photo courtesy Pavle Milic

Pav on Juice: Sonoita Getaway

Written by Pavle Milic Category: Amuse Bouches Issue: July 2018
Group Free

A monthly look at Arizona wine with Valley dining impresario Pavle Milic.

Escaping the Phoenix Inferno 101: Get in car. Blast AC. Frown in utter discomfort while the benzene fumes vanish out the windows. Fantasize about a frosty michelada poolside… in Cancún! OK, maybe Yucatán beaches are not in the budget this summer, but the Arizona wine region of Sonoita is. Here are my go-to recommendations for a full-day wine research excursion:

11 a.M.: Lightning Ridge Cellars
Visit Ann Roncone. The lady is a one-woman show. I am deeply enamored with her Montepulciano, and the stunning views of the Mustang Mountains. Be sure to give Monte – the winery’s gentle Great Dane – a pat. lightningridgecellars.com

12:15 p.m.: Callaghan Vineyards
Unequivocally one of the most respected vignerons in the state, Kent Callaghan will excite your palate with Lisa’s White Blend, a sexy, aromatic blend of Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne and Arizona’s darling, Malvasia Bianca, named after his wife. callaghanvineyards.com

1:15 p.m.: Rune Wines
Look for rising winemaker James Callahan’s converted Quonset Hut wine cellar emblazoned with the Rune logo on the side. His outfit is 100 percent solar, and his Wild Syrah is 100 percent legit delicious. runewines.com

2 p.m.: The Cafe
By now, the liver is in high need of fat to soak up the wines you’ve just tasted. Head on over to The Cafe and order the cheeseburger and fries. You can’t go wrong. cafesonoita.com

2:45 P.M.: Dos Cabezas Wineworks
After 15 years, Todd and Kelly Bostock not only make some of Arizona’s best juice, they continue to surprise us with out-of-the-box hits like their Méthode “Canpenoise” canned sparkling wine, judged Best in Show at the Arizona Republic’s annual wine competition this year. doscabezas.com

3:30 p.m.: The Casita Next Door
Relax, put your feet up and take in the vista views. Located next to Dos Cabezas, The Casita is available to rent, if you want to delay your return to the inferno one more day. doscabezas.com/stay-with-us