Raise a Glass to Scottsdale Wine Tasting!
As Arizona is proving itself to be a formidable player in the winemaking industry, vineyards and wineries around the state are winning national awards and creating quite a lot of press among wine reviewers. While the majority of wineries are in Willcox and the Verde Valley, a handful of winemakers have opened wine tasting rooms in Old Town Scottsdale. Whether you consider yourself a bona fide oenophile, or simply want to sample the local wine fare, taking a tour of these wineries should be on your to-do list.
Aridus Wine Company is a family-owned custom crush winery resting at over 5,000 feet in elevation and surrounded by scenic mountains in Willcox. The Scottsdale tasting room is an attractive, rustic-inspired space where you can sidle up to the bar to sample their many wines. There’s also a beautiful private area with a long table for wine-pairing meals and reserved events. Aridus is proud of creating “elegant, approachable and perfectly balanced wines of the highest quality through blending the best of Old World and New World wine styles.” While there, be sure to try their 2015 Viognier, which was a winner in last year’s San Francisco International Wine Competition. AridusWineCo.com
Carlson Creek Vineyard is a favorite destination in Willcox. The diurnal climate (in which days are hot and evenings are cool) of the area allows for the growth of grapes, particularly Rhone-focused varietals, that produce smooth and approachable wines. Carlson Creek Vineyard has 160 acres of vines producing Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Syrah, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Mourvedre. The Scottsdale tasting room is bright and cheery and the women behind the bar pour flights with a welcoming smile. We love the “Rule of Three” wine, a GSM blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah. Delicious! CarlsonCreek.com
LDV Winery has over 8.5 acres under cultivation in the Chiricahua Mountain region of southeastern Arizona. Focusing on Rhone varietal grapes such as Petite Sirah, Grenache and Viognier, the winery’s Scottsdale tasting gallery was voted “Best Tasting Room” by Phoenix New Times. It’s a comfortable and quaint building with a roomy tasting bar, two shaded patios for lounging and lingering, and a nice collection of artwork by local artists. Don’t miss their popular 2012 vintage of “The Signature” Petite Sirah, 100% estate-grown and aged for 33 months in white oak barrels. LDVwinery.com