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(Photo courtesy of Los Milics Vineyards)

Foodie 15: Best Spots to Sip Wine in Sonoita-Elgin Wine Country

Updated March 4, 2024

Imagine this: rolling, grass-covered hills, cooler temps, picturesque Arizona landscapes, and all in all, a perfect bifurcation of cowboys and winos.

Regardless of whether you’re an oenophile, a Sunday sommelier, or perhaps just looking for a tannin-filled good time, Sonoita-Elgin is sure to accommodate your version of wine tasting.

It’s become a tradition to take a drive down with all of my out-of-town guests and celebrate birthdays and big events there. I even got married and held our reception at some of the wineries there in December 2021. And, when you’re as obsessed with your dog as I am with mine, it’s reassuring to have a place that welcomes pups with arms wide open.

These are just 15 of the wineries in the area, which ought to set you on a delicious path through wine country.

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(Photo courtesy of Autumn Sage Vineyards)

Autumn Sage Vineyards

The outdoor space at Autumn Sage boasts a classic gazebo and dock overlying a fishing pond which makes the perfect backdrop for any and all photos. Oh, and it’s hard to ignore the majestic mountain ranges in every direction with rolling hills that turn green during monsoon. There are even autumn sage plants sprinkled throughout the property.

a close up of a picnic table
(Photo courtesy of AZ Hops & Vines)

AZ Hops & Vines

The fabulous gals at AZ Hops & Vines know how to have a good time. They have a petting zoo complete with donkeys, geese, and dogs. Many thoughtful touches have been added to the property such as The Wishing Barrel, the Famous Green Door, and quotes from Jack Kerouac and Frida Kahlo painted on the walls.

a bottle of wine on a table
(Photo Courtesy of Callaghan Vineyards)

Callaghan Vineyards

It should suffice to say that Callaghan Vineyards has been honored by having its wine served at the White House four times, but it should also be noted that they’re a foundational winery for Sonoita, they’re incredibly dog-friendly, and they have a beautiful property worth checking out.

(Photo courtesy of Charron Vineyards)

Charron Vineyards

Charron Vineyards is a great way to start or end your wine trip because they’re basically the halfway point between Tucson and Sonoita/Elgin (it’s a 25ish-min drive from downtown Tucson) and are usually open an hour or two later than the other wineries. Hang out on their patio and enjoy stunning views of the Santa Rita mountains and their vines.

a bottle of water on a table
(Photo Courtesy of Deep Sky Vineyard)

Deep Sky Vineyard

I’m extremely biased as this is where our nuptials took place (10/10 recommend getting married at a winery). Pack a picnic to enjoy on their wraparound patio (they also have plenty of indoor seating) and play a round of bocce ball on their court.

(Photo courtesy of Dos Cabezas WineWorks)

Dos Cabezas WineWorks

Dos Cabezas WineWorks has been growing grapes and producing wines in southern Arizona since 1995, and baby, it shows. The winery is supplied with distinctive, high-quality fruit from its two estate vineyards: Pronghorn Vineyard in Sonoita and Cimarron Vineyard in the Kansas Settlement. The sparkling Rose is one of my favorite offerings, but don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself.

(Photo courtesy of Lightning Ridge Cellars)

Lightning Ridge Cellars

Though a bit off the beaten path, Lightning Ridge certainly merits a visit the next time you’re in the area. Their estate wines are made from classic Italian varietals based on the family’s heritage. Sample wines such as Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Primitivo, Malvasia, and Muscat Canelli.

a room filled with furniture and a pool of water
(Photo courtesy of Los Milics Vineyards)

Los Milics Vineyards

Nestled at the foothills of the Mustang Mountains, it’s hard to not immediately fall in love with the vision that the Los Milics team has set forth for themselves. The vineyard also landed on USA Today’s “10 Best New Winery Experiences in the U.S.Honestly, even without the stunning property views and tasting spaces, the wine speaks for itself, and it’s saying “You’re going to want to take a bottle or six home.”

Rune Wines

If I’m being honest, Rune could’ve had its own category. Rune is home to exceptional wines made by James Callahan, great food (its new kitchen is *chef’s kiss*), and breathtaking views. Side note: Because of their new kitchen, dogs are still allowed at Rune, but can’t be inside the tasting room.

(Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vineyards)

Salvatore Vineyards – Elgin

Salvatore Vineyards and Passion Cellars opened up their tasting room in Sonoita/Elgin in February 2022. They also have locations throughout Southern Arizona including Bisbee, Elgin, Jerome, Scottsdale, Tombstone, and Wilcox. You can give them a taste wherever you go.

a bottle of wine on a table
(Photo courtesy of Sonoita Vineyards)

Sonoita Vineyards

What do Sonoita Vineyards and Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting have in common? They both debuted in 1983. That’s right, Sonoita Vineyards is the oldest commercial vineyard and winery in Arizona. With all that experience, it’s no wonder they know how to throw some awesome parties such as their Harvest Fest, stargazing parties, new release festivals, Halloween wine, chocolate pairing, and more.

a sign in front of a house
(Photo Courtesy of Sunset Ride Vineyards)

Sunset Ride Vineyards

Sunset Ride Wine opened in March 2022 and is already successfully embedding itself into the wine community. They feature their own horses on their label, too. Be sure to check them out because they’re one of the first stops on your way into Sonoita (coming from Tucson). Bring your pups in, too.

Photo Courtesy of Twisted Union Wine Company

Twisted Union Wine Company

Twisted Union offers great wine, views, and seating for your pups to fulfill a great day of wine tasting. Additionally, they’ve got two pet-friendly guest suites you can book so that you can wake up among the vines.

(Photo courtesy of Vino Stache Winery)

Vino Stache Winery

Vino Stache is open for tastings from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays or by appointment only on other days. What’s cool about making an appointment is that you get to spend some time with the winemaker herself, Brooke Ide. What’s even cooler is that each year Vino Stache Winery selects a local Arizona-based charity to give back a dollar per bottle sold. Drink good wine and do good!

a hand holding a glass of wine
(Photo courtesy of Wilhelm Family Vineyards)

Wilhelm Family Vineyards

Wilhelm serves Glühwein and sangria, which I’m absolutely including as an alternative in this guide because it’s so dang good. You’ll find something for everyone at Wilhelm Family Vineyards.

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