Arizona Wines & Historic Times

The Crew

In April, a band of merry ASURA travelers boarded a luxury coach at the Tempe Public Library Parking lot and set off for the "wineries and historic tour" of Southern Arizona.  Our first stop was at the beautiful San Xavier del Bac Mission, on the Tohono O'odham reservation, south of Tucson.  Then on to lunch at Wisdom, a restaurant just south of Tubac, that had lots of local color. This was followed by a stop at a chili factory-full of wonderful smells and tastes.  Then we enjoyed some free time to visit/browse/shop in the arts and crafts stores and art galleries (and cantina) in the Village of Tubac. For dinner, we were treated to a fine dining experience at the Tubac Golf Resort. The weather was perfect and we were seated on a private patio with a beautiful view of the golf course and the mountains.  The ambiance, the food and the companionship made for a lovely and memorable evening.   As a special treat, we were entertained by a mother owl and her two offspring in a nearby tree.  A perfect evening! We spent the night at the Baymont Inn near Green Valley.

Following breakfast, we were off to the wineries.   Our first and major stop was at the Sonoita Vineyards Festival. Here we enjoyed a tour of the winery by the Wine Master, participated in wine tasting, had lunch, and then followed a Catholic Priest and a Protestant Minister out to the vineyards for a "Blessing of the Vines" and prayers for an abundant crop.  We also stopped at the Callaghan Vineyards and the Village of Elgin Winery for more tastings.  Bill Stasi, a member of the ASURA travel committee, prepared a handy little Primer for Tastings for those of us new to the art of wine tasting. Then, we headed back to Tempe.  It was a very pleasant trip, good companions, and camaraderie.  Consider joining us on our next adventure.

By Pat Moore for Summer 2008 Prime Times