Arizona's Wine Country

Situated in the mile-high rolling grasslands of Southeastern Arizona, surrounded by the Huachuca, Whetstone, and Santa Rita Mountains, is a virtually undiscovered wine-growing region with soil so rich, it rivals that of Burgundy, France. The rows of vineyards that produce award winning red, white, and blush wines interrupt the oak glades and yucca patches native to the area, creating breathtaking views that make this a one-of-a kind wine tasting experience.

Dos Cabezas WineWorks

Originally started by Al Buhl, the growing operation is now in the capable hands of winemaker Todd Bostock, who has recently opened a tasting room in Sonoita where wine lovers can taste everything poured on that particular day for $5, or $2.50 when you bring in a glass from another area vineyard. In 2006, their vigonier won the Governor’s Cup for Best White in Arizona and in 2004, their pinot gris was the wine of choice at a White House event honoring Sandra Day O’Connor.

Rancho Rossa VineyardsRancho Rossa Vineyards

Though they only started planting vines in 2003, Rancho Rossa is one of the largest vineyards in the Sonoita area with over 17 acres planted in award winning red and white varietal vines. One of the largest family-owned wineries in the Sonoita area, Rancho Rossa Vineyards offers wine tastings Friday through Sunday for $3 and includes a souvenir crystal glass. In 2004, Rancho Rossa's Syrah won the Governors Choice Award for Best Red Wine in the state of Arizona.

Callaghan Barrels

Callaghan Vineyards

As Arizona’s most well-known and respected vineyard, Callaghan leads the way with its wines aged in French oak. The production of high quality wine has always been the primary goal at Callaghan Vineyards. Vineyard yields are intentionally kept low to promote depth of flavor and intensity in the resulting wines. Keep the glass at this vineyard’s $3 tastings, which happen each weekend, Friday through Sunday, from 11 A.M. to 3 P.M.

Village of Elgin VineyardsVillage of Elgin Vineyards

Enjoy the beautiful views of Village of Elgin vineyards, set against the rolling grass hills and white oaks of the Sonoita apellation. Tour La Capilla de Santa Maria, the on-site chapel, stroll around the beautiful grounds, and tour the facility to see the bottling process. Open daily, guests can sample up to four of the more than 15 wines offered at this tasting room for just a buck, or pay another $2 and keep the crystal glass.

Sonoita Vineyards Purple Grapes

Dr. Gordon Dutt, a retired soil scientist, began planting experimental wine grapes in 1973. In 1979, he expanded to create the first commericial vineyard in Arizona, followed by a winery in 1983. Today, Sonoita Vineyards offers 5,000 square feet of tasting and special event facilities, catered lunches, and group tasting events while producing award winning red, white, and blush wines.  In the Vintage Room, groups of 10 or more can reserve a catered lunch or picnic facilities are also available at this location.

Horseback RidingWine Tasting Horseback Ride

Take a three hour trail ride to the Sonoita Winery and ride through the scenic grasslands and rolling hills of southern Arizona. Taste a variety of different world class estate wines at Arizona's largest winery and enjoy lunch with a spectacular view of the Mustang Mountains. This ride includes one complimentary bottle of wine of your choosing from the tasting table, souvenier wine glass, and lunch. Riders will be transported back to the starting point by car. Please contact the Arizona Horseback Experience at 520.455.5696 or ride@horsebackexperience.com

 

Trip Itinerary

  • Located off Highway 82 near Sierra Vista:

    • Recently relocated from Willcox, Dos Cabezas WineWorks adds another mature vintner to the region. Located just east of the Sonoita Crossroads, make this your first stop on your vineyard tour.
    • Rancho Rossa Vineyards is one of the largest, family owned wineries in the Sonoita area. There are 17 acres of estate plantings, 12.5 acres of red varieties and 4.5 of white varieties, and you drive right through part of the vineyard on your way to the tasting room. What could be better?
    • A decade or so ago, Kent Callaghan planted rows of grapes in the red soils just off Elgin Road in Sonoita. Ever since, Callaghan Vineyards has established a reputation for producing outstanding wines. Robert Parker, editor of The Wine Advocate, has recommended over 20 Callaghan wines in the last ten years. Come decide for yourself!
    • The Village of Elgin Winery makes a variety of unique wines for all tastes and palettes, from hand crafted reds, to nicely balanced white table wines. One of the more interesting wines is Tombstone Red, named after the nearby town that Wyatt Earp made famous at the O.K. Corral. Gary Reeves, the village Wine-Master can be found manning the tasting room, which is open daily for tasting and tours.
    • Sonoita Vineyards is home to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Mission grapes. Stop here for a picnic on their balcony overlooking the beautiful vineyard, or reserve a luxurious catered lunch for a group of people in their Vintage Room. Please contact the winery for reservations prior to your tour.
    • Reserving a horseback tour through the Sonoita Wine Region is a great way to spend a day with a group of friends. On the 3 hour trail ride, you will see the amazing beauty of the region as well as spectacular views from all angles, then spend the afternoon tasting award-winning wine at the Sonoita Winery and take a complimentary bottle of your favorite home with you! Please call ahead to reserve this group tour.

    Winery Contact Information

    Map of the Wineries of Elgin/Sonoita

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  • Sierra Vista to Elgin: 26 miles

For Group Travel Information Contact:

www.visitsierravista.com