March has been officially proclaimed Arizona Wine Month by Governor Hobbs and the Arizona Office of Tourism has launched a new campaign to increase awareness among residents and visitors of Arizona’s award-winning wines, winemakers and wine regions.
The campaign uses social media posts, digital advertising and billboards to deliver a glimpse into the personal process of making Arizona wine. This close look at award-winning vintages and varietals crafted by fascinating Arizona winemakers communicates there’s a story in every glass and Arizona wine is exceptional, not exclusive.
“Arizona Wine Month is the perfect opportunity to showcase the award-winning wines and wonderful experiences awaiting visitors to our wine regions,” said Lisa Urias, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. “In one glass, you’re enjoying a unique Arizona terroir created by monsoon rains, unique desert climates and a long growing season, all harnessed by Arizona’s master vintners.”
Arizona’s growing wine industry attracts almost 600,000 visitors to vineyards and tasting rooms and attracts more than $33 million in spending annually. The industry, which features three American Viticulture Areas (distinct wine regions) and more than 120 wineries and tasting rooms across the state, gives visitors an unexpected and intriguing reason to visit Arizona or extend their trips once they’re here.
Arizona Wine Month also offers several wine-focused events across the state, including the Arizona Wine Month Festival and Governor’s Cup Celebration, which will be held in partnership with the Arizona Wine Growers Association on March 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Steele Indian School Park. The event is open to the public and will feature live music, local artisans, food trucks, and of course, plenty of award-winning Arizona wines. Additional wine month celebrations include:
- Camp Verde Annual Pecan & Wine Festival – Camp Verde – March 18-19
- Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival – Carefree – March 17-19
“Each vintage of Arizona wine connects the person enjoying it to the region in which it was grown and the winemakers who created it,” said Kent Callaghan, president of the Arizona Wine Growers Association and founder of Callaghan Vineyards. “As Arizona winegrowers, we’re excited to partner with the Arizona Office of Tourism to share our state’s wine regions and experiences.”
AOT is encouraging Arizonans to explore the state’s northern and southern wine regions through its digital Arizona Wine Trail Passport, which instantly delivers the functionality of a GPS-enabled statewide wine region map and the excitement of discovering new places.
2023 Trends in Arizona Wines
This effort spotlights the growing interest and increasing sophistication in Arizona-produced wine and related experiences.
“Arizona wine drinkers are becoming increasingly savvy and more interested in their local wines,” said Paula Woolsey, president of the Verde Valley Wine Consortium. “And they are craving more of an overall experience when wine-tasting, including tours of vineyards, food and wine pairings, wine festivals and wine education.”
Woolsey, who is also a professor of viticulture and enology at Yavapai College, shared the following 2023 trends for Arizona’s wine industry:
- Customer demand is driving innovation with Arizona wineries producing sparkling and still wines in cans and crafting wines from fruit other than grapes such as apples, pears and peaches.
- Red grapes typically found in Southern Italy still dominate Arizona plantings, but vineyards are also planting an increasing number of red and white grape varieties originating from countries including Greece, France and Spain.
- Some wineries are also branching into distilling hard spirits such as brandies and bourbons.
Woolsey added, “The great thing is that as the industry grows, so does the quality and variety of wines being produced here in Arizona.”
Head to ArizonaWines.com for more information on Arizona’s spectacular wine industry.