Our Arizona Wine Travel Guide shares a brief history of the state’s wine country, terroir, where to sip, where to stay and things to do beyond the vines.
There’s more to Arizona than desert and cacti, the state is ushering in a new era of viticulture. With three prominent wine regions in the state, Arizona is an exciting – and budding – region to sip in.
Arizona has three official American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) – wine growing regions. (The Verde Valley was approved in Nov. 2021.)
Wine regions thrive between 30-50 degrees of latitude of the equator. Arizona sits close to the 40 degree mark. Making it an ideal wine growing region. PERFECTION!!
WHERE IS AZ WINE COUNTRY?
Arizona’s wine regions are near major cites making for an easy wine country getaway. An hour from Tucson you can sip in the Sonoita AVA or head an hour east to the Willcox AVA. The Verde Valley is just north of Phoenix, about a two-hour drive and sits in the ever-growing popular escape of Sedona.
BEST TIMES TO VISIT
The Spring and the Fall are ideal times to visit the Arizona wine country. However, keep in mind that Tucson and Sedona sit at higher elevations, making them great summer escapes since the temperatures are cooler than other areas in Arizona.
TOP GRAPE VARIETIES
Arizona is one of the oldest wine producing regions in the United States.
Arizona has a rich wine history dating to the 16th century when Spanish Jesuit priests began producing wine for religious sacramental ceremonies. Its industry – like all states in the U.S. – was halted in 1920 due to National Prohibition. Today, there are currently more than 110 Arizona wineries, vineyards and cellars throughout the state.
WHERE TO SIP
AZ wine tasting rooms have been a opening all over Scottsdale and Tucson, creating Urban Wine Trails. But sipping among the vines is still the ultimate wine country experience. With 110 Arizona wineries to explore, the challenge becomes narrowing it down.
BEYOND THE VINES
You will miss out on a lot of things to do in Arizona wine country if you don’t go beyond the vines. The Arizona wine regions are home to so many fun activities, especially given the close proximity to major destinations such as Phoenix, Tuscon, and Sedona.