Sonoita, Arizona wine trail :: tips from a frequent visitor

Sonoita/Elgin, Arizona best winery & tasting tips from a frequent visitor

Visitors to southeast Arizona can count on us for two things: plentiful sunshine and really, really good authentic Mexican food. It may come as a surprise, then, that we can also boast being home to several wineries that produce award-winning wines. Arizona’s only official American Viticulture Area is located about an hour south and east of Tucson in what would otherwise be strictly a ranch town. The Sonoita/Elgin area is home to ten tasting rooms–some of which, unfortunately, offer visitors a better tasting experience than others. As a frequent visitor to Sonoita’s tasting rooms, I’m here today to help steer you towards the Sonoita wineries that I’ve found to be the most consistent in both quality of wines and friendliness of tasting room attendants. These wineries, I believe, represent the best wineries in Sonoita.

Callaghan Vineyards – 336 Elgin Road, Elgin, Arizona

No tasting trip along Sonoita’s wine trail would be complete without a stop at Callaghan Vineyards. The first time I visited the region (in 2011) one thing was made clear: Kent Callaghan’s colleagues credit him with establishing Sonoita as a wine destination. Since his vineyard was first planted in 1990, Callaghan’s wines have gone on to earn accolades on both a state and national level.  So notable are his wines, in fact, that they’ve been poured at three separate White House dinners.

Sonoita/Elgin, Arizona best winery & tasting tips from a frequent visitor

What you need to know: The tasting room is open from 11-4 Thursday through Sunday and tends to be quite crowded. During our most recent visit, a tasting was priced at $10 (or $5 if you bring your own glass) and included five pours.


Tasting room tidbit: Visitors are encouraged to add a pin to a map on the tasting room wall to represent his or her hometown. If indeed all of the pinners have been honest, Callaghan’s guests have traveled far and wide to visit his tasting room; there’s even a pin on Antarctica! I’m not sure that one passes the tipsy test, but it’s a fun aspect nonetheless.

Continue reading

valentine horizontal

10 easy ways to say I love you in a lunchbox

Confession: one of my least favorite daily tasks is packing school lunches. I suppose if I were to just toss a Lunchable into an insulated bag it would be a lot easier. Oh, but we don’t that way ’round these parts so things get complicated. I will admit that I have more fun when it comes time to pack a special lunch, for holidays. I guess the festivity serves to get me out of my … Continue reading 10 easy ways to say I love you in a lunchbox

the grandma I hope to be | Such the Spot

Portrait of a grandma

In approximately four months my daughter is going to call and tell me that she has been admitted to the hospital. I will not pass go or collect $200 on my way to where I will book myself on the next available flight to Oregon. As I run out the door I will grab my pre-packed suitcase and camera equipment and hope I make it in time to welcome my first grandbaby into this wide … Continue reading Portrait of a grandma


Cheesy chicken, corn & green chile pasta bake

It’s about this time of year that my weekly dinner menu starts to sound a bit like a broken record. It’s because I’m a sucker when it comes to baked and bubbly pasta dishes. And since I tend to cook on a seasonal cycle, we don’t have a whole lot of time to enjoy these types of meals here in the desert southwest. With that limitation in mind, I try to cram in as many … Continue reading Cheesy chicken, corn & green chile pasta bake

Best bets for dining, accommodations & activities in Paso Robles

Weekend getaway :: Paso Robles

Special thanks to TravelPaso for hosting our Paso Robles getaway, including accommodations, dining and activities. All opinions shared here reflect my genuine experience. There are certain destinations that every traveler must visit at least once. For instance, is there anybody who argues that sooner than later you’ve simply got to try a hot dog on the streets of New York? Or drink champagne under the twinkling lights of the Eiffel tower? These are the cities expected … Continue reading Weekend getaway :: Paso Robles

Tucson mom blog | food, family travel & inspired living