Arizona may not be famous for its wine, but a burgeoning movement of small, independent wineries has been quietly taking root in the sunny valleys of southern and northern Arizona for several years now. Sedona and the surrounding areas of Cornville and Page Springs have emerged as Arizona’s premier wine country, where the high desert altitude, volcanic soil, and hot-then-cool weather patterns make it the perfect landscape for producing reds like Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, and even whites like Chardonnay. Here are four Sedona-area wineries to check out on your next visit to Arizona wine country.
Alcantara Vineyards. This winery, located on the Verde River near Cottonwood, has one of the largest vineyards in this part of the state, boasting over 19,000 vines and 12 different varietals. Visitors are encouraged to spend some time on the extensive grounds, which feature picnic areas and glimpses of wildlife, including rare bald eagles. To get to Alcantara from Sedona, travel south on SR 89A towards Cottonwood, turn east on Highway 260 and travel southeast about eight miles. Turn north on Thousand Trails to the Thousand Trails Resort, and then left on Alcantara Way. Located at 3445 South Grapevine Way in the Verde Valley. 928-649-8463
Javelina Leap Vineyard and Winery. Just a few minutes outside of Sedona in the fertile valley of Page Springs, this small independent, 10-acre estate vineyard and winery is located on the slopes of a volcanic mountain. Founding owners and winemakers Rod and Cynthia Snapp have deep roots in the Arizona wine industry, which shows in the care they take in producing the handcrafted wine, which is produced one ton at a time. Located at 1565 Page Springs Road in Cornville. 928-649-2681
Echo Canyon Vineyard & Winery. Located about 10 minutes outside of Sedona, this small vineyard and winery produces handcrafted, limited production wines using organic and biodynamic farming methods. Wines are produced in traditional open top fermenters to produce their award-winning wines. Beautiful Oak Creek runs through the property, making this one of the most scenic vineyards and wineries in the region. Located at 3222 North Echo Canyon Road in Cornville. No scheduled wine tasting. Visitors should call 928-634-8122 for more information.