things to do
best arizona vacations – 33 summer getaways
Things To Do
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Things To Do
Best Arizona Vacations – 33 Summer Getaways
June, 2011, Page 106
Wine Country Spots
611 N. Seventh St., Cottonwood
Cottonwood is best known for its historic old town district and its cowboy heritage. But these days, those rough riders are tucking some pretty special sippers into their saddlebags, as the region has evolved into a remarkable wine community that boasts its own Winery Trail plus tasting rooms downtown.
Annabel Sclippa is forward thinking with her opulent, European-style B&B, which opened in 2007. She runs her three-room French-country cottage with eco-friendly efforts, such as using only green-certified cleaning products, and, honoring her European heritage, offers international gourmet breakfasts (cheeses from Holland, espresso from Italy, jams from France, dark breads from Germany). She’ll also accommodate your dietary needs: “From raw and organic to full fat indulgent, I am prepared to serve you a high quality breakfast that will make you happy that you stayed here,” she states on the B&B’s website.
And what goes better with her signature caviar-and-chocolates breakfast than winery tours? She arranges transportation to and from custom tastings at the area’s top producers, including Page Springs Cellars and Alcantara Vineyards. The inn is also a stone’s throw away from two Cottonwood tasting rooms, the critically recognized Pillsbury Wine Company North and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards.
: Rooms range from $84 to $114 per night. Save 25 percent off any room through August 31 (two-night minimum). Tour packages for two wineries, including snacks, tastings and discounts on wine purchases, cost $150 per couple. Book all three rooms for a two-night special summer package deal and receive 30 percent off your stay ($820 instead of the regular price of $1,200). The package also includes wine tours, in-house dinners from local restaurants, breakfasts, three copies of The Annabel Inn cookbook, welcome beverages and snacks, and 10 percent savings on Pillsbury wine purchases. Can’t make it out for summer? Reserve the entire house for “Death is a Cabernet” Murder Mystery Weekend on the Verde Valley Wine Trail, October 28-31 (see website for details).
Photos by Diana Elizabeth
3243 Highway 82, Sonoita
Champagne and mint juleps are favored traditional drinks for horseracing fans, but as Peter, Paul & Mary sang, “Oh Stewball was a racehorse, and I wish he were mine… He never drank water, he always drank wine....” Well, both horses and wine are themes at this rustic, 18-room lodge, a reproduction of racing legend Secretariat’s barn, which offers access to some of Arizona’s best vineyards. The Inn’s original owner, the Carmichael family, owned the farm where Secretariat was born in Virginia, so the lobby is a mini-museum of racing photos, press clippings and racing programs.
Sonoita, meanwhile, is an exploding area for top wines and some of the state’s best vineyards, including Callaghan Vineyards, Dos Cabezas Wineworks, Rancho Rossa Vineyards and Wilhelm Family Vineyards. The Inn can arrange guided winery tours and tastings, and also offers a horse-centric wine special, featuring a label called “14 Hands” (cocktail trivia: a hand equals four inches when measuring a horse’s height).
: Rates range from $129 to $139 per night, including continental breakfast plus Friday and Saturday evening wine and hors d’oeuvres. Through June, pay $109 for two full beds or $99 for a single queen. A year-round wine package offers a room, $50 credit toward the nearby Steak Out restaurant (owned by the Inn’s current proprietors, Mike and Grace Wystrach), and a bottle of “14 Hands” Washington wine for $180.
The Surgeon’s House Bed & Breakfast
affords sprawling views of Verde Valley below.
Surgeon’s House Bed & Breakfast
101 Hill St., Jerome
As you might expect from its name, this B&B was originally a residence for Jerome’s former chief surgeon when it was built in 1916. Current keeper Andrea Prince is only the second owner of the historic Spanish-style house and has run it as a relaxed but meticulously kept four-apartment inn since 1994. She recently doubled the size of one of the apartments, and three of the colorfully decorated rooms have spectacular 180-degree views of Verde Valley.
Just down the street, you’ll find Jerome Winery and Caduceus Cellars/Merkin Vineyards, which is owned by Maynard James Keenan, lead singer of the Grammy award-winning rock group Tool. The Caduceus tasting room, housed in a historic building, is the only place to get your hands on the limited-production wines; some bottlings can be ordered online, but the most coveted selections have to be bought in-person. Next, hop in your car and cruise the wine trail, which takes you to two Cottonwood tasting rooms, Pillsbury Wine Company North and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards; the award-winning Page Springs Cellars, nestled creekside in verdant Page Springs; and the riverside, Tuscan-inspired Alcantara Vineyards in Verde Valley.
Before you head out wine tasting, fill up on Prince’s delectable buffet breakfast, featuring nine menu items so popular with guests that they inspired Prince to write a cookbook collection. Don’t miss the scones, or seasonal dishes such as crab frittata and fresh salmon with asparagus.
: Rates range from $145 to $195 per night.
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