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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

Subregions of Arizona

Popular Wineries in Arizona View all

  • Kokopelli Winery

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

  • Colibri Vineyard & Winery

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

  • Charron Vineyards & Winery

    Only 30 minutes from downtown Tucson, Charron Vineyards is one of southern Arizona's oldest vin...

  • Sonoita Vineyards

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

  • Dos Cabezas WineWorks

    Dos Cabezas WineWorks is a family-owned and operated winery that challenges the perception that A...

  • Callaghan Vineyards

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

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  • 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: http://az.winetravelcard.com

    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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