I had no idea that Arizona produced great wines. Locals guided me to Willcox, an historic city along I-10 East of Tucson by around 85 miles. It is also 75 miles northeast of Bisbee. Here you can taste some great wines on Railroad Ave. or in the surrounding countryside. I focused my tasting in the four tasting rooms in town.
Flying Leap: Tasted the 2013 Grenache Rose, dry and full-bodied, and the 2009 Syrah which is a full-bodied red with a taste of black cherries. 100 N. Railroad Ave.
At Keeling Schaefer Vineyards, 154 N Railroad Ave., make sure to try the Three Sisters Syrah. It is their most popular wine and was really excellent. They are known for the Syrah.
Aridus Wine Company: Their new, contemporary tasting room opened in early 2014. Here you need to make sure to try their 2012 Syrah which was a double gold winner at a recent competition.
Carlson Creek Vineyards at 115 Railview Ave. has some great Syrahs to taste.
Also in downtown, are some fun dining options including Big Tex BBQ, located in an old train dining car from 1929. This is a popular Texas style barbecue restaurant located at 130 E. Maley. Rodney’s at 118 Railroad Ave. is a casual spot for barbecue and Southern comfort food. Bucko’s Coffee, at 114 S. Railroad Ave., is a good spot for a coffee or latte.
For Mexican food lovers, north and including Willcox, is the Salsa Trail in Pima, Thatcher, Safford, Solmon, Duncan, Clifton and York. It is high on my list for my next trip. You will find eleven small, local Mexican restaurants in each town.