As the oldest continually operating winery in Arizona, Sonoita Vineyards has had plenty of time to hone its craft. Its enduring success is partly due to its hillside location, which, although lovely for humans, is even better for grapes. Nestled on a south-facing slope, the 30 acres of vineyards are protected from much of the area's harsh weather and supplied with plenty of water by root-guarding berms. This setting has proven ideal for 10 varieties of grape vines, whose fruit becomes Sonoita Vineyards' 12 wines and whose stems and leaves go back into the soil to fertilize more grapes. These vintages include crisp, sparkling whites and an earthy blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah grapes. Perhaps the popular vintage is the cabernet sauvignon, which is so celebrated that it's been served at a presidential inauguration gala and used to christen every new vice president.
The flavor profiles of these wines come to life during staff-guided group tastings and wine flights in the tasting room. These tastings aren't the bar's only attractions: the wine-production facilities are visible from the bar, and visits during the late-summer harvest season provide a glimpse into the winemaking process as it happens. Meanwhile, an outdoor portico offers a space for picnics and views framed by mountain ranges.
Charles Kendrick has been cooking since the 1960s, taking his fondness for traditional barbecue flavoring to the kitchen with his latest venture—Mr. K's Barbeque. Mr. K's serves a distinct style of patiently-smoked Tucson barbecue, in a market-style setting, that includes half-pound pork, beef, and chicken sandwiches in a tomato-based sauce and racks of ribs served simply in dry-rubbed tuxedos. The restaurant also offers catering packages that feature one, two, or three meats along with homemade sides.
Armed with only their courage, adventurers work their way through darkened alleys of corn, the path lit by nothing more than a curtain of stars above. But they're not alone. Through this maze lurk crazed doctors, hungry zombies, and grisly artifacts of murder and mayhem––an army of bloodthirsty terrors standing between groups of unwilling victims and the exit.
Not all the stalks at Buckelew Farms are haunted, however. Those who escape the Terror in the Corn unscathed can relax their nerves and test their navigational skills in the flashlight maze, where groups survey the darkness to find 12 different checkpoints that offer up clues to the maze. The casual-paced attraction offers up a challenge similar to a classic scavenger hunt, but without the creepy neighbors. Both mazes make a great ending to a day at the farm's 24th Annual Pumpkin Festival, where guests enjoy a lively collection of fall pastimes. Tractors tow carts of hay and families to pumpkin fields to pick out an ideal jack-o'-lantern candidate, and a smattering of colorful tents house arts and crafts activities, children’s games, and a petting zoo full of friendly beasts waiting to be pet, fed, and stealthily adopted. The farm will also be hosting a Great Pumpkin 5K race on October 14, during which participants chart a course through the farm and parts of the corn maze in order to win prizes and raise funds for the University of Arizona Medical Center Departments of Surgery and Neurology.
Passionate about food ever since he was a youngster, Stephen Hurd began his culinary career in his teens, working his way up the ladder with jobs at various restaurants. So began a 25-year career at country clubs and restaurants such as Washington D.C.?s Watergate Hotel, where Richard Nixon famously declared, ?I am not a crook!? while stuffing his pockets with another table?s dinner rolls.
These days, Stephen showcases his culinary talents at his own eatery, Relish Kitchen and Wine Bar, where he crafts a global menu from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. Said global flavors range from blackened mahi served over sweet cornbread pudding to Mediterranean pasta chock-full of grilled chicken, artichokes, and cilantro pesto. On Sunday, Stephen even puts his own spin on brunch favorites such as French toast stuffed with cream cheese, sliced strawberries, and candied pecans. Open for lunch six days a week, he assembles made-to-order sandwiches, salads, and dressing made from scratch.
To complement Stephen?s feast, bartenders pour local and familiar wines by the glass, fill pints with regional beers, and mix classic cocktails. Sports games stream on the dining room?s four large flat-screen TVs, and stunning views of the Catalina Mountains await on a spacious outdoor patio.
Beneath the gaze of the numerous chimps painted on Nimbus American Bistro N' Brewery’s walls, the Tuscan-based brewery's craft beers mingle with gourmet versions of pub favorites. The kitchen crew simmers fresh seafood and meats in beer-based sauces before transforming them into burgers, pasta dishes, and steaks. Their wood-fired oven bakes artisanal pizzas, pairing with specialty cocktails or pints of Nimbus pilsners, stouts, and ales. In the expansive dining room, warm lights and vibrant brewery-inspired murals dazzle eyes from the ceiling, and rows of tables and booths scatter the hardwood floors. A patio hosts outdoor dining, welcoming patrons to bring along their dogs or goldfish disguised as dogs. The restaurant hosts special events throughout the week, including live entertainment on Saturdays.
Served by the flight, glass, or bottle, the wine at Bear Track Bistro & Winery makes for a tasty accomplice to the eatery's gourmet Mediterranean-style food. À la carte menus feature specialties from the sea, such as smoked oysters and sturgeon, and from the land, including all-natural artisan-cured meats seasoned with organic spices. Visitors can also share platters of cheese—feta, asiago, and smoked edam, among others—all handcrafted by a fourth-generation Wisconsin cheese maker. To go along with its food and wine, Bear Track also hosts special events throughout the week, highlighted by ladies nights and live music every Saturday.