It’s time to plan a trip to Arizona Wine Country. There are fantastic wineries as well as so much to see in rural Arizona. Get your car serviced, pack your camping gear or suitcase, load up on your favorite snacks, and point your car, motorhome, camper, or motorcycle to discover the amazing Arizona wine regions. Maybe plan a weekend this summer to visit a different one each month.
First stop might be a visit to Southeastern Arizona Wine Country where LDV Winery is located. Most Arizona wine grapes are grown in this region. You can taste award-winning Arizona wine at vineyards or tasting rooms in Historic Downtown Willcox. Check event calendars because the area hosts wine and lavender festivals as well as world-class birding.
Cochise County has a long, rich history of cowboys, Indians, and agriculture. From “You-Pick” farms like Apple Annie’s to hiking in the Chiricahua Mountains, this region has much to do. It is the “Land of Legends” because of people like Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Johnny Ringo, and others from the Clanton gang that traveled these parts. In fact, you can visit Johnny Ringo’s grave where he died under a tree up the mountain near LDV vineyard. The Chiricahua National Monument is just 15 miles from LDV Winery and can’t be missed. Plan a hike or picnic while visiting the monument.
On the way to southern Arizona, plan a visit to Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson (about an hour from LDV) to tour the amazing cave formed over millions of years with spectacular stalagmites. And it is still forming and changing. Further along your trip as you drive through Texas Canyon with its unique boulders and rock formations, visit the Amerind Museum (40 minutes from LDV) to see exhibits that tell the story of America’s first peoples from Alaska to South America and from the last Ice Age to the present. The Amerind Foundation was founded in 1937 by William Shirley Fulton (1880-1964) as a private, non-profit archaeological research institution.
The oldest Arizona wine region is the Sonoita/Elgin area. This region is about an hour from Tucson and has dozens of tasting rooms at vineyards. It has cooler summer temperatures because the historic ranching area is at an altitude ranging from 4500 to 5000 feet. The area is also home to distilleries that are producing award-winning spirits. In addition to wine tasting, visit the Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve where over 200 species of birds have been spotted. Or enjoy a picnic after an easy hike at the Patagonia Lake State Park.
The closest wine region to the Greater Phoenix area is the Verde Valley Wine Region (about 1.5 hours) in central Arizona. It is a perfect weekend trip to escape the Valley summer heat and enjoy a variety of activities in Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome, Camp Verde, Cornville, and Sedona. You can taste wine at vineyards in the Cornville/Page Springs area or visit dozens of tasting rooms in Cottonwood, Clarkdale, and Jerome. The area has great restaurants, lodging, and unique activities like water to wine kayaking along a scenic stretch of the Verde River. Taste the award-winning wines produced by students at the Southwest Wine Center in Clarkdale. It provides a hands-on approach for students to learn viticulture, enology, and the business side of wine. Stroll the winding, hilly streets of historic Jerome or visit the Arizona Copper Art Museum and Tuzigoot National Monument in Clarkdale. The monument includes a 1000-year-old 2 to 3 story pueblo that provides a glimpse of prehistoric life in Central Arizona. Also in Clarkdale, catch a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad, where you enjoy 20 miles of unmatched scenic beauty through 110 years of history.
Many of the vineyards as well as LDV Winery are members of Harvest Host if you would like to stay on property amongst the vines. Plan your summer vacation today and explore Arizona Wine Country.