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Five Wonderful Wineries to Tour/Taste in Arizona

FYI: There are three wonderful Wine Trails in Arizona (including the Sonoita Wine Trail, Verde Valley Wine Trail, and Willcox Wine Trail... so while we highlight five specific wineries here, you could may find yourself exploring even more of Arizona Wine Country!

1. Burning Tree Cellars. Located in Cottonwood, in central Arizona, about 50 miles southwest of Flagstaff, and part of the Verde Valley Wine Trail, this winery specializes in small batch, meticulously maintained boutique wines utilizing the finest fruit sources (mostly from Arizona and California), quality oak, and lots of patience. You'll find the tasting room right on Main Street in Cottonwood, open from noon to at least 7 pm daily, with live music most Friday and Saturday nights. Some of their wines include The Abbot, The Archer, The Architect, The Austringer, The Dragon, The Duke, The Impressionist, The Lotus, The Peddler, The Poet, The Reflection, among others. A wine club is offered for folks who want a deeper connection (and discount) to the wines. Learn more: Burning Tree Cellars.

2. Carlson Creek Vineyards. Based in Willcox, in southeast Arizona, about 80 miles east of Tucson, and part of the Willcox Wine Trail, this 280-acre multi-generational family-owned vineyard and winery is located in a federally designated American Viticulture Area (AVA), and produces a number of varietals almost exclusively from Arizona-grown grapes, including: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Syrah, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Grenache Rose, Malbec, Mourvedre, Chenin Blanc, and Merlot. For convenience, the company operates two tasting rooms -- one in Willcox (on Railview Avenue), and the other in Old Town Scottsdale (near Phoenix). A wine society (club) is offered for people who love the winery (and want perks of membership). Learn more: Carlson Creek Vineyards.

3. Javelina Leap Vineyard & Winery. Located in Cornville, in central Arizona, about 44 miles south of Flagstaff (and minutes from Sedona), and part of the Verde Valley Wine Trail, this 10.25-acre family-operated premium and award-winning boutique winery that is located on the steep slopes of an extinct volcanic mountain offers tastings at the vineyard (which also includes a bistro, and park), as well as in Sedona. During the harvest season (August to October), visitors can watch wine being made, with tours available upon request; from grape production, to fermenting and aging, to bottling and labeling -- all done at the winery. You must stop to taste their award-winning Arizona Zinfandels, and then stay for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, and Barbera. They also produce some blends, a Sauvignon Blanc, and a rose from Pinot Gris. A wine club is offered for folks who want a deeper connection (and discount) to the wines. Fun side note: The winery is across the street from a bird sanctuary and the state Fish Hatchery. Learn more: Javelina Leap Vineyard & Winery.

4. Page Springs Cellars Winery and Vineyards. Located in Cornville, in central Arizona, about 44 miles south of Flagstaff (and minutes from Sedona), and part of the Verde Valley Wine Trail, this family-owned winery crafts fine wines (Rhone-style) from grapes grown on a volcanic landscape of House Mountain overlooking pristine Oak Creek. The grape varietals at the winery include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Mourvedre, as well as Viognier, Rousanne, and Marsanne. They offer a variety of wine "flight" tastings at $11, which includes a sample of five wines (from everyday wines to higher-end, limited production wines) and a souvenir wine glass. Some of the current wine offerings include: El Serrano, La Serrana, Vino Del Barrio Blanca, Super Arizona, Vino de la Familia, and Mules Mistake. Fee-based winery and vineyard tours are available. A wine club (with four levels of membership) is offered for folks who want a deeper connection (and discount) to the wines. Learn more: Page Springs Cellars Winery and Vineyards.

5. Sonoita Vineyards. Located in Elgin, in southeastern Arizona, about 60 miles southeast of Tucson, and part of the Sonoita Wine Trail, this winery perched at an elevation of 5,000 feet and surrounded on three sides by soaring mountain ranges, includes more than 50 acres of grape vines, including Chardonnay, Mission, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, and Pinot Noir. It is the oldest commercial vineyard and winery in the state, and offers an array of award-winning wines (from grapes grown completely in Arizona) ranging from crisp and fruity to bold and complex; their tasting room is open daily except major holidays. They practice sustainability and the importance of being stewards of the land. Besides at the winery, their wines can be found at Whole Foods throughout the state, as well as select retailers in Sonoita, Tucson, and Phoenix Valley areas. Learn more: Sonoita Vineyards.

Bonus: Some Cheese to Go With Your Arizona Wine

Enjoy some locally-produced and award-winning cheese with that wine. After you've bought a few bottles -- or cases -- of wonderful Arizona wine, add to your experience with a tasting of goat cheese and tour at Crow's Dairy, a 5th generation, family-owned and operated dairy farm located on South Dean Road in Buckeye, that uses non-GMO feed and does not use growth hormones or prophylactic antibiotics. Learn more about visiting the farm here: Crow's Dairy.


Want more wine adventure? Spend some time reviewing this map of Arizona wineries and vineyards.

EmpoweringSites.com CEO Dr. Randall Hansen Dr. Randall S. Hansen is an educator, author, and blogger, as well as founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com. Dr. Hansen has been helping empower people to achieving success his entire adult life. He is also founder of EnhanceMyVocabulary.com, MyCollegeSuccessStory.com, and EmpoweringRetreat.com. He is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. Dr. Hansen is also an educator, teaching business and marketing at the college level for more than 25 years. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Hansen on Google+, as well as Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.

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