Excerpt from the NY Times article – “8 Things to Do in the Southwest This Fall” written by Elaine Gusac – Oct. 3, 2021
Taste desert wines
Arizona is likely not the first state that comes to mind when you consider a fall vineyard visit. But grape vines got their start here in the 1970s in tests of crops suitable for dry conditions. They took off in some higher elevation regions that cool off overnight, including Sonoita, about 50 miles south of Tucson, the state’s first American Viticultural Area, a designated growing region with distinguishing geography or climate.
Today, there are 17 wineries in the area, including the original Sonoita Vineyards, opened in 1983, and the off-grid Rune Wines, where visitors can sample wines on a shaded outdoor patio in view of distant mountains.
Pavle Milic, who co-owns the restaurant FnB in Scottsdale and created its Arizona-forward wine list, runs Los Milics Vineyards in Sonoita. He recommends malvasia bianca for a white wine, with its “undeniable Arizona aromas of passion fruit and lychees,” and montepulciano for red, “which grows vigorous in Sonoita.”