Every wine lover has heard of Bordeaux in France or about Santorini in Greece, but Arizona in the US is also a wine destination you must not miss. Most people associate wine with Mediterranean climates that receive rainfall in the winter.
However, the Mediterranean climate is not restricted to areas around the Mediterranean Sea, and Arizona in the US has ideal conditions for growing a variety of grapes. This article will list several reasons why an Arizona wine tour will be an enriching and unforgettable tour for all wine lovers.
6 Reasons Why Arizona Can Be A Wine Lovers Paradise
1. The Soil And The Climate Is Just Perfect For Growing Grapes
The soil in the deserts of Arizona is just right for growing great quality grapes that make good wine. The soil in Arizona is slightly alkaline.
This means that it is not acidic, and it is rich in residues of volcanic eruptions that add to the fertility of the soil. Moreover, the soil is rich in minerals that have accumulated from marine deposits.
The climate is also suitable for growing grapes on the condition that the right variety of grapes are grown in the right elevation of the land. Moreover, there is plenty of Sunshine that helps in the growth of full-bodied fruits that are rich in tannins. The presence of tannins adds to the taste of the drink that is finally brewed.
The soil and the climatic conditions in Arizona are just perfect for the development of a prosperous brewery. So this state has three famous wine-growing regions. They are the Verde Valley which is close to Sedona, Sonita, and Wilcox.
The state at present produces a wide variety of grapes. Some of the famous varieties are Merlot, Grenache, Muscat, Canelli, etc.
2. Arizona Has A Rich Rich History Of Grape Cultivation
As a wine lover, if you are interested in knowing about the development of vineyards in different regions of the world, Arizona is a must-visit. Wine manufacturing started in the eighteenth century and was practiced by Jesuit missionaries.
However, the brewing activities were very much restricted, and it was nowhere near a full-fledged industry.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, some farmers started fermenting alcohol in areas beside the valley of the Salt river. However, after this, Arizona became a dry state, and wine-making collapsed almost entirely.
It was only in the 1970s that the wine industry in Arizona got a fresh lease of life when a scientist realized that the soil and climatic conditions were perfect for viticulture.
3. You Get A Chance To See The Entire Process Of Wine Making
Arizona is dotted with vineyards, and you can see for yourself all the steps involved in wine-making. So you can witness the process of fruit selection and how fruit collectors pick up the right fruits. The next step involves crushing the fruit. Many vineyards have a festival called stomping, where people crush the fruit with their feet in order to extract the juice.
There might be a step where the stems of the fruit are to be removed. However, some varieties retain the stem as they add tannin to the final product. The next step is the fermentation process, where microorganisms like yeast are added to the extract to produce alcohol.
In a traditional industry, there are many other steps, like a second fermentation step, acidity regulation, blending, etc. But as a visitor in a vineyard, you will most likely see the aging process after the fermentation step. You will love the visit to the old oak cellars where wine is stored so that it can age.
4. You Get The Chance To Explore Your Brewing Skills At A Craft Brewery
Arizona has several microbreweries where smaller quantities of wine are brewed. Moreover, the state has opportunities to allow people to use their hands in craft brewing. So if you are a true wine lover, you may have tasted several wine varieties, but in Arizona, you can brew a flavor all by yourself.
In a microbrewery, you can unleash your creative spirit and make a variety that suits your taste buds. In a microbrewery, ingredients like hops are added to increase the bitter taste of the alcoholic drink. Moreover, you can infuse any local fruit into the drink to give the drink a fruity flavor.
If you want to add a malt-like taste to your drink, you can add a few kinds of cereal to the brewing mix.
5. Arizona Has The Best Eateries To Complement The Wine
The vineyards of Arizona are dotted with restaurants that promise to complement all varieties of wine. For instance, there is La Posada in Winslow. The restaurant is famous for its churro lamb. Then there is a floating restaurant right in the middle of a desert country where diners have to take a boat to reach the restaurant.
6. You Can Meet The Owners Of The Vineyards
As a wine enthusiast, you will definitely want to know about how a particular vineyard developed. Arizona gives you the rare opportunity to talk to the owners. You can listen to their interesting stories and about the ups and downs of their business.
For instance, you might be inspired by the story of Cynthia, who wanted to sell red wine. But she knew that the process of aging would take time, and hence the return on the investment would have to wait.
So she did something innovative, bought grapes from another yard and prepared them as per her specifications. The pandemic-induced break was a blessing in disguise, and her variety was ready even before she started her own winery from scratch.
If you are a true wine lover, Bordeaux might be a part of your bucket list, but Arizona does not deserve a miss. It is an unconventional destination, yet this state takes its breweries very seriously. In fact, trips to vineyards are one of the most popular activities that are strongly promoted to boost the tourism sector.