Sip and savor: 5 day trips for wine tasting in Arizona

Red wine nestled in tree trunks on the Grand Canyon south rim (Shutterstock Photo/Barbara Kalbfleisch)

By Teresa K. Traverse

January 29, 2024

Arizona wine is a burgeoning industry. The Grand Canyon State is home to more than 120 wineries.

The local wine scene is so popular that the Arizona Office of Tourism has an Arizona Wine Trail Passport, where you download a pass and check in at certain wineries with the hopes of earning prizes. 

Best of all? Many of these wineries are within a day trip’s distance of Phoenix. Discover some of the top areas where you can get your Arizona wine fix. Cheers to local wine! 

Northern Arizona 

Cornville

Sip and Savor: 5 Day Trips for Wine Tasting in Arizona
(Photo courtesy of Page Springs Cellars)

One of the best things about wine tasting in Cornville? Most of the wineries in this small Northern Arizona town—about an hour and 45 minutes from Phoenix—are clustered together on Page Springs Road. This makes it a breeze to go winery hopping in this small town. Page Springs Cellars, D.A. Ranch, Oak Creek Vineyards & Winery, and Javelina Leap Vineyard, Winery & Bistro are within a short distance of each other.

Page Springs Cellars features an expansive outdoor patio that overlooks scenic Oak Creek. D.A. Ranch has a bucolic feel complete with a pond, a swing, and farm animals. Up for more wine tasting? The newest winery in town, Cove Mesa Vineyard and Winery Tasting Room is also located just off Page Springs Road. 

Where to eat: Located on Page Springs Road, Up the Creek Bistro Wine Bar is well known for its fine cuisine, long wine list, and setting. Look forward to seeing hummingbirds buzz around outside via expansive windows that showcase Oak Creek and the surrounding trees. 

Cottonwood

(Photo courtesy of Alcantra)

Cottonwood is less than 10 minutes from Cornville, and this city also has plenty to offer when it comes to Arizona wine.

Downtown Cottonwood’s lively Main Street is home to plenty of tasting rooms. Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Burning Tree Cellars, Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room & Osteria (try the signature pink prickly pear pasta here), Four 8 Wineworks—which specializes in carrying wines made by emerging winemakers—and Tantrum Wines are all within walking distance of each other on Main Street in Old Town Cottonwood.

This area is also home to stellar restaurants like Pizzeria Bocce, Crema Craft Kitchen & Bar, and Colt Grill that you can enjoy pre- or post-tasting. If you’re looking to venture outside of downtown Cottonwood, Pillsbury Wine Company has a tasting room in Cottonwood. 

Nearby wineries: Alcantara Vineyards and Winery in Camp Verde offers over 12 different varietals in a stunning setting. Clarkdale is also home to noteworthy Chateau Tumbleweed

Central Arizona 

The Windmill Winery

1140 W. Butte Ave. in Florence

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Roughly one hour and 15 minutes from downtown Phoenix, Florence’s The Windmill Winery is a wedding venue, pavilion, and wine-tasting room all rolled into one. The quaint tasting room is housed in a red barn. The venue also features plenty of outdoor space.

Find wines made with grapes that are grown in the Arizona desert. Enjoy common varietals zinfandel, cabernet, and pinot grigio alongside pinotage, alicante bouschet, and barbera. Pair your wine with food trucks that are available on most weekends. The on-site kitchen also serves light snacks. Windmill also frequently hosts live musicians. 

Southern Arizona 

Willcox 

(Photo by Jenelle Bonifield, courtesy of Carlson Creek Vineyard)

Roughly three hours from Phoenix, Willcox features a total of 14 tasting rooms. Another fun Willcox fact? This wine region grows 74% of the state’s wine groups, according to Willcox Wine Country. That same wine consortium says the area’s elevation, climate, and soil make it a great place to cultivate wine grapes. 

A few winery highlights include the Carlson Creek Vineyard and Bodega Pierce Vineyard & Tasting Room, which are literally across the street from each other. The following wineries are also clustered together in Willcox’s downtown area: Aridus Wine Company Tasting Room, Copper Horse Vineyard, Birds and Barrels Vineyards Rail Road, and Keeling Schaefer Vineyards Willcox Tasting Room

Where to eat: Downtown Willcox is also home to many restaurants that are near many of the tasting rooms. This includes spots like La Unica Restaurant & Tortilleria, Big Tex BBQ, and Isabel’s South of the Border.  

Elgin

(Photo courtesy of Los Milics Vineyards)

A less than three-hour trip from Phoenix by car, the small town of Elgin (population 168 as of the 2020 census) features mountain views and open skies. It’s also home to many of the Sonoita region’s wineries.

Many of the wineries are located on Elgin Road. Find Callaghan Vineyards, Flying Leap Vineyards & Distillery, Twisted Union Wine Company, and Elgin Winery and Distillery along this road. Perhaps most notable of the bunch is Sonoita Vineyards. Open since 1983, Sonoita Vineyards is the oldest commercial winery in Arizona. A cabernet sauvignon by this winery was served at a presidential inauguration gala.

Another noteworthy option? Los Milics Vineyards. If that name sounds familiar, it’s probably because Palve Millic—the long-time beverage director and front of house manager of Scottsdale’s FnB restaurant—is behind this winery with a contemporary tasting room. 

READ MORE: Check Out These 4 Cool Food Halls in Arizona

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