Sedona Area Wineries

Sedona Arizona is one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Although it is particularly famed for red rock cliffs, buttes and eerie formations, there is much more to Sedona than staring at the views and hiking the areas numerous trails. The area is loaded with historic sites, art galleries and, even wineries. And don’t forget the restaurants.

While this article focuses on some of the wineries in the area, other articles in this series looks at:

  • Sedona Area Hike and Natural Sights
  • Sedona Area Historical Sites;
  • Sedona Area Restaurants; and
  • Sedona Area Art Galleries.

Arizona, like virtually every other state, has its share of wineries. But, since the state’s wine industry is only ten years, all the wineries are quite small, typically less than 5.000 cases per year, most from grapes bought from other areas of Arizona (mostly from the southeast corner of the state) and from California. We visited wineries in three Sedona area towns—Cornville, Cottonwood and Jerome. 

 

Cornville Wineries

We visited three wineries on Page Springs Road in Cornville, just south of Sedona: Oak Creek, Javelina Leap and Page Springs. Although we enjoyed the quest facilities and some of the wines at all three, we particularly enjoyed Page Springs.

Page Springs Cellars was the most interesting of the three, not only to us, but to the dozens of patrons who chose to spend Friday afternoon at Page Springs. The winery, which makes about ten different wines, is particularly strong in Rhone varietals. Nothing terribly sophisticated, but very drinkable, with prices ranging from a bout $16 to $28. But if you want to sample their wines, you pretty much have to visit the winery, which, like the other Sedona area wineries, sell virtually their entire productions to their wine club members.

 

Jerome Wineries

We matched our three Cornville Wineries with three in Jerome and three more in Cottonwood. Since we generally limited ourselves to wines made from Arizona grapes, we skipped most of the wines from Jerome’s Passion Cellars. Echo Canyon wines, which were also being tasted at Passion’s tasting room, was created by New Arizona winemaking pioneer Jon Marcus, stopped making wines after the winemaker broke his hip and ended up suffering a number of complications. They were, however, still tasting a number of there 2003 and 2004 vintages. Unfortunately, few of these wines aged gracefully. The only wine that we thought grew into its age was the 2003 Triad a blend of Syrah, Cab Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Cellar 433, which tastes wines from three labels–Bitter Creek, Sultry Cellars and Jerome–did have a couple interesting wines, such as the 2006 Jerome Dolcetto, the Saltry Cellars "All Wrapped Up" blend (equal parts Primitivo, Malbec, Merlot and Tempranillo) and especially Bitter Creek Strength (a white blend of Vermentino, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier).

Caduccus Cellars was by far our favorite of the Jerome tasting rooms. Our favorites were the 2012 Didler (a very interesting combination of Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay), 2011 Nagual de la Naga (a Super Tuscan-like blend of Cab, Merlot and Sangiovese) and the 2011 Le Cortigiane Oneste (Barbera and Merlot).

 

Cottonwood Wineries

We enjoyed some of the wines at each of the three Cottonwood tasting rooms.

Pillsbury favorites included the 2011 Chardonnay, 2011 Roan Red (a light-bodied, refreshing Rhone blend consisting of Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre) and especially the 2010 Diva (92% Syrah and 8% Petite Syrah).

Arizona Stronghold, owned by the winemaker at Page Springs and Caduccus, produced one white a d two reds that we particularly enjoyed. The 2011 white, named Tazi (Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Malvasia Blanca, Chenin Blanc and Gewurzstaminer) and two 2011 reds, Nachise (a Rhone- based blend of Syrah, Petite Syrah, Mouvedre and Grenache) and Lozen (a Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cab and Petite Verdot.

Burning Tree was the exception to our focus on Arizona grapes. Since Burning Tree is so new, the winery, owned by the other partner at Page Spring, still sources most of its grapes from California (especially Paso Robles and Edna Valley). Our two favorites were the very fruit-forward Peasant (Grenache) and The Impressionist (95% Syrah, blended with Viognier).

From our limited experience, Northern Arizona winemaking is heavily and very positively influenced by the Page Springs connection. Three of our favorites, Page Springs, Caduccus and Arizona Stronghold share the same owner and winemaker. The co-owner of Page Springs owns Burning Tree and uses some of Arizona Stronghold’s equipment for its winemaking and its cellar for aging.

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