The Arizona climate is not one that you would believe would be able to sustain vineyards, yet at this current time, there are over 80 different wineries operating across the state. One of the most thriving regions in Arizona can be found along the Sonoita Wine Trail, with the town of Elgin home to some of the finest wineries and tasting rooms that the state has to offer. The history of winemaking in this area goes back to the 1970’s, which is when a soil scientist from the University of Arizona saw comparisons in the soil in Elgin and that found in Burgundy, France.
The success that was experienced by the first experimental winery led to other winemakers looking at Elgin and Sonoita as being a region that was ready to be explored. The number of wineries in Elgin now sits at nine, and the fact that they are in such close proximity means visitors can get to them all over the course of a single day. Elgin is a great day trip if you are spending time in Tucson, as it is only about an hour away from the city. While Elgin may be small, with roughly 300 permanent residents, the town is still well equipped to handle the wine lovers that visit on a daily basis.
Many of the Elgin wineries are very much of the boutique variety, which mean they may be a little different than other wine regions you may have visited across the country. You will find that many of the reds made in the region are still done the old-fashioned way, which includes hand harvesting and foot stomping the grapes. It’s a small town approach to creating wine that fits perfectly with the surroundings and way of life that still exists in this part of Arizona.
If you are a resident of Arizona, or visit the state on a regular basis, you might consider investing in an Arizona Wine Travel Card. For just $20, you can receive discounts on Elgin wine tasting, as well as at all of the other wine trails that can be found throughout the state. You also get discounts on the wine purchases that you make during your visit, as well as getting access to great deals on a number of great restaurants and accommodations. Since the wine trails of Arizona are a place you will want to visit more than once, investing in the card is an excellent idea.
Reaching Elgin from Tucson is very easy, and is essentially a straight shot south along I-83. Once you arrive, you will discover that all the wineries in Elgin are essentially organized in a large circle. Pay a visit during the month of April and you will find the Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival taking place in Elgin. This presents a great opportunity to sample some wines that might otherwise not be available, but no matter when you visit, you will discover some fantastic varietals that are truly unique to the region.