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Favorite AZ wineries?

Hey AZ hounds,

We're going to be out in Tucson in a few weeks, and are hoping to visit a few of AZ's increasingly interesting wineries.

We're especially interested in spots within a few hours of Tucson (Callaghan in Elgin and Dos Cabezas in Sonoita are definitely on the list), but seeing as I haven't seen a thread on this anytime recently, I thought it might be useful to broaden the scope to the whole state. So:

What are your favorite AZ wines and wineries? Have you visited? If so, how was the experience? At the winery, were there any specific wines you particularly liked? Anything else people should know?

Thanks in advance, looking forward to the info!

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  1. I've found the tasting mat with handscribbled notes from a flight of four AZ wines I tried in 2010 in a PHX wine bar.

    Turns out, two you already know, Dos Cabezas and Callaghan. The other two, Arizona Stronghold and Pillsbury are in Cottonwood, AZ. I've not visited them so can't comment on the experience. I thought the white from Arizona Stronghold was very good. The pour of the Pillsbury rhone blend was from a bottle that had been opened two days earlier, so not its best foot forward. But apparently that's Pillsbury's strength.

    1. People seem to have a ton of fun at Hops and Vines near Tucson. They have wacky pairing likes chocolate and cheetos with the wine.

      1. Be sure to pay attention to days/hours open - they do vary.

        If you have the time, try a local restaurant too.

        1. I have been to the Cadeus tasting room in Sedona and had a blast. Owned by Maynard of Tool!

          1 Reply
          1. re: chewbacca

            Wait I just re-read this, and can't believe I said it was in Sedona; The Cadeus tasting room is in Jerome, AZ.

          2. Page Springs Cellars in Cornville on Oak Creek is pretty darned good.

            1. We like Lightning Ridge in Elgin. Hops and Vines isn't the best wines, but a very entertaining visit.

              1. Thanks everybody who replied so far (and please keep the suggestions coming!).

                For those of you who recommended specific wineries, I'd love to hear more details about what you liked. Was it the wine itself? The setting? The overall vibe? If if was the wine itself, do you remember the specific wine(s) you enjoyed?

                1. Sonoita Vineyards in Sonoita is one that my wife and I have gone back to multiple times. They are friendly and pair many of their wines with complementary (and complimentary) bites at a tasting.

                  Top 3 wines at Sonoita Vineyards for me: Angel Wings, Sparkles Peach, and Arizona Sunset

                  1. Thanks everybody for all the great input (I hope people continue to add to this for posterity too...)

                    Unfortunately our schedule was a little tighter than we'd hoped, so we weren't able to get out and visit any of the wineries, but we'll definitely be back.

                    We did get a chance to try a bottle of Dos Cabezas El Norte at Proper in Tucson. Basically a Rhone red (mostly Grenache and Syrah), it was ok but not especially impressive. Ran hot, didn't seem to have much in the way of structure, relatively low on tannins. But hey, gotta start somewhere.