PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)--Today, Arizona is home to more than 80 licensed wineries, which have been poured everywhere from the James Beard House to the White House.
Located in southeastern Arizona, Sonoita and its neighbor Elgin were put on the national wine map thanks to Callaghan Vineyards and Dos Cabezas Wine Works.
Winegrowers in Southern Arizona are having particular success with the graciano varietal, which produces a purple wine packed with blackberry flavor.
In addition to picturesque vineyards and tasting rooms, its easy to make a weekend out of a visit to the Sonoita area, from horseback riding to antiquing.
You can also plan your visit to coincide with one of the area’s festivals throughout the year, like the upcoming winemaker and chili cook-off at Kief-Joshua Vineyards in April.
In Verde Valley, which is located south of Sedona, tasting rooms are scattered about Jerome, Cottonwood, Cornville and Clarksdale.
One grape to spotlight from this region is the tannat, which produces wines that are tannic and intense, marked by dark fruit flavors.
In addition to tasting rooms like Chateau Tumbleweed and D.A. Ranch, you can also spend time at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Raku Gallery in Jerome, and Up the Creek Bistro & WineBar in Cornville, which started as a 1956 store and gas station.
This sleepy outpost might be know for its brushes with Old West historical figures like Rex Allen and Geronimo, but today it’s home to 20 Arizona wineries that grow about 75 percent of Arizona’s grapes.
In May in October, the small town buzzes with oenophiles (EN-oh-files) at the Willcox Wine Country Festival, which features 18 wineries, arts and crafts, live music and several foodvenues.
While you’re there, be sure to pay a visit to the Rex Allen Museum and pick up homemade tortilla chips and salsa at La Unica in downtown Willcox.
To read AAA’s full guide to Arizona wine country, keep an eye out for the upcoming issue of Via Magazine. In the meantime, visit ViaMagazine.com for more travel inspiration. And don’t forget to share your travel adventures with us on social media using #ViaAdventure.