Tucson, Arizona may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about wine. So it may come as a surprise to know that there are a number of wineries down south. If you happen to be headed down there this summer and are on the lookout for something to do, here are a list of wineries in Tucson to visit.
Todd and Kelly Bostock co-own this winery that uses grapes grown in their Pronghorn Vineyard in nearby Elgin and the Cimarron Vineyard near Willcox. The 2009 El Campo was named one of the top 100 wines of 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle. Bostock also makes and offers tastes of Cimarron wines, whose production is overseen by Oregon winemaker-turned-Arizona retiree Dick Erath.
Details: 3248 Arizona 82, Sonoita, 520-455-5141, doscabezaswineworks.com, $-$$
While he wasn’t the first vintner in the region, Kent Callaghan’s winery could be considered the place where the state’s industry truly took root. His wines drew rave reviews from wine critic Robert Parker, raising the bar for other winemakers. It is no accident that so many vineyards started popping up near his. Arrive near closing time and you may spot other winemakers stopping by to talk shop with Callaghan. On the way here from Sonoita, you pass Rancho Rossa, and right next to Callaghan is Flying Leap. A little further down is the Tuscan-looking wine room of Keif-Joshua.
Details: 336 Elgin Road, Elgin, 520-455-5322, callaghanvineyards.com, $
Two sisters run this winery, which, thanks to a change in the law they lobbied for, will soon house a brewery as well. The field where the hops are growing is next to the vineyard. According to the sisters’ tasting notes, most of the wines pair well with Cheetos.
Details: 3450 Arizona 82, Sonoita, 888-569-1642, azhopsandvines.com, $
The vineyard started nearly a decade ago in a remote area south of Chiricahua National Monument. The tasting room is in an old bank building in downtown Willcox. Its 2009 Three Sisters Syrah was the first Arizona wine to receive a rating of 89 from Wine Spectator. Across the tracks and well worth the short walk is Carlson Creek.
Details: 154 N. Railroad Ave., Willcox, 520-766-0600, keelingschaefervineyards.com, $
This tasting room is listed as being just 15 minutes from downtown Willcox, but that does not include the time you may spend checking directions and second-guessing yourself. Twelve miles and a few left turns take you to this location in Willcox vineyard country.
Details: 6777 S. Zarpara Lane, Willcox, 602-885-8903, zarpara.com, $
The only tasting room with a hostess stand and which, when crowded, uses those buzzers seen in chain restaurants to let you know your spot at the bar is ready. And that was before a Page Springs wine earned 90 points from Wine Spectator. Eric Glomski’s flagship winery produces a wide variety of wines from its vineyards as well as some from select California properties. Cheese plates and appetizers available. Once here, you are close to both Oak Creek Vineyards and Javelina Leap. The winemaker at Javelina Leap, Cynthia Snapp, won a gold at the International Women’s Wine Competition.
Details: 1500 N. Page Springs Road, Cornville, 928-639-3004, pagespringscellars.com, $
If you get a chance to visit one of these wineries, please let us know what you think. To submit a blog about your own wine experience, email it to email@example.com