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.
Opened in 1985, Yokohama Asian Express offers a menu of Chinese, Japanese, and Asian cuisine. Made entirely without MSG, entrees include bowls that pair steamed white or brown rice with chicken, beef, pork, and vegetables, aided by sips of green tea. The restaurant also offers catering for large groups, with party platters or individual meals.
Esplendor Resort's desert locale in Santa Cruz County puts it in the midst of a landscape teeming with wildlife and naturally oriented recreation. Numerous state and national parks are scattered throughout the region, enticing hikers, birdwatchers, and cacti impersonators with eclectic ecology. Fertile grounds and a fruitful monsoon season nurture juicy red and white grapes, resulting in a bevy of wineries populating the Sonoita-Elgin region, about 30 miles northeast of Rio Rico.Authentic Mexican cuisine and wares spill across the U.S.-Mexico border about 10 miles from Esplendor Resort in Nogales, a border town full of restaurants and shopping that offers a taste of Sonoran culture on the northern side of the international boundary. For those whose cultural curiosity is piqued by the town's attractions, pedestrian access from Nogales across the border makes trans-country travel enticingly easy.
Matt’s Organics eliminates shopping-cart rage by delivering boxes of freshly harvested organic produce directly to customers' doors. Receive the $36 produce box of farmed bounty designed to fulfill nutrition needs for a single person, a small family, or a coterie of prairie dogs. The box bestows equal attention on fruits, vegetables, and salad fixings, giving each the deed to one-third of its square footage. Though undiscriminating grazers will relish the surprise of discovering previously unknown provisions, particular eaters can use the preference form to indicate five foods denied admission to the mouth and five foods on the preferred guest list.
Crafting wines culled from the fertile fields of southern Arizona, Charron Vineyards has a penchant for producing quality whites and reds thanks to its high altitude, cool night temperatures, and lush fields of wine-bottle plants. Guests visit the welcoming, pet-friendly estate to walk along the 4 acres of mature grapevines and learn the intricate details of making fine wines such as their signature white merlot and smooth French-style ros?. The staff also hosts tastings on the scenic open deck and in the glass-enclosed tasting room, during which guests sip fruity whites and complex reds as they gaze at the breathtaking Santa Rita and Empire mountain ranges. Located about a half hour south of Tucson, guests are always welcome to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the extensive tasting menu of wines offered by the bottle or glass.
Specializing in good, simple comfort food, the folks at Jerry Bob's Family Restaurant offer breakfast all day and a host of lunch specials. Customize your omelet with pretty much any combination of meat, veggies, and sides you'd like. Or, go for a "square meal"—a big plate of ham, hash browns, toast, and square eggs. Afternoons, stop in for a chicken salad sandwich or one of Jerry Bob's specials, such as better-than-mom's meatloaf.