Wine Gateway: Sonoita, Arizona

When you think of visiting vineyards, I’m sure Arizona is not the first place that comes to your mind. Surprisingly enough, Arizona is home to three major wine regions. Nate and I first learned about Arizona’s growing wine country during a visit to award winning Flying Leap Vineyards wine tasting room in Prescott, Arizona. They mentioned to us that the three main wine regions in the Grand Canyon State are Verde Valley, Wilcox, and a town called Sonoita, Arizona. Nate and I have ventured to Verde Valley a few times now, but have always been intrigued by the Sonoita/Elgin wine region. The gentlemen who works for Flying Leap mentioned that that is where their main vineyard and distillery location reside. Along with it being home to their vineyards, it’s also home to around 15 different wineries. If a handful of wineries weren’t enough to pique your interest, it’s actually cooler than Phoenix, making this a great summer gateway! This little town in what feels like the middle of nowhere is a perfect way to spend a summer day! 

We learned quickly that this small town is, well, small, which means lodging was a little difficult to find in Sonoita. You could stay in Tucson, Arizona and drive an hour into Wine Country, but for our first time we wanted to be near all the wineries. Although there were some lodging places in Sonoita, we actually decided to stay just a bit outside of Sonoita in a town called Patagonia. We chose this particular AirBnB because it had a great kitchen for us to cook in and we could enjoy the morning sunrise with a coffee and looking out at all the stars at night with a bottle of wine from a local winery that we visited earlier that day).

To make sure no one overdoes it on alcohol, Nate and I split our tastings. A lot of the wineries here in Sonoita/Elgin also offer a deal where if you bring in a wine glass from another nearby winery, you get your tastings at a slight discount. As I mentioned, there are a handful of wineries, these are the wineries we made a visit to during our stay:


Rancho Rossa Vineyards & Rescue Hearts Cellars 

When I was researching wineries in Sonoita/Elgin this place caught my eye. This winery supports local animal rescues, so being an animal lover, I had to check it out. To my surprise the wine tasting room had some of Nate and I’s favorite rock legends such as Freddie Mercury, The Beatles and David Bowie posted on the wall. Not only did we love the cute drive going through the vineyards to get to the wine tasting room, we were greeted by the sounds of my all time favorite Beatles’ album, Abbey Road, as well as our new friend, Little Arthur Jackson. He is one of the wine dogs; you can meet him every Saturday! Dogs, wine and The Beatles – this must be heaven. We had a great time chatting with the wine owner over our love of dogs, music and wine! A lot of their wines are named after dogs or music, such as their sparkling wine, Under Pressure! Fun place, great wines, we had a fantastic time!  

Flights are $8

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Flying Leap
This name might sound familiar since this is the wine tasting room we went to in Prescott that filled us in on Sonoita/Elgin! We had a great time at what the staff calls “The Mothership” – this winery was stunning. This winery was so picturesque that it made for a perfect spot to enjoy the lunch we brought. I can see why so many brides and grooms choose this winery to say “I Do” because it’s so pretty. They not only have a wine tasting room, they have their own distillery too! Vodka made from grapes? They have it here! The staff and dogs on site were so incredibly friendly and proud of their wines and spirits. Our favorite wine of the day was the 2018 Habanero-chili infused Grenache. We are looking forward to telling our friends in Prescott that we visited their “Mothership” .

Wine tasting $14.95 plus tax
Distillery tasting $12.00 plus tax

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Callaghan Winery
I can now say I have been to a winery with such acclaimed wines that they have been served in The White House on numerous occasions! Out of all the places we visited, this place was packed, and we totally understood why after trying some of their fabulous wines! We also enjoyed hanging out with our new dog pal, Kiva! Not only was Kiva very friendly and told us her favorite wines, we were also pleasantly surprised to find a familiar friend, Hippeas, which you may recall from my Don’t Be Salty blog post. It was the last place we would expect to find Hippeas, but it brought a smile to our faces. Overall, these wines were some of the best we had all day!

Wine Tasting with your own glass $7.00 plus tax

Deep Sky
As the day came to an end we decided to wrap up our wine tasting day at the newest winery on the block, Deep Sky. When researching, we noticed this place was absolutely stunning and besides their outstanding wines that are also spaced themed, the best part was they had a great bar full of seats. It was nice to sit down and enjoy all the out of this world wines this winery had to offer. We spent the majority of our time here people watching and meeting local residence of nearby towns. We really enjoyed the youthful vibe – they even had cornhole near the vineyards.

Tasting costs $10 per person and includes your choice of a stem or stemless glass, which you get to keep. Bring your own glass and tastings are only $7 per person.

Sonita/Elgin is a must see if you want to unplug and unwind from the crazy city. If drinking wine isn’t enough for you, why not add a little yee-haw to the whole experience? You can go horseback riding through the vineyards. (Talk about the ideal designated driver!) 

The whole trip, Nate and I enjoyed the tranquil scenery. Sonita/Elgin is totally different from most wine countries, and everyone treats you like family regardless of how far you have traveled to get there. The locals and vineyard dogs are excited to meet you. Take time to unwine, stop and smell the rosé, and enjoy the wine you’re with because I promise you will be on cloud wine in Sonoita/Elgin, Arizona!

Interested in staying in this AirBnB or another AirBnB here in Sonita or anywhere in the world? Use my exclusive code for a discount off your first AirBnB visit.

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