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Let’s be honest, you probably don’t think Arizona when you think about wine.
It may be to your surprise, but today there are a number of great wines that are being produced in the state of Arizona.
Yes, even in the desert you can still get delicious wines.
Table of Contents
Arizona’s Best Wines:
Aguileon is one of the signature blends from the Dos Cabeza Winery. The grapes that are used are grown in Willcox. Willcox is one of the viticulture regions that is in southeast Arizona. This is the region where most of the wine grapes are grown. This wine is award-winning. The 2015 vintage has been hailed as being one of the best bottles that you can find. This vintage was curated with Graciano grapes and Tempranillo grapes. These are grapes that are primarily grown in the warmer regions of Spain. The blend was created by rounding these grapes out with Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Franc.
The Trademarked 2017 Chardonnay from Burning Tree Cellars is the best white wine that you will find in Arizona. This white wine did have a tie (which you will read about next) when they were choosing the best wines at recent wine competitions. This is a white that is perfect to enjoy with meals or when you just need to relax.
The Rolling View Vineyard’s Bodega Pierce Malvasia Bianca is a delicious white that tied with the previously mentioned wine for first place in a recent contest of Arizona wines. It has been touted as tasting like a dry muscat. This wine has a very full body and a higher level of acidity. It is a delicious wine that fades with a soapy finish. You will not be disappointed if you are looking for a good white and pick up a bottle of Bodega Pierce.
Notes of lemon-lime and apple form the opening salvo, along with tropical fruit such as starfuit, pineapple and banana. As the wine opens up, these notes begin intermingling with flint, chamomile, and white tea, and the slightest hint of gardenia and lavender.
The Colibri Rose from Burning Tree Cellar and was the award-winning best rose. In addition to this, it has won additional awards and has been noted as one of the best roses that you can find. While many might not think that a rose from Arizona is a great wine, there are many who will disagree with you as it is known as one of the best wines. It is a rose that you are not going to be disappointed with.
Arizona’s Top Wineries
One of the most exciting things that you can do is visit Arizona’s wine scene. There are a number of areas in which you can visit. The Verde Valley is known as an artsy area and is located just a few miles north of Phoenix. Sonoita/Elgin and Wilcox are other regions that are closer to Tucson.
There are a lot of amazing wines being produced at these wineries. While the varieties will be familiar with you, the character is going to be unique and special. There is a new wine movement happening in Arizona and you are sure to love it if you give it a chance.
Verde Valley Wine Trail
The Verde Valley Wine Trail is an area where you can visit a number of different wineries in a short period of time. The best part is that you can go online and see all of the details for the wineries, their tasting rooms, what type of restaurants are in the area, and any wine-related attractions in the area. Here we will share out top choices:
Chateau Tumbleweed is a special small winery that delivers big taste. Their wines are all made in small batches. One of the best choices that we cannot get enough of is the 2013 Dr Ron Bot. This syrah blend is a delicious wine that leaves you with a nice spiciness that you are not always going to be able to find at a small winery.
Page Springs Cellars
Page Springs Cellars has a special advantage to creating a wine with winemaker Eric Glomski calling this winery home. This winery is located on the banks of the beautiful Oak Creek. There you can try some of the amazing Rhone-centric wines. There are a number of additional opportunities that make it possible to have an amazing day at Page Springs Cellars. There are yoga classes and massages that you can book prior to your arrival or see about the availability of when you arrive.
Did you know that Maynard James Keenan became a winemaker? The alt-rock legend formerly of A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, and Tool became a winemaker and has become the top of the Arizona wine industry. If you love historic buildings than you will certainly love the 1901 hotel that the tasting room is housed in. One of our favourites is the 2013 Caduceus Nagual del Marzo which is a Sangiovese blend that leans towards an Italian wine. This is one of the best grapes that grow in Arizona. If you are a fan, you will appreciate the 2013 Kitsune which is a 100% Sangiovese wine. Keenan has signed all of the bottles of these!
Four Eight Wineworks
There are many great wines from the up-and-coming winemaker at Four Eight Wineworks. This winery was also founded by Maynard James Keenan. This winery is also located in a historic building, it is within the Clarkdale Bank Building. The tasting room is perfect to relax in. They have comfortable leather chairs. If you are looking for a relaxing wine, we recommend Kindred.
Sonoita and Elgin
This is another one of the most popular wine regions in Arizona. It is a great region and you are sure to love the wine that you pick up that was produced there.
Callaghan Vineyards is the first winery that helped to get Arizona wines on the map. The owner Kent Callaghan has perfected the art of growing grapes that are typically native to Spain in his Buena Suerte Vineyard. The two types of grapes that he has done the best with are Tempranillos and Grenaches. They have a beautiful stuccoed tasting room that is one of the most beautiful places to sit and enjoy a good bottle of vino.
Vineyard Café Sonoita
The Vineyard Café Sonoita is one of the best places to go if you want a chef-created meal and delicious wines and beers that are native to Arizona. Chef Jon Bollin was trained at the Culinary Institute of America and is utilizing this training to be able to use the ingredients that he grew up with to make meals that are being praised for their creativity and bold flavours.
Arizona Hops and Vines
One of the best things about Arizona Hops and Vines is that it has all of the serious wines. The other great thing is that it is owned by two women who love to be creative with their winemaking. One of the things that they love to do is to serve the Moscato with Cheetos. They love to give their wines fun names, one of which was Drag Queen which is a hopped wine.
One of the most exciting wineries is Rune. This is a one of a kind winery, where James Callahan uses his wisdom from being cellars around the world. His favourite is the Wild Syrah which has a number of native and unique flavours. It uses wild yeast, grassland vistas, and a unique off the grid tasting space.
One of the most exciting ways to taste wine is at Downtown Sampler. This exciting winery is located in Willcox’s historic centre. The 1917 bank was transformed to bring together different tasting rooms that are all together.
Three-quarters of Arizona’s grapes are grown in the Wilcox Bench area. The area is described as a high desert rise south of town. There are three tasting rooms that are welcoming to visitors. They have 20 different varieties of grapes. The winemaker is Michael Pierce who works as the director of Yavapai College which is the home to Arizona’s Southwest wine centre. The Viognier is bright and pithy and is made under the Viognier label.
The region has long-running farming roots. The Golden Rule Vineyard is located at the edge of the Sulphur Springs Valley. Along with grapes, they are actually growing pistachios. The vineyard is owned by the Graham family. One of the best bottles that they curate is the 2013 Black Diamond. This cabernet-based wine is a top choice for cab lovers.
If you are looking for something to do on a boring day, it is a great idea to visit one of Arizona’s wineries so that you can enjoy delicious wines.
5 Most Important Things You Need to Know About Wine
Wine is not an easy topic to tackle or understand. There is a lot that you should know about the history, culture, agriculture, geology, and genetics. The best way that you can learn this is by taking a few minutes and learning about some basic wine facts.
Throughout history, most wines have been identified by their regions. Today this is not possible as the regions are blurred. This means that we have to develop new ways of fully understanding wines. Here are some of those things that you should know about.
The Most Popular Wine Regions
One of the most important things that you should learn about wines is what are the important regions. The top three wine-producing countries are France, Italy, and Spain. The reason for this is that the majority of the world’s wines are produced in these three countries. In addition, they produce the most varieties of grapes which means that you get the most varieties of wine.
Knowing How to Ask for the Wine You Like is the Biggest Battle
The biggest mistake that wine drinkers make is that they do not know how to describe and tell someone what they like. If you have tried certain varieties that you like it is a good place to start. You should be able to tell them regions where your favourite wines come from. Varieties that you like and whether you like a wine that is sweet, semi-dry, or dry. You might also want to describe the tartness that you are happy with.
Enjoy Drinking Wine Socially
One of the most enjoyable things about wine is that it something that you will be able to consume socially. When you are learning about wine, be sure to pay attention to etiquette lessons and to make sure that you are relaxed. You want to come across as cool and collected and as someone who knows something about wine. If you have additional questions you can always ask the server or even take some time to go to wineries and talk to winemakers to gain a better understanding.
Understanding That Wine is Going to Taste Different Each Year
So many new wine drinkers will fall in love with wine and then wonder why they no longer enjoy the wine the following year. Most wine, about 90%, is meant to be consumed within the year that it is produced. There is a small percentage of wine, around 10%, that is meant to age. There are things that make wine worthy of being aged. This is through acidity, low alcohol, tannin, and residual sugar.
Make Drinking Wine an Adventure
One of the things that you can enjoy with wine is the adventure of finding new choices. You can actually try a wide variety of different wines to have an adventure. You can visit many different wineries, go on vineyard tours, or even look for restaurants that pair innovative cuisine with the finest Arizona wines.
Basic Facts About Wine That You Should Know
We wanted to give you some of the basic facts about wine in order to help you feel like you are a wine expert, even if you really do not know anything about wine. Many people do not realize that wine is one of the oldest beverages and has been drunk by people for centuries.
It is one of the few things that people around the world can enjoy. If you do not know anything about wine, the entire culture of wine tasting, winemaking, and wine drinking can feel very intimidating. We are going to help you to feel more confident about wine by offering you all of the tips that you are going to need to feel like an expert.
Facts About Wine Color That Everyone Should Know
- Most of the time the color of the wine is dependent upon the grapes that are used. Blue and purple grapes are used to make red wines. Green grapes are used to make white wine.
- White wines are only made with the juice of the grapes, not the skins. However, red wines are made including both the skins and the juice in the fermenting process. This allows for a bolder flavor and color.
- There is actually research that proves that white wine can help you to have healthier lung tissue.
- If you are serving red wine. It has to be in glasses that have a larger bowl. This is to help with bold aromas and flavors that you get when mixing the oxygen into the wine from the air around it.
- Most white wines have a lighter flavor. They are often described as being more crip and having a citrusy flavor when compared to red wines.
- There are many different colors of wine and all wines are not just red or white. Wines can be orange, pink, or even golden in color.
Facts About Wine Taste That Everyone Should Know
- When you drink wine, learn how to take the right wine notes. Be sure to ask yourself these questions and any others that you can think of. Was the wine too sweet? Did the wine have too much alcohol? Did you find the wine to be too acidic?
- Wine tasting has quite a few stages. The first of these is that you want to take the time to look at the wine. With your eyes, you can see the viscosity and color. This can help you to determine how the wine might taste. If you are drinking a red, you should swirl the glass quickly and hold it up to the light. The bolder wines are going to have legs that will stream down the side of the glass.
- There are winemakers that will claim that wines are going to taste a specific way. For instance, some say that they have dirt flavors, blueberry flavors, or even citrus flavors. The fact remains that these wines are not actually flavored. Instead, the grapes are processed in a way to make the unique flavors come out. If you find a wine that is infused with other fruits, then you are getting a wine that has actually had some additional fruit juices added.
- When you swallow the wine, you need to note the aftertaste. This is most likely going to taste different than it did when you were actually drinking the wine.
- There is a second stage of wine that you should know about as the previously mentioned first stage. This stage is called in glass and it is where you get to take note of the aroma that your wine haws. When you are smelling your wine, we have one big tip for you. You need to dip your nose deep into the glass. This is how you are going to be able to pick up nuances that are more complex.
- Next, you should know how to taste. The best thing that you should do is to take a small sip of wine into your mouth. This allows you to get a good taste. You should never chug or glug your wine. If you want to do this, you can but be patient so that you are ready for it. The next thing that you should do is roll the wine around inside of your mouth. This way you can hit the different areas of your tongue and note the different flavors. One of the best things to do after this is to close your lips and purse your lips. This is going to allow the wine to spread across your palate and is a nice way to inhale and add some air to the wine. You will be able to spread the more complex flavors throughout your nose and sinuses.
Facts About Wine Pairings That Everyone Should Know
- One of the best things about wine is how it compliments the food. There are different types of wine that you can easily pair with different types of food. The most basic combinations are: white wine should be paired with poultry, vegetables, and fish; and red wine should be paired with red meat.
- When serving red and white wines you need to make sure that you are using the appropriate glasses if you want to pair them with food. Red wine is supposed to be served in glasses that are wider. This helps to support the oxidation process. This helps to support flavor subtly. White wine is supposed to be served in glasses that are taller and not as rounded.
- If you want to drink sparkling wine, you will want to pair it with dessert. Sweet foods pair well with sparkling wine.
- If you drink a dessert wine, you will want to pair it with dessert as well. Sweet foods pair well with sweet wines.
- If you want to follow the standards of fine dining, you should make sure that you serve courses that will pair well with lighter wines at the beginning. A Sauvignon Blanc is a great beginning wine. You should move your way through to heavier wines with each course. This means that you will end your meal with a heavier wine like a Sangiovese.
- A good thing to consider is looking at the wine bottle. Some wineries actually print out food pairings on their labels to help consumers.
- When you are serving wine there is another rule that you should follow. The first wines that you serve should be whites and you should move to reds. In addition to this, you need to make sure that you serve younger wines before older wines. Finally, dry wines should be drunk before you move on to sweet wines.
- Another thing that you should note is that you want wines to be at the right temperature. If you are serving a white wine, it should be served at 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Red wines should be served at 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to do this is to put a bottle of red wine into the refrigerator for twenty minutes before you decide to open it. With a bottle of white wine, you need to put the wine in the refrigerator overnight and then remove it 20 minutes before serving.
These tips are simple and something that will allow you to serve the wine in the best way possible. You will find that you will be able to describe, enjoy, and even start sharing wine with others. There is no shortage of knowledge that you will have as you learn to grow within the wine world.
The Arizona wine country is located close to Tucson. In fact, the best areas to see Arizona wine country are around an hour’s drive from the city. The best areas to visit are Sonoita and Elgin. The drive is beautiful, and you can enjoy the rolling countryside that is in between.
Most people do not realize that there are a lot of wineries in Arizona. Today there are actually more than one hundred and ten vineyards, wineries, and cellars throughout Arizona. There are even locations for enjoying wine in some of the major cities like Phoenix and Tucson.
Most people do not realize that grapevines need to have at least half of a day of direct sunlight to grow well and produce. In the Phoenix area, the oven-like heat of the summer afternoon is the right time for the grapes to grow. The only thing that you need to be aware of is that the grapes need adequate water. The best thing about European grapes is that they can withstand low temperatures without frost damage. This means that the cold Phoenix nights are not a problem.
1. There are some things that you have to be able to do if you want to grow grapes in Arizona.
2. Break up the soil and make sure that it is tilled enough that it will be easy to plant.
Plant the grapes in a full sun location that has been well-drained. (You can test the draining by digging a hole that is 18 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Fill the hole with water and then watch it drain. Then fill the hole a second time with water and let it drain from the hole. See how long it takes before the water is gone. If the water is gone within 48 hours then the soil will be perfect for growing grapes.)
3. All grapes should be planted in soil that has been unamended. Basically, this means that you just dig a hole that is large enough for the roots, and you remove caliche and stones from the hole. Simply loosen the soil, plant the roots, and fill in around the roots.
Grapevines are deciduous plants. They are wood perennial plants. They have an annual cycle that is similar to that of other deciduous plants.
Many people do not realize that grapes produce the most fruit when they are growing on shoots that are a part of one-year-old canes. What this means is that if you have too many canes that are old and you do not prune, you are going to yield fewer grapes. If your goal is to produce a high yield of grapes you will have to take some steps to achieve that. You need to prune your vines each and every year. If you do this and protect the vines properly in the winter, you are going to have a great yield of grapes each year.
While Arizona wines might not be the first choice that you think about, they are one of the top wine markets in the United States today. They are rapidly rising in both popularity and quality and are competitive in flavor with the European wines from where their grapes originate.
There is a wide range of different types of wines, many delicious bottles, and a wide variety of wineries for you to enjoy. The tasting rooms also offer the beauty of Arizona with a unique perspective for wine enjoyment, and the vineyards are beautiful and have high-quality grapes to sample and enjoy.
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