Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley

Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley From Sedona

We did wine tasting all over North America in 2019. So when we heard there were wineries in the area, we planned a day to go Sedona wine tasting in the Verde Valley (Green Valley).

Ice wines tastings in the Niagara Region of Canada started our year. We then enjoyed wine tasting experiences in Temecula and around the Napa Valley. Wine tasting in British Columbia let us explore the Fraser Valley wineries and the interesting wine region in the Okanagan Valley.

On our visit to Sedona, we stopped at 3 wineries – the DA Ranch, Javelina Leap and Chateau Tumbleweed. There were some interesting new varietals. And each of the wineries were very different in wines and wine tasting approach.

The Verde Valley Outside Of Sedona

Verde means “green”. The Verde Valley was a short drive outside of Sedona near Cottonwood. There was a wine map trail that we used as a base to start our exploration. The Verde Valley was located above the hot of the valley floor but below the cold of the mountains. This made it good for grape growing.

Verde Valley Wine Trail map.jpg

Grape harvesting (the “crush”) was typically done a little earlier in this region than in areas like California. Usually the crush season starts in late August to early September.

There were some wine tours available that took us around to different wineries. We even saw a bike wine tour when we visited the area. But we chose to drive to a few of the wineries. David has a much narrower range of wine likes that I do. So we shared wine flights and he could still drive.

Most of the wineries had actual vineyards to visit. But there was also a small area in the downtown area of Cottonwood with tasting rooms only. We did not visit the tasting rooms on this trip.

For this wine tasting trip, we looked for the smaller wineries. We wanted to avoid the bigger tour groups.

Our First Stop At The DA Ranch Winery

Our first stop was at the DA Ranch Winery. The DA stands for “Dancing Apache”. The winery was located on a working ranch. The dirt road in made us glad we rented a jeep! The grounds around the tasting room were lush and inviting. The tasting room was in a lovely wooden building with many rooms inside and a great broad porch to enjoy wine outside.

DA Ranch Winery.jpg

DA Ranch Winery - Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

DA Ranch Winery.jpg

We got lucky and had the entire building to ourselves when we arrived. This meant we had amazing personalized service. And Becky was very patient as we set up our wine photo shots. A couple of small groups arrived as we left. This small winery does not encourage large tour groups to visit. But private events can be hosted.

We tasted our way through the Ranch Flight. This gave us one white wine, a rosé and two red wines. We were interested in the grape varietal “Tannat”. But when we learned it was perfectly paired with spicy food, we knew we would find it spicier than we liked. But I took a bottle of the rosé home. It was a nice refreshing wine.

DA Ranch Winery - Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

DA Ranch Winery - Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

The DA Ranch wines used 100% estate-grown grapes and release limited production wines. Other vintners had grapes planted on the property too. We loved the entire experience visiting DA Ranch when we went wine tasting in the Verde Valley.

Javelina Leap Winery For Wine Tasting Around Sedona

The second winery we planned to visit was the Javelina Leap Winery. It was a small winery. And David really hoped he would see the pygmy pigs (“Javelina”) that the winery was named for. Unfortunately he only found pig art. When we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Tucson later on our trip, we finally did see a family of javelina.

Javelina Leap Winery.jpg

Javelina Leap Winery - Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

The tasting room was very small and the crowds made getting any information very hard. The tasting menu had 9 wines and sangria on the menu. We picked 4 different red wines for our tasting. I found most of the wines we tasted to be very tart and too dry. But then I was surprised by the Red Canyon Cuvée. The cherry taste just popped in my mouth.

Javelina Leap Winery - Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

Javelina Leap Winery - Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

Javelina Leap Winery - Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

The winery had won many awards. We would have loved to learn a little bit more about the Javelina Leap wines when we went wine tasting in the Verde Valley.

A Stop To Eat

From the wine route on Hwy 50, we headed towards the small town of Cottonwood. We did the first two wine tastings on an empty stomach. So we needed to fix that before we did any more wine tasting in the Verde Valley!

We were drawn in when we saw a sign for the Black Bear Diner in Cottonwood. David was a bit disappointed that they really did not have bear on the menu. He loved to try new foods. But there was a broad menu and we had no trouble picking our lunch choices. Finishing the massive portions was a little more challenging!

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We were most impressed to see that the restaurant credo was printed right on the placemats. It was clear that customer service was at the front of the restaurant offering. This was probably why this restaurant chain has grown so big!

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Wine Tasting At Chateau Tumbleweed

Refreshed and full we went through Cottonwood to find Chateau Tumbleweed. I must admit I thought David had made up the name when he added this to our wine tour list. But I was certainly glad he found this spot.

Chateau Tumbleweed does not have its own vineyard. It buys most of its grapes from the Willcox area. And the vintners also work for some of the local wineries.

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Chateau Tumbleweed had three different flights to try. One had just white and rosé wines. One served all red wines. And we tried the mixed flight and had a white, rosé and three red wines. At the end of the tasting, we also got to try a new release called The Bigness. We were intrigued by the wine names. And the creativity of the labels.

Chateau Tumbleweed Winery - Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

Chateau Tumbleweed Winery - Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

Chateau Tumbleweed Winery - Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley.jpg

This was a young winery. They continued to experiment with both different varietals and with different mixes. The tasting room was small. But every guest was taken care of. We learned about the wines and the two wine regions in Arizona as we tasted. We learned there was a wine festival on in the Willcox area when we were booked to stay in Tucson. Perfect timing for us!

We were definitely glad we visited Chateau Tumbleweed when we went wine tasting in the Verde Valley.

A Short Detour Through Jerome

While we were in this part of the country, we decided to do a quick stop in the “Ghost Town” Jerome. The road took us higher and higher up switchback roads. The view out over the valley was great to catch as we climbed. We saw the edge of the green Verde Valley.

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Jerome was a copper mining town. We stopped and looked down over the copper mine on our ride up. The Jerome State Historical Mine Park Museum would be a great place to stop for more information about this mining area.

Jerome Arizona Copper Mine.jpg

We were amused as we drove through town to find signs for the bordello and the Ghost City Inn. These were certainly remnants of this wild west town. We were surprised to find the town very busy and no parking was immediately found. Most people were shopping for local art or trinkets.

Ghost City Inn Jerome Arizona.jpg

Bordello Jerome Arizona.jpg

Jerome would be worth a longer visit. But not at the end of a great wine tasting day. The town was setting up for the annual nightly Ghost Walk. This would surely be a big draw.

We Were Happy We Planned Sedona Wine Tasting In The Verde Valley

We were glad we planned Sedona wine tasting in the Verde Valley on our visit to Sedona in the fall. It was great to try a new wine region. And it added a visit to the Willcox wine area for our stay in Tucson.

Did you do Sedona wine tasting in the Verde Valley? Were you convinced to visit the Willcox area in Arizona too? Did you have a favourite winery?

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30 Comments

  1. As I just started liking wine and started to visit vineyards, it looks like I need to check out some of these when I eventually get to Arizona. Cant believe there is a wine called TumbleWeed. Not sure if that is a good name for a wine. But still give it a try. Would love to check some of the area out if they looking like scenes from the Wild West films, I would just drive to Jerome just for this. 🙂

  2. Great post!! I have no experience in any sort of winery but Verde Valley looks great and I would love to try out some authentic wines. I have always heard about tons of Ghost Inns but I never really known that Arizona got one too. I would surely going to add this activity in my list for my future trip to Arizona the next.

  3. I can’t believe I missed stopping by these Sedona wineries. I’d probably spent most of my time at DA Ranch because of their the lack of crowds and use of their own grapes. Nice tip about making time for Jerome on a separate day, I didn’t have time for that either.

  4. My mom loves Sedona. She also loves wine. Sedona isn’t too far from us and her birthday is coming up, I will suggest this for sure. I really enjoy tasting rooms, they are easy and give a great overview of where I would actually like to spend some time. I’m sure DA Ranch Winery would be a stop, relaxing on the porch sounds perfect

  5. I like your article! It’s great! I am delighted because we love wines and we always taste them during our trips. We were in Sedona two weeks ago, and then we found out that there are wineries in Arizona. Due to winter, we put off wine tasting for another visit. That’s why we’ll use your guide for sure; it’s so detailed and helpful in planning. Our next stay will be focused on wine tasting.

  6. As a wine lover, this article makes me happy. I’m just back from tasting delicious local wine of Model region in Germany. Living in Europe, ai haven’t had much chance to taste American wine, and that’s something I’d totally want to do!
    It’s impressive that you chose to split the tastings so you could still manage to drive. Too bad Javelina winery was crowded and busy. With all those awards I’d also have loved to know more!

  7. I still have to develop taste for wines but I like reading about wineries and vineyards. I am quite amused with all that goes in preparing the wines and the different experimentation that producers do. This is no less than an art. I have read about Verde valley for the first time and it looks lovely. Will keep it in mind.

  8. I like small wineries and it seems the DA Ranch winery would suit my liking the best. So lucky that you didn’t have many people visiting at the same time as you and you managed to find enough time and freedom to taste the wines, take lots of pictures and buy the wine of your choice. I would love to try Tannat because I quite like spicy wines!

    • Medha, If you like spicy wines, Arizona wine would be a great place to visit. We also went wine tasting in the south of Arizona (post coming) and they were even spicier. Hope you get to visit one day. Linda

  9. Though I cannot hold my alcohol , I still absolutely love vineyards. Especially when they are stretched out in the valleys as far as the eye can see. I was not aware in Arizona it is possible to go for wine tasting. I somehow just had in mind Napa Valley. Definitely good to know – if I ever get there, this will go into my itinerary.

  10. Wine tasting is very interesting! I never thought of wine tasting hopping as a trip before. I should probably be doing this once a year or so. I love beer but I want to explore more in wine. Thanks for sharing this though, this article gave an idea.

  11. I’m not a wine drinker but I enjoyed reading your wine tasting day trip in Sedona. The wineries may be small, but seems like they tried to provide the best products and experiences to their visitors. I also like the name of each wineries and I found the label from Chateau Tumbleweed very interesting.

  12. I have heard a lot about wineries which offer wine tasting experience in North America, especially the famous Napa Valley. I like that DA Ranch Winery encourages only small groups. Good to hear that you picked up a rosé wine. I would have done the same. Javelina Leap Winery appeals to me, especially with its quirky pig art, haha! With over 9 wines to choose from, I am sure many people visit here. I am curious to taste the Red Canyon Cuvée.

  13. Verde Valley seems quite scenic with these vineyards. I have not been to any of these wine tasting trails but they definitely seem like an experience that I should try out. I am all for white wine – somehow, have always liked it more than red.

  14. This all looks amazing. I hadnt even thought to go wine tasting in Sedona, but I love how peaceful and uncrowded it looks! Might have to plan a girls trip!

  15. While DA Ranch and Javelina Leap sounded interesting (particularly the pigs which I’ve never heard of), I’m such a sucker for packaging so I would have been right at home in Chateau Tumbleweed! I particularly liked the label with the bird (road runner?) and snake – I’m sometimes guilty of buying a wine just for the label! Looks like lots of options for a great day out in the Sedona region.

    • We too did just love the labeling at Chateau Tumbleweed. We asked about the story behind a few of the labels. Hope you get to try wine tasting in the Sedona region if you visit. Linda

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