Two words – vineyards and mom! Does anyone else consider their mom one of their best friends?! I was so happy I was able to spend this Mother’s Day with my mom, for the first time in over 5 years! We had to make it special so we decided to visit a local winery.
I grew up in Arizona and have never been to a home-state winery. To be honest, I didn’t realize Arizona even had wineries! Arizona is home to three separate wine growing regions; Verde Valley, Willcox, and Sonoita, which is home to Charron Vineyards. We decided to take a mini-road trip down to Vail Arizona, about 30 minutes southeast of Tucson, to visit Charron Vineyards.
HISTORY OF ARIZONA VINEYARDS
When most people think of Arizona, they think of the notorious heat. 110+ degree summer days are the norm. Even in our winters we rarely drop below freezing in the valley. So how is it that we can manage to grow and sustain vineyards?
Sonoita is the oldest wine producing region in Arizona. Due to the region’s rainfall and mild temperatures, it’s the perfect spot to grow white, blush, and red grapes. The area has been active in wine production since the 1970’s and has been compared to the Burgandy region of France.
THE CHARRON VINEYARDS EXPERIENCE
Toting the title as one of Arizona’s oldest vineyards, Charron Vineyards boast views of the Santa Rita mountains from their long, shaded deck overlooking the vines. No reservations are required and they offer an enjoyable tasting experience. They have a wide selection of wines, including a white merlot I was dying to try! A tasting consists of six one-ounce glasses of your choice. The tasting also includes a souvenir wine glass with the Charron Vineyards logo.
And since wine goes hand in hand with cheese, we ordered the “picnic basket for two”. It came in a cute little paper “picnic basket” and was filled with some pretty great prepackaged choices. Havarti, white cheddar, green olives, and focaccia crackers to name a few.
The afternoon was perfect! With temps hanging in the low 80’s and a cool breeze flowing through the deck, we spent hours tasting wines and enjoying the endless views (and each other’s company).
Side note: How cute is my mom?!
Bonus: Charron even has their own vineyard dog! Granted, he didn’t give me nearly as much attention as I was begging for… what can I say, I’m a sucker for dogs, and I expect them to be as obsessed with me as I am with them!
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT AN ARIZONA VINEYARD
1. It’s a fun and unique change from Napa/Sonoma (especially if you’re local to Arizona)
2. Short day trip! I’m always looking for easy day trips to get out of the valley (that summer sun gets a little intense)
3. Supporting small business
4. Wine! Duh!