We drove out of Scotia Canyon and decided that our last vacation fun would be to visit a local vineyard I had read about. It is the Sonoita Vineyard and I wanted to go there because it was started, ran, and owned by a scientist! I have always wondered if someone who focused on the science would be able to create a better wine than those who go by taste and hand down knowledge.
We arrived at the vineyard and went inside. We were greeted promptly and decided to do both tastings. My husband did the whites and I did the reds which fit our tastes. We were told about how they age and make all the wine there. Their preference of cork over plastic or wax for the cork to help preserve the flavor. The use of oak barrels that gives an scent and taste to some of the wine's that only comes from the old school wooden barrel method. We were not only give the wine's to taste but we also got to sample some of the wine crackers and a Sun-Dried Tomato dip that was amazing.
Our favorites were the:
Chocise County Colombard which had an amazing pear taste to it which was perfect for a white meat or summer/spring evening.
Arizona Sunset which is a Merlot/Cavet and 80% Colombard mix. This is the perfect wine for my husbands white and my red taste, it had a slightly sweet cranberry taste to it and we bought a bottle to take home.
Sonora Blanca is fermented for 3 days giving it an amazingly sweet taste. We were offered a cinnamon covered almond to eat with it and it was heaven! It brought out the cinnamon taste and nutty after-tones of what I was eating! We also took a bottle of this home which we since drank will eating some Cinnamon Rolls.
My favorite red was the MeCaSah which is a blend of Merlot, Carbernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It is one that they use Oak Barrells with and you can smell the woody notes! I loved this wine and instantly wished I had some Chicken Alfredo, or a Filet Mignon with a Caesar Salad to eat while I sampled it.
I'll admit that I was disappointed that I couldn't sample the Pinot Noir as it wasn't on the list. Pinot Noir is my favorite grape for wine to be made from. But my disappointment was quickly stamped out by the sampling of the Sparkles Brut.
The Sparkles Brut is a sparkling wine made from the Chochise County Colombard. Similar to a champagne the Brut has more of a sweet taste. What made this sample so awesome is we took a sip by itself and noticed it was more of a tart sweet taste, then we were offered a hibiscus flower with a little of the syrup mixed into our glass. It was divine! The syrup blended perfectly with the Brut making for a tasty treat, plus the flower is edible and tasted amazing after soaking in the Brut syrup mixture! Talk about a great signature drink or wedding toast drink!
We left wishing that we could have brought a case home but alas finances and space in the loaded down car prevented our indulgence. Hopefully we will be back or at least able to pick up a bottle from the vineyard in the future as my suspicions that a soil scientist could produce amazing wine was spot on. I'm convinced his knowledge of the acids, bases, minerals, and chemical compositions of the grapes allowed him to plant grapes in the soil best suited for taste and growth.
Our tastings came with the wine glasses we drank from and the experience was the perfect cap to our couple vacation. If you want to visit Sonoita Vineyards you can find them 60min from Tuscon at 290 Elgin-Canelo Road, HC 1-Box 33, Elgin, AZ 85611. Call if you want to set up a tour or find out about their latest festivals at 520-455-5893. You can also visit: www.sonoitavineyards.com for more information about the vineyard.