Arizona might not be the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of wine, but the state has a thriving wine industry with over 100 wineries, producing some of the best wines in the country. From the high-altitude vineyards of Flagstaff to the stunningly beautiful red rock country around Sedona, and the Grand Canyon, Arizona\’s wineries are a must-visit for wine lovers.
The wine scene in Arizona is relatively new, with most of the wineries established in the past two decades. But thanks to the sunny, dry climate, and rich soil, the state has become one of the most exciting wine regions in the US. The majority of the wineries are located in the northern part of the state, where the altitude and cooler temperatures are favorable for growing grapes.
The Grand Canyon State\’s wine industry produces more than 1 million cases of wine annually, with the most commonly grown grape varieties being Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. However, Arizona\’s topography and climate also allow for experimentation with lesser-known varieties that are not typically found in other US wine regions, such as Sangiovese and Malvasia Bianca.
One of the region\’s most notable wineries is Caduceus Cellars, located in Jerome, a historic copper-mining town outside Flagstaff. Founded by rock musician Maynard James Keenan, the winery specializes in Rhône-style blends and has won numerous accolades for its wines. Another must-visit is Page Springs Cellars, located in Cornville, just outside of Sedona. The winery sits on a picturesque plot of land alongside Oak Creek and produces an extensive range of wines, including some from lesser-known grapes like Grenache Gris.
Aside from the wineries themselves, one of the best ways to explore Arizona\’s wine country is through organized tours. Arizona Winery Tours offers guests a chance to visit several of the region\’s top wineries via tour bus. In addition to tastings and vineyard tours, the tours also include stops at local restaurants, where guests can sample some of the area\’s best food and wine pairings.
Flagstaff, nestled amidst the world\’s largest contiguous Ponderosa pine forest, is a hidden gem in Arizona\’s wine country. The high-altitude vineyards produce some of Arizona\’s best wines, and several wineries in the area have won prestigious awards. One such winery is the Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, owned by the former frontman of the heavy metal band Tool, Maynard James Keenan. The winery specializes in Rhône-style blends and has won numerous accolades for its wines.
The area around Flagstaff is also known for its artisanal food offerings. The Tinderbox Kitchen is a local favorite, serving up delicious small plates made from locally-sourced ingredients. The wine list is comprehensive, featuring an excellent selection of wines from local grape varietals.
Sedona is one of the most scenic wine regions in the US, with stunningly beautiful red rock formations providing the backdrop to the area\’s vineyards. The city\’s proximity to the Grand Canyon only adds to its allure. Some of the highlights of Sedona\’s wine scene include the Alcantara Vineyards, which offers stunning views of the Verde River valley, and the Page Springs Cellars, which sits on a picturesque plot of land alongside Oak Creek and produces an extensive range of wines, including some from lesser-known grape varieties like Grenache Gris.
Sedona is known for its health and wellness offerings, and many wineries in the area are attuned to this vibe. The ChocolaTree Organic Oasis has a wide selection of organic and biodynamic wines, along with a range of healthful elixirs, making it the perfect spot to unwind after a day of wine-tasting.
The Willcox wine region, located in southeastern Arizona, has a long history of wine-making, dating back to the late 1800s. Today, the region is emerging as one of the most exciting wine regions in Arizona, with over 40 vineyards and wineries. The area\’s warm days and cool nights, combined with the high elevation and volcanic soil, make it ideal for grape growing.
Some of the most notable wineries in the area include the Dos Cabezas Winery, which has won multiple awards for its innovative wines, and the Arizona Hops and Vines, which offers unique and creative wines like the \”No Girls Allowed,\” made entirely from male grape varietals.
The Verde Valley wine region, which includes the towns of Cottonwood, Jerome, and Clarkdale, is one of the largest and most diverse wine regions in Arizona. The area is home to some of the state\’s most picturesque vineyards, making it a prime destination for wine-lovers.
Several of the region\’s wineries are located in historic Jerome, a former copper-mining town. Wineries like Caduceus Cellars and Passion Cellars have put Jerome on the map as a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts. In addition to wine-tasting, visitors can also explore the town\’s fascinating history and architecture, with many buildings dating back to the late 1800s.
Arizona\’s wine industry may still be in its infancy, but it\’s already making a big impact on the American wine scene. With over 100 wineries and a wealth of grape varieties, the state is poised to become one of the hottest wine regions in the country. Whether you\’re a devout wine-lover or just looking to sample some of the state\’s best food and drink offerings, Arizona\’s wine country has something for everyone.