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5 Wineries to Take Your Date in Cottonwood

The Verde Valley wine region, a certified viticultural area in Arizona, is currently home to about two dozen wineries and tasting rooms. There are more than 40 wine grape varietals being grown in the region, including Malvasia Bianca, Viognier, Seyval Blanc, and Picpoul Blanc. Cottonwood is located just 20 minutes from Sedona, and downtown Cottonwood offers a variety of sweet diversions from wine tasting to boutiques to amazing restaurants.

Below is a list of my five favorite wineries and tasting rooms, each a unique and worthy destination for a romantic getaway, day trip, or 'Galentine' weekend!

1. AZ Stronghold

This location boasts the most beautiful tasting room in Cottonwood featuring vintage portraits of Native Americans and a very southwestern aesthetic, started back in the late 2000s by ‘Tool’s Maynard James Keenan and sold in 2014) has grown into one of the largest and best-selling wineries in all of Arizona. Food offerings are charcuterie boards and grilled skewers.

Must-try AZ Stronghold whites: Gewuerztraminer, Viognier, Diya, and Muscat

2. Page Springs Cellars

The gorgeous setting for this tasting room, which also has a bistro and offers spirits flights, has an art gallery and weekly

live music. You can stroll on the grounds, or sip wine on the veranda overlooking the vineyard. Furthermore, you can schedule a viticultural tour and learn everything there is to know about winemaking. Or take a yoga class and get a massage at the Sala, next to the running waters of Page Springs.

Must-try Page Springs whites:

2021 Rousanne, Vino del Barrio Bianca

3. Pillsbury Wines

This sustainable high-elevation vineyard produces organic vegan wines, started by former movie director Sam Pillsbury. Sam has been deeply involved in winemaking for two decades, starting his film-making career nearly 40 years ago. The new Cottonwood tasting room is situated in a massive 116-year-old home on 2 acres. View posters of his feature films in the tasting room, and be sure to check out the tub filled with wine corks - a fun photo opportunity while you are there.

If you book in advance, you can choose to be with your person or (people) in any one of the 3-4 private rooms, or gardens, for an exclusive dinner with executive Chef Abby. A phenomenal 5-6 course dinner, paired with Pillsbury Wines, will create a truly memorable experience.

Must-try Pillsbury whites: The Inappropriate, a 50/50 Symphony, and Malvasia, The Wild Child (have both won double gold for San Francisco), and the ‘21 “One Night Stand” Rose (which Val Fisch, the tasting room cheerleader, raves about).

4. Cove Mesa

The latest addition to the tasting rooms in Cottonwood, Cove Mesa is a family-owned and operated winery with terroir wines created in the old-world style by owners Emil and Cindy Molins. Cindy creates all of the delightful bites available in the tasting room, ranging from her signature French Onion Dip to the ‘cup and char’ pepperoni pizza.

Must try Cove Mesa whites: PicPoul Blanc, Cynthia’s Cuvee, Malvasia Bianca

5. Chateau Tumbleweed

Owned and operated by a team of friends with 20 years of experience in wine-making, this cozy little tasting room doesn’t have a single white I did not love. The wine bottle labels feature dynamic artwork. Sometimes the heads of people hav been replaced by Tumbleweed.

Must-try Chateau Tumbleweed whites: The Descendants, Miss Sandy Jones, Rose, Grenache Blanc, Malvasia Bianca, Dos Amigos PicPoul Blanc, Cimarron Vineyard Pic Poul


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