Wine-making history in Arizona dates back to the 16th century. Spanish Jesuit priest planted grapevines for use in Christian ceremonies. Since then, this industry expanded into what it is now.
A majority of the vineyards in this state are located in the south near Tucson. Arizona has long been recognized for its long-standing success in the industry. Growers found a way to raise grapes as well as other fruits in spite of the hot climate.
The state has countless vineyards, but only a handful of them stand out from among the rest. This does not mean that the lesser-known ones do not measure up to this area’s standards. It’s more of a matter of what most people would recommend today.
Five of the best vineyards are listed below:
- Sonoita – This vineyard is known for its vast selection of beverages. It produces crisp and fruity selections as well as bold and complex wines. Their newest products include MeCaSa, Sangiovese Reserva and Angel wings. Arizona Sunset also remains very popular now. Sonoita is in Elgin, Arizona.
- Page Springs – Eric Glomski founded this one. Glomski taught himself using fruit he acquired from abandoned homesteads. Over the years, he perfected beverages made from apples, pears, peaches and quince. This vineyard still thrives today for its uniqueness in flavors and serves the Cornville location in Verde Valley.
- Caduceus Cellars – This one is also located in Verde Valley and Maynard James Keenan owns it. People might remember it by its limited edition Prier Paso that sold out in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The same is true of the Nagual de la Naga offered in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Other notable beverage produced include the Markin Vineyards Chupacabra and Merkin Vineyards Shinola. In 2007, both the Nagual del Judith and Sancha reigned among connoisseurs.
- Su Vino Winery – This one is located in the Scottsdale Art District downtown. They won 40 awards and offer customers the chance to have wine made especially for them – to suit their personal taste. They have a very inviting tasting room that fits large groups of people. Corporate gatherings, team building events and customer appreciation parties all take place here. They also host birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers and more. They have a down-to-earth approach to encouraging people to experience new wines.
- Kokopelli Valley – The largest winery in Arizona, it first started planting grapes in 1991. It sits on a land about 20 miles from Willcox in Chandler. In 1994, this company had its first harvest and opened in 1995. Don and Carol Michella received recognition for finding a way to grow grapes in spite of the heat. They won several regional awards in competitions and feature a variety of Cabernet, Merlo, Pinot products, plus they own several others such as Syrah Viognier, Zinfandel and Sauvignon.
Vineyards in Arizona can provide a romantic setting for couples as well as fun for larger groups. It has become part of this state’s culture, and continues to remain an important pastime. People now arrive from miles away to experience unique, regional flavors.
They also learn how to combine the right beverages with the right food to enhance the taste of the entire meal. Wines offered by vineyard in Arizona often appear in fine restaurants and respectable grocery stores.