When it comes to wine, Northern California is generally seen as the mecca of wine country in the U.S. That said, Arizona has quickly become a hub for vineyards and producers looking to expand beyond the borders of California. Though it may seem strange that such a dry desert landscape could produce a quality harvest, the high temperatures and elevation actually allow for grapes to thrive similarly to how they do in places like Argentina.
Scottsdale specifically is home to a wide array of tasting rooms. In fact, the Scottsdale Wine Trail takes travelers and locals on a fun-filled journey around Old Town to seven different tasting rooms. Thanks to the exciting wine trail, Scottsdale is carving out a spot as an exciting new location for local wine lovers. All of the wines on the wine trail are locally produced, giving visitors a true taste of Arizona’s growing wine industry.
Whether you’re looking for old-school tasting rooms that showcase local wines or a more elevated restaurant to sip some world-class vino, here are some of our favorite places to enjoy the best of Scottsdale’s wine scene.
1. Merkin Vineyards Old Town
From production to sourcing, remaining as local as possible is at the forefront of Merkin Vineyards’ priorities. Merkin’s Estate Vineyards are located in Verde Valley and Willcox, Arizona, where grapes thrive across more than 100 acres of pristine land. If a light-bodied red is normally your go-to, Merkin’s Garnacha is a solid choice. For something fuller, the 100% Sangiovese is a must-order. Though the focus of Merkin Vineyards Old Town is to bring premium and locally produced wine to Scottsdale, the tasting room also serves tasty bites and seasonal fare. Merkin remains consistent in its priorities and practices by growing the majority of its own fruits and vegetables in Verde Valley. From pizzas to pasta, the menu at Merkin changes regularly, serving creative cuisine that is meant to pair with the one-of-a-kind wines.
2. LDV Winery
The cozy patio at LDV Winery is the perfect place to post up for a glass of vino under the Arizona sun. If you’re looking to get a full taste of the brand, a $15 flight is the way to go. There are three different flights to choose from along with various wines by the glass. LDV specializes in Rhône-varietal wines and sits in the heart of Old Town, allowing you to walk to nearby eateries or shops after your visit. The 100% Grenache is light and floral, but those that prefer something fuller will appreciate the various Syrah offerings. Started by a husband and wife duo, the LDV vineyard is located in the Chiricahua Mountains and sits at an elevation that is 5,000 feet above sea level.
3. The Wine Collective of Scottsdale
The Wine Collective is a quaint and charming bottle shop with modern appeal. Visitors are able to choose between four different wine flights and can pair them with either a charcuterie board, a cheese board or a chocolate board. The Wine Collective carries over 40 different varieties of Arizona wines, and each bottle featured is hand-picked with care and consideration. In fact, The Wine Collective has the biggest selection of Arizona wines in all of Scottsdale. Although many of the area’s tasting rooms are in Old Town, The Wine Collective is located in the downtown area.
4. Salvatore Vineyards Tasting Room
One of the coolest parts about indulging in a tasting at Salvatore Vineyards Tasting Room is the fact that many of the wines available are crafted on-site. This winery has an elegant appeal that is enhanced by warm wood flooring and vintage chandeliers. The wines bottled under the name Salvatore are the reserve wines that have been deemed the best of the best. In fact, if you find yourself in need of a new collectible or special bottle, Salvatore’s Reserve Sangiovese is a wonderful option.
Weft & Warp
Those looking to branch out from the trail and experience an artfully prepared meal complete with quality wine should check out Weft & Warp. Though you won’t find as many local options on the list, this innovative Mediterranean-inspired restaurant has a rotating wine list that is sure to impress any wine lover. Located at the stunning Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, Weft & Warp changes its wine list at least every two weeks, allowing patrons to savor delicious bites with different perfectly paired wines on every visit. Weft & Warp’s diverse and ever-changing selection features wine from all over the world, ranging from France to California to Germany. From light-bodied reds to refreshing bubbles, the vibrant and seasonal fare caters to a variety of preferences and palettes.