Arizona Wine

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Wine has been produced in the state of Arizona for centuries. As is the story with California and other states in the Southwestern US, vineyards were first planted by Spanish missionaries making sacramental wine. But wine production never gained much momentum, and the Prohibition and Depression put the kibosh on what little there was of it for decades. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the Arizona wine industry began an earnest growth. 

For the most part, Arizona is just too hot and dry to grow grapes with a long enough ripening season to produce decent wines. But locations with higher elevations and cooler temperatures have a chance at better grape balance and quality wines. For this reason, most of Arizona’s wineries are concentrated in these areas. The state’s only AVA, Sonoita, covers a large area in the southeast corner of the state, in the valleys at the slopes of the Santa Rita, Huachuca, and Whetsone mountains. In addition to the higher altitudes, this area also has free Read more »

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Popular wines made in Arizona under $20

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Varietals Produced in Arizona View all

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

Subregions of Arizona

Popular Wineries in Arizona View all

  • The Village of Elgin Winery

    The Village of Elgin Winery is the largest producer of wine in the Sonoita AVA. This family owned...

  • Kokopelli Winery

    Originally founded in 1991, Kokopelli Winery first established vineyards on fertile, high-deser...

  • Callaghan Vineyards

    My parents (Harold and Karen) and I planted our Buena Suerte Vineyard in May/June of 1990. Our pl...

  • Sonoita Vineyards

    The oldest commercial vineyard in the region, Sonoita Vineyards opened in 1983 and now includes ...

  • Echo Canyon Vineyard & Winery

    Once upon a time .....about 100 years ago, Echo Canyon was the site of a farm that produced fruit...

  • Colibri Vineyard & Winery

    The Arch My wife Mickey and I were looking for a retreat from our busy lives with stressful profe...

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Arizona on Snooth

  • Greg, was aware of that about New York even before I was old enough to ... ... ... down there (long before Arizona had airconditioning and thus any population to speak of) so that the ball players could start getting ready for an earlier retirement than the normal working population. Ted Williams on a fishing boat and all that.Any other varie... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Have enology-related questions?

  • Hello Duncan, Dmcker, Jonderry and Gregt -My purchase was four bottles of 1995 ... - Otherwise, my opinion of Arizona is my own, of course; not intended to sway another's opinion; relative, you know.  It's just that I had difficulty with the machismo settling like a fog over the general administration of day-to-day business in Arizona; appeare... Read More

    Forum post in the topic scutulatus

  • Hello Duncan -Yes; in fact, the first bottle has been decanted for close to a ... a ... though I yet own the Arizona property, I was unable to overcome the culture shock of my having retired there from Silicon Valley in California.  Consequently, I live elsewhere in a comparatively more civilized environment.  I guess one's departure from Ari... Read More

    Forum post in the topic scutulatus

  • So were you drinking Alain Brumont's Château Bouscassé (65% ... ... 'civilized' than Arizona? Certainly not the Valley, which might as well be the Caribbean in the early 1700s.  ; Read More

    Forum post in the topic scutulatus

  • Hello Dmcker -Smiled at your recognition of the Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus ... ... harmoniously lives on my Arizona property.  Further, it's unlikely that "scutulatus" shall have been used by another as a pseudonym.Otherwise, I had decided to try exactly what you suggested, my seeing no alternative but to slowly sip the Madiran hoping that i... Read More

    Forum post in the topic scutulatus

  • Just thought I'd add a little something to the "wine I would not drink ... ... from New Mexico and then Arizona...before sourcing from California! The reason, which I was told at other wineries, was the cost. Really crazy, as the vast majority of those asked said that wine from the California fruit was by far the best selling wine. Go figure. A... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine you would not drink...

  • Oh sorry.  I thought AR was Arizona.  I'm in Canada, so I don't know all the States' abbreviations.The wine is certainly not worth anything.  Even if it were kept in ideal conditions, it probably wouldn't be worth selling.  I'd just continue using it as a decoration, or pull that cap off and try some just to see if it's vinegar (I'm sure it is). Read More

    Forum post in the topic Help me out here

  • Hi,You're in Arizona?  How have you stored this wine all these years?  It most likely will not be good.  It won't hurt to open it and try it.  To expect anything from it would be unreasonable.   Interesting bottle.  Obvious signs of ullage.  It seems there's a ureter on the bottle.  I'm curious how well it's sealed.  Well, good luck.  I hope it ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Help me out here

  • Redagic - welcome. It's a bit late on page 3 but WTH.. I would prefer a Cab ... in Wisconsin to the hills in Arizona. That's what happened to Malbec from Bordeaux and Cahors when it came to Mendoza. Mendoza is high desert. Lots of intense sun and no humidity, so no rot and mildew. It ripens completely differently in the sunny, dry, high mountai... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • Have a good trip EM.  Arizona should be nice this time of year.  I remember being in Phoenix on a business trip when it was 115 F outside.  I couldn't open the car door with my bare hands.  That is hot!  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Great article! I love too love touring the Arizona wine regions and wineries. One hint - bring along the Arizona Wine Travel Card with you. It has saved me a lot of $$ and is easy to use. You can find it here:

    Comment by 1459854Snoother 1459854 1459854 Snoother 1459854

  • And if you like lighter reds, Page Springs has released a wonderful light red that is 100% counoise. It is absolutely wonderful. My husband's favorite is their El Serrano which is a BIG red :)

    Comment by 650503aphelps 650503 aphelps

  • I definitely recommend Page Springs Cellars. We got engaged up there and have since become members of their wine release. They are getting better and better with each bottle. Glomski and Maynard have definitely put AZ on the map with Page Springs, Merkin/Caduceus, and Arizona Stronghold! All three are wonderful wine producers!

    Comment by 650503aphelps 650503 aphelps

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