Sipping Through Cottonwood, Az: A Guide To The Area\’s Best Wine Tasting
When it comes to wine tasting, Arizona may not be the first state that comes to mind for wine enthusiasts. However, nestled in the historic town of Cottonwood, Arizona, lies a hidden gem
When it comes to wine tasting, Arizona may not be the first state that comes to mind for wine enthusiasts. However, nestled in the historic town of Cottonwood, Arizona, lies a hidden gem of wine tasting experiences that will delight both amateur and expert palates.
Cottonwood boasts more than ten tasting rooms, each with its own unique style and selection of wines. Many of these rooms are located on Main Street, making it easy to stroll from one location to the next. Visitors can also choose to embark on a guided tour via shuttle, bike, or even hot air balloon.
One of the top tasting rooms in the area is Burning Tree Cellars. They specialize in small-batch, handmade wines, primarily sourced from New Mexico and Arizona vineyards. Their tasting room features a cozy atmosphere with an outdoor patio and fire pit for cooler evenings. A must-try is their Malvasia Bianca, a light white wine with notes of honey and citrus.
If you\’re looking for a more immersive experience, check out Chateau Tumbleweed. This winery offers tours and tastings in a beautiful vineyard setting with stunning views of the region. They focus on producing unique blends and varietals, such as their Mourvedre-based \”The Cimarron\” and their \”Dr. Nina\” white blend featuring Pinot Gris and Viognier.
Novices and experts alike will appreciate the education and experimentation offered at Pillsbury Wine Company. Their knowledgeable staff leads visitors through a tasting of their wines, all while providing insights into the winemaking process. One standout is their Diva wine, a blend of Petite Sirah and Grenache, with aromas of black cherry and vanilla.
For those seeking something outside the box, head to Arizona Stronghold Vineyards. They offer a wine-infused grilled cheese sandwich, aptly named \”The Drunken Bird,\” and a cheese and charcuterie board with unique pairings such as tamarind chutney and bacon jam. Sip on their \”Nachise,\” a Cabernet Sauvignon-based red blend, while enjoying the tasty bites.
No matter which tasting room(s) you choose, you\’ll be sure to get a taste of Arizona\’s unique terroir. Many of the wineries in the area focus on sustainable and organic practices, using the high desert soil to produce wines with distinct character and complexity.
With almost year-round sunshine and mild temperatures, Cottonwood offers a relaxing and enjoyable wine tasting experience. So, pack your bags, grab some friends, and head to Cottonwood, Arizona for a sip of something special.
The History of Wine in Arizona
Many people are surprised to learn that Arizona has a rich and storied history of winemaking dating back to the Spanish missionaries in the 16th century. The first vineyard in the state was planted by Franciscan missionaries near Tucson in the early 1700s. In the late 1800s, a group of pioneers started planting vineyards in southeastern Arizona, where the climate was ideal for growing grapes. However, the advent of Prohibition in 1920 put an end to Arizona\’s wine industry, until recent years.
Today, Arizona is one of the fastest-growing wine regions in the country, with over 100 wineries and tasting rooms statewide. The unique weather patterns and geography in the state create an ideal environment for producing high-quality, distinctive wines.
One of the pioneers in the modern Arizona wine industry is Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer of Tool and A Perfect Circle. Keenan founded Caduceus Cellars in Jerome, Arizona, in 2004, focusing on small-batch, artisanal wines. Since then, his success has inspired a new generation of winemakers to explore the possibilities of Arizona\’s unique terroir.
Tasting Tips for Wine Enthusiasts
When embarking on a wine tasting adventure, there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure an enjoyable experience:
- Start with lighter wines and progress to heavier ones to avoid overwhelming your palate early on.
- Take small sips and swirl the wine around in your mouth to fully experience the flavors and aromas.
- Use the provided dump bucket to discard wine if you don\’t care for a particular variety.
- Don\’t be afraid to ask the staff questions about the wines, vineyards, and winemaking process – they are there to educate and assist you.
- Consider purchasing a bottle or two of your favorite wines to take home and savor later.
The Future of Arizona Wine
The Arizona wine industry shows no signs of slowing down, with new wineries and tasting rooms popping up each year. In addition, the state is gaining recognition on a national level, recently being named one of Wine Enthusiast\’s \”10 Best Wine Travel Destinations.\”
One challenge facing the industry is the limited availability of land and water in the state. These factors make it difficult for wineries to expand or plant larger vineyards. However, many wineries are embracing sustainable and organic practices to ensure long-term viability and reduce their environmental impact.
Food Pairings for Arizona Wines
When it comes to pairing food with Arizona wines, there are plenty of unique and delicious options to explore. Some recommended pairings include:
- Malvasia Bianca with grilled shrimp, mango salsa, and avocado
- Chardonnay with roasted chicken and root vegetables
- Syrah with grilled lamb chops and garlic mashed potatoes
- Cabernet Sauvignon with filet mignon and blue cheese butter
- Zinfandel with barbecue pulled pork and cole slaw