Last weekend, Shane and I decided to hit the road and head south of Tucson, to wine country! Yes, that's correct, southern Arizona is home to some well regarded wineries! Plus, it is even a little cooler than Phoenix!
The drive is 2 hours, 40 minutes from Phoenix and once you get past Tucson, the winding roads make you feel like it isn't Arizona. The Ocotillo filled hills are beautiful and the more you wind through the roads, the temperature begins to drop. The scenery changes and a sea of yellow flowing grasses and hills emerge.
We arrived just in time for lunch and thought it would be best not to taste wine on an empty stomach, so we went to a local restaurant that seemed to be well liked.
The Cafe is a new American restaurant, serving classic favorites. The Chef is a local and grew up in southern Arizona. We both chose the chicken sandwich with spicy mayo and arugula. It was delicious and well plated. The potato salad was delicious too and well seasoned. Although tasty, we were in a hurry to get to the wine tasting.
Our first stop was Dos Cabezas, one of my favorite wineries. Not only is their Pink a great Rose but they have amazing red and white wine varieties too. The tasting room is cool, literally and figuratively, but also simplistic. The copper bar and photos of the winery, along with their family, make the space inviting. The barrel room is also eye catching.
The tasting came with this glass, along with 6 samples of any of their wines. It was perfect for me to taste some old favorites, as well as wines that I haven't tried. We ended up buying a bottle of their White and a bottle of Rojo del Sol, grown right there in Sonoita!
After that, we took a drive down the main road, headed to Elgin. It's a beautiful, scenic drive and we stopped to take pictures before turning around. We planned on just staying in Sonoita this visit. On our way back we saw flags with the name RUNE wines on it and I remembered that this winery had a cool, open air tasting room, so we drove in.
The wines were great and the views were spectacular. They had a great variety of whites and even a Chardonnay that I enjoyed. Their Rose was also spectacular, which surprised me. The reds were great too. The last tasting was a cider, which I'm normally not a fan of, but this one was good. Overall I was impressed by how many wine varieties that they had and that I liked.
This was the most relaxing tasting room, the 'room' was quiet and the views were so captivating. I could have lounged there all day long! With each glass, I took my time and wasn't rushed at all, totally able to enjoy that view and the peacefulness. What a perfect way to end this trip!
Did you know how to pronounce this region? I didn't but thankfully learned while I was there. If you're pronouncing it as a Spanish word, it's probably wrong. It's pronounced Suh-NOY-ta, because it originates from the O'odham language, not the Spanish language. That was our language lesson of the day and now it all makes sense to me!
We eventually finished and made the trip back to Phoenix, both of us ready to return to Sonoita soon! Hopefully you make a trip down there one day! When you do, let me know what you did!