Wine in the Desert: Verde Valley Wine Trail
Verde Valley Wine Trail is a wine trail most wouldn’t expect near Sedona, Arizona. On this “under the radar” trail, there are 7 wineries and 8 tasting rooms. The wineries are nestled in between Cottonwood, Jerome, Clarkdale, Camp Verde, and Sedona. Unexpectedly, the dry climate and access to water allow grapes to thrive in this desert environment. If you’re enthusiastic about wine, this trail is something you need to check out. Here’s a little bit about some of the wineries.
This is one of the largest vineyards in Arizona with over 13,000 vines. Wine tastings are offered daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with prices ranging from $10 – $15. They also offer tours on Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. Spend some time enjoying plenty of different wines and peaceful surroundings. Try the Merlot, which was a bronze medal winning wine in the INDY International Wine Competition.
This quaint historic ranch produces small batches of wine for top-notch quality. Their grapes thrive in the moderate climate, due to basking constantly in the AZ sun, while also being cooled by nearby natural springs. Try some of their wines by scheduling an appointment on Wednesday between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This boutique winery is known for winning several awards including a few international ones. Come to Javelina Leap to kick back and sip wine in their serene Secret Garden while simultaneously enjoying some delicious cheese plates and tapas. If you’re lucky enough to visit during the months of October-August you may be able to catch a glimpse of them harvesting and making the wine too.
Arizona Stronghold Vineyard prides themselves on making quality wine that is also inexpensive. The company came about due to the thought that the Arizona climate would be perfect for growing grapes and turns out they weren’t wrong. Stop in for a tasting anytime between 12-7 Sunday through Thursday or 12-9 on Fridays and Saturdays. You can also enjoy live music in the tasting room every Friday from 6-9. Don’t forget to try a cheese plate, the red dragon cheese is to die for! Keep an eye out on Groupon, as they usually offer a wine tasting and cheese plate at a great price.
Located in Jerome, this tasting room boasts gorgeous views of the Verde Valley and picturesque Red Rock formations. The owner, John Mcloughlin, has over 3 decades of experience with renegade style wine making; sourcing all grapes from family farms in Wilcox. Come for the view, stay for the wine!