There’s more to Arizona than just desert and refreshing margaritas. The state is booming right now! There are more than seven million residents in Arizona, and its population and economic development is continuing to grow. You know what that means? Wine, lots and lots of wine. There is a large, local market for wine in the Grand Canyon State. Now, people can sip local wines from Arizona as the wine industry here is beginning to thrive like the rest of the state.
It might surprise a lot of you to know that Arizona has an ideal climate for growing grapes. Given the state’s variations in elevation, there are a variety of different climates. In other words, it’s not ALL desert. According to the Arizona Wine Growers Association, “In the lower elevations of Arizona, the climate is primarily desert, with mild winters and extremely hot summers. The northern third of Arizona and other mountainous areas at significantly higher altitudes than the lower desert have an appreciably cooler climate, with cold winters and mild summers. Somewhere in between these two extremes, pioneering wine growers have found a home for Arizona Wine.”
This combined with the Diurnal Effect (the extreme swing in temperature from day to night), dry weather (the monsoon season provides the needed moisture) and high-altitude produces distinctive grapes that are bold and savory. On a side note, as we’ve mentioned in other guides and posts, wine regions thrive between 30-50 degrees of the equator – both north and south. Arizona sits close to the 40 degree mark.