Exploring the Verde Valley Wine Region

When considering top spots for wine growing, Arizona may not be the first place that comes to mind. However, with a climate comparable to Mediterranean wine regions, Arizona’s Verde Valley has been producing quality wines that have led oenophiles across the country to take notice. As one of the state’s three wine regions (in addition to Sonoita and Wilcox), the Verde Valley reached a key milestone in November 2021, when it became a federally recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA). As the region continues to enjoy significant growth, now is an exciting time to explore the wonderful wineries of the Verde Valley.

What makes the Verde Valley ripe for wine growing?

Consisting of the cities of Sedona, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Camp Verde, Jerome, and Cornville, the Verde Valley sits at a relatively high elevation averaging nearly 4,000 feet. With mild winters and summers that are characterized by hot days, cool nights, and adequate rainfall, the region’s climate is conducive to growing wine grapes. Dark, thick-skinned grapes sprout from the volcanic soils, which contain layers of sedimentary rock known as caliche. Rich in calcium, caliche is believed to add a minerality to the wines.

Experiencing the wines of the Verde Valley

Although the Verde Valley is Arizona’s newest AVA, it is already the most prolific, with over 20 wineries and tasting rooms—and Sedona serves as the perfect base for visiting all of them. Various wine tour companies based in Sedona, including Wine Tours of Sedona and Sip Sedona, will transport you directly to the best local vineyards, with tour options available to suit different groups and interests. These companies provide a great way to safely explore Verde Valley wine country without needing to worry about a designated driver, while also offering a chance to gain expert, local insight into the unique characteristics of the region and each winery that you visit.

If you’d prefer to do some independent exploration, Verde Valley Wine Trail offers a downloadable map of all area wineries. You can also download a passport to keep track of the wineries you visit, and upload a stamped version to be entered in a quarterly drawing!

If you’re seeking to explore our up-and-coming wine region and everything else the Verde Valley has to offer, El Portal Sedona Hotel is the ideal “home away from home.” Located in the heart of Sedona, our 12 spacious suites offer a tranquil respite after a day of wine tasting. Call us at 800-313-0017 or visit https://elportalsedona.com to book your stay!