If you are a self-described oenophile but can’t make it to Sonoma or Napa Valley every weekend, make a visit to Old Town Scottsdale and travel along the “wine trail” which includes five different and unique wine shops. Inside each one of them, visitors will find a wide variety of varietals that hail from the Grand Canyon State. In fact, Arizona has three wine regions recognized as American Viticultural Areas: the first and original located in the Verde Valley, the second in Sonoita south of Tucson, and the third in Willcox in the far southeast region of the state. In fact, Scottsdale Wine Trail adventurers have the chance to taste these local varietals exclusively from these designated vineyards.
At the start of the Scottsdale Wine Trail, visitors can taste their first grapes at Aridus Wine Company, where the tasting room stocks bottles from their vineyards under the Willcox Appellation mentioned above. Afterwards, stroll down along scenic Marshall Way as you pop in and out of galleries until you make your second wine stop at Carlson Creek. Here, this wine shop presents grapes such as Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling, each one highlighting the character of the Willcox Appellation as well. By the time you reach Salvatore Vineyards, the glorious wines from southeast Arizona are once again presented, this time with varietals such as Sangiovese, Malvasia Blanca, Viognier and Malbec.
LDV & Merkin
The fourth stop, LDV Winery, features single-varietal wines that include Grenache, Syrah and Petite Sirah, each one more complex and unique then the next. The final and fifth stop at Merkin Vineyards focuses on wine created in the Verde Valley. In fact, this shop’s owner is also the lead singer for the ultra-popular metal band, Tool; however, over the last couple of decades, Maynard James Keenan has been one of the catalysts for Arizona winemaking and its popularity around the rest of the United States. On a side note, if you have the time, try to make a visit to the winery in Jerome, AZ, approximately two hours from Scottsdale. Additionally, you can finish the trail here with a bite to eat and soak up some of the wine consumed throughout the trail.
Additional Info About the Wine Trail in Scottsdale
Of course, you can start and end the wine trail in Scottsdale anywhere you want, and since there are so many superb boutiques and art galleries throughout the Old Town Scottsdale area, exploring the world of wine has never been so much fun.