Arizona Trip Suggestions

Hello, other Guildees, 

In celebration of graduating with my bachelor's degree in August, I'm planning to take a trip to Arizona in September or October. 

I will be flying into Pheonix, and have planned on going North towards Cottonwood/Jerome in the Verde Valley. The plan is to stop at the Merkin Osteria tasting room in Scottsdale, followed by the Merkin Osteria tasting room in Cottonwood along with both the Caduceus Cellars and Four Eight Wineworks tasting room in Jerome. 

The purpose of this message is to ask what other vineyards/winery tours along with tasting rooms would you all recommend? 

Thank you in advance, 

Jennifer 

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  • The trip to Verde Valley was a success! Notes below for the next person looking for recommendations. I flew into Prescott Regional and then drove over Mingus Mountain to Jerome. That drive was stunning. 

    • Caduceus Cellars in Jerome, AZ: Incredibly enjoyable all around. Great hospitality - Alyssa was great. Winemaker Maynard James Keenan incorporates spirituality/divinity/music/sustainability into his work. I loved the Judith Nebbiolo/Barbera (smelled like the freshest red prosciutto ever) and the Lei Li Nebbiolo Rosé (smell of older subdued watermelon, but far from fruity). Would have picked up a few other bottles that weren't available on the tasting flights if I weren't flying back with a carry-on. Merkin Vineyard Osteria in Cottonwood (that line is sourced from Keenan's Buhl Memorial Vineyard in Willcox down south) had fantastic salads/veggies from his orchards & greenhouses. Incredible homemade pastas. The gnocchi was some of the best I've ever had.
    • Do not skip Chateau Tumbleweed in Clarkdale just before Cottonwood. I made this mistake, but tried one of their blends later on the trip at The Art of Wine in Sedona. They are the kind of science wine nerds who probably carry pH papers in their pockets. Would have loved to do a tour. Next time around.
    • Cottonwood: Burning Tree had a fun mourvedre rosé I liked. Light red twizzler and white pepper. Loved AZ Stronghold, great wine, great service - The 100% Vidal Blanc smelled like light peach yoplait yogurt. The Syrahs were all fantastic as well. They also had a chenin. The Bordeaux blend left me wanting more gusto. The Keeling Schaefer vineyard Syrah and the "Bayshan" Syrah were memorable. ( definitely not biased, there are fantastic wines! Wish I could have tried more.)
    • Javelina ("Havelina") was great. Great service, liked their cab franc a lot. Nice tasting room. I would have gone to Page Springs on a less busy day and earlier in the day. Oak Cellars was worth the stop since it's right next to Javelina. I definitely want to go back to these 3 in a few years.
    • The Art of Wine in Sedona had a great wine selection of AZ and non-AZ wines. Amazing service. Porscha, who was working, catered her service to every individual she spoke to based on who they were. Fantastic knowledge and super friendly. Sound Bites Grill right nearby was fantastic and the view made it all worth it.

    The Arizona Vignerons Alliance seems to be working toward an AVA for Verde Valley. Am interested to see what happens in the next years. Cheers!

     

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