Phoenix Daytrip to Wine Country.
Looking for suggestions to do a daytrip out of Phoenix to wine country either down south to Elgin/Sonoita area or up to Prescott/Sedona area in a couple of weeks (Jan 28 or 29 probably).
Would like your recommendations on wineries to visit, places to eat there or along the way.
I have been to Elgin /Sonoita before; Dos Cabezas, Callaghan, etc.
Many thanks as always.
Since I'm such a big proponent of supporting local, and Arizona's burgeoning wine industry, I'm ashamed to say that I haven't toured any of the wineries yet, but hope to soon. One option, however, for wineries up north that I've looked into is Arizona Grape Escapes. I've met the friendly owner, and have heard a lot of positive feedback from people who have done it.
I also have to mention that one of my favorite restaurants (been to twice and planning a third visit in a couple of weeks) that recently opened to rave reviews is FnB. They're in Old Town Scottsdale/Southbridge waterfront, and feature an exclusive all-Arizona wine list. It would be a great spot to add to your itinerary.
If you've been to Sonoita/Elgin before you might want to try the northern Arizona trip. It's a little closer (about one and a half hours from Phoenix).
For a day-trip I would definitely recommend visiting the Page Springs area where there are three wineries right in a row: Page Springs Cellars, Oak Creek Vineyards and Javelina Leap Winery.
Page Springs Cellars offers many wines to taste and has a beautiful patio overlooking their vineyard. Eric Glomski, the winemaker, is very talented and makes many wines around the state, focusing on Rhone varietals and blends. He just won awards for his 2007 Landscape, 2008 ECIPS (spice spelled backward), 2007 El Serrano, 2007 Vino de la Familia and 2007 Vino del Barrio (reds) and 2008 Vino de Familia Blanca and 2008 Chardonnay (whites) from the Arizona Wine Growers Association 2009 Professional Taste Competition.
Rod Snapp of Javelina Leap won awards for his 2008 Petite Sirah and his 2008 Cab Franc. He's known for making bold red wines and grows only Zinfandel on the property.
Deb Wahl of Oak Creek Vineyards has a nice tasting room and has just released a new estate Syrah that's really nice.
If you have the time you can hit Alcantara in the Verde Valley where Barbara Predmore has built a beautiful Italian-themed vineyard. The tasting room is gorgeous with high ceilings, granite counters and it overlooks the vineyard. The property is at the confluence of the Oak Creek and Verde River. It's the largest vineyard in the Verde Valley and it's a treat to hear Barbara talk about wine and growing grapes - she is certainly passionate about it!
Unfortunately there's not a lot to choose from for food in the area as they are located in rural areas. You can get cheese platters from Oak Creek and Page Springs. I've only visited one time, but there is Page Springs Restaurant overlooking Oak Creek. It's VERY casual and I don't remember the food being overly good but I don't remember having a bad experience either.
If you're still in the Cottonwood area for dinner, I'd recommend PInon Bistro. It's a very small restaurant that is committed to quality and local ingredients. They don't have a website and are reservation-only but my experience there has been nothing short of fantastic!
1075 S State Route 260, Cottonwood, AZ 86326
Page Springs Restaurant
1975 N Page Springs Rd, Cornville, AZ 86325
Thanks for the info.
I'm thinking we'll put all the wineries up north on the list & just see how it goes. On the radar will be Page Springs Cellars, Oak Creek Vineyards, Javelina Leap (I love Zins), Alcantara Vineyards, Jerome Winery & Caduceus Cellars in Jerome.
Maybe make our way via Page Springs tasting rooms first, then to Alcantara & then back via Jerome.
Depending on the weather forecast, I'll stock up at The new Oakville Grocery in Scottsdale for a nice picnic. Otherwise, maybe we'll stop for lunch wherever we happen to be.
If anyone has additional recommendations or destinations I haven't considered, please chime in.
Page Springs is a must; it's a great little spot, and the wine is excellent. I wasn't impressed at all by Oak Creek, and Javalina Leap was only tasting one wine when we stopped, but they're just down the road from Page Springs, so the only thing you have to lose is a little time.
I'd definitely make a point to stop in at Alcantara...it's a bit out of the way, but well worth travelling the dirt road to get there.