Tuesday 23 October 2018
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Great weekend in Sonoita (Part 2)

Well, Saturday proved to be a great day in Arizona’s wine country as well. It was the day of the Canelo Hills Winery & Vineyard Farm & Wine Festival – 3rd Annual. From the feedback I heard, this proved to be the best yet!

For starters, the weather couldn’t have been better! In the mid 70’s for most of the day, I didn’t even realize I was getting totally sunburned! A light breeze kept things perfect.

Five wineries were pouring wines (all AZ wines, of course!). For only $10 you received a “take-home” glass with six tasting tickets. Charron Vineyards from Vail was pouring their trademark white merlot. Learn more about Charron at

Of course, Canelo Hills was pouring wines from their collection. Whites and reds.

Pillsbury Wine Company, a Cochise County winery, was pouring their new “One Night Stand” Rose, Roan Red (a classic spicy Rhone blend) and Diva (a bold, Syrah based red blend).

Keeling Schaefer from Pearce, located at the base of the Chiricahuas, poured their Chardonnay, Syrah and Grenache.

And I was the most excited about tasting the newest winery in the state . . . Lightning Ridge Cellars. Ann and Ron Roncone debuted their wines at this event and it was so much fun to see the delight on their faces. The wines were received very well and I saw many bottles leaving the area! They have a white wine – a muscat – and a red blend (nebbiolo, sangiovese, mourvedre . . . and I think I’m missing one). We took two bottles home with us and enjoyed one that evening. Very impressive!

Another highlight were the alpacas. Square Top Alpaca Farm was present with two of their junior alpacas. These guys have the sweetest faces. When you visit Sonoita, be sure to stop by and meet these cute little creatures.

Food was provided by Cafe Sonoita. Other local products were available as well, including gift baskets, Native Seeds Research, herbs and others. The Santa Cruz Humane Society was also finding homes for some very cute puppies and kittens.

We also enjoyed a tour of the vineyard and winery, learning about the history of the winery and how the operation works. It’s truly a family run business.

Great job Tim, Joan and Kathryn! I’ll definitely be back next year!

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