The three-day Cabernet getaway is now within reach. Allegiant Air (allegiantair.com) recently launched budget-friendly nonstops ($37-$79 one-way) from Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport to Sonoma County, California, every Thursday and Sunday.
With more than 425 wineries, it can be difficult to vet your vineyards. So we asked sommelier Regan Jasper, Fox Restaurant Concepts’ VP of beverage, for his three favorite Sonoma wineries. All are an easy drive from charming Healdsburg, where many of the area’s best restaurants and hotels are located.
“When you go to Sonoma, you want to visit the Alexander Valley and drink Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay,” Jasper says. “This is a winery where you can try some of the best. Plus, the estate is pretty outstanding, with a beautiful chef’s garden, lakes and breathtaking views.” jordanwinery.com
Regan recommends: 2008 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon
“Touring this property will be unlike visiting any other vineyard in Sonoma. Visitors could literally spend all day at this massive estate.” chalkhill.com
Regan recommends: 2013 Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Clone 15
“What helped put Sonoma on the map is Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Williams Selyem set a new standard for Pinot Noir making in the U.S., and it’s a must visit.” williamsselyem.com
Regan recommends: 2014 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
San Francisco-based company Turo is trying to do the same thing for idle vehicles that Airbnb did for vacant homes – provide a platform and network for owners to rent out their unused assets to travelers. Turo recently opened an office in Scottsdale, and car owners all over Arizona have listed their vehicles for rent. Wheels-for-hire include everything from Honda Accords and Jeep Wranglers to BMWs and Cadillac Escalades, and rental rates range from cheaper-than-Enterprise ($23/day for “Joey’s 2006 Ford Taurus”) to half-the-mortgage ($464/day for “Russell’s 2007 Saturn Sky”). To rent or list a car, sign up at turo.com. Though renters will typically arrange to meet the automobile owners for car pickup, many vehicle owners offer free delivery, including to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
• BISBEE RISING: Everybody’s favorite funky art colony is racking up the accolades. In May, the Southern Arizona hamlet was voted Best Historic Small Town by readers of USA TODAY; this on the heels of a Best Small Town of 2016 plaudit in February’s Sunset magazine.
• COSTA RICA GETAWAY: Southwest Airlines launched a new direct route from LAX to Liberia, Costa Rica, in the tropical nation’s lesser-known Guanacaste region. The anchor attraction: Las Catalinas, a master-planned beach town on the Pacific. Arizona is a “feeder market,” according to insiders. lascatalinascr.com
• NEW VINO IN TOWN: The Verde Valley wine region – one of PHOENIX magazine’s old standbys – has a new player: D.A. Ranch. Located in Cornville, just down the road from Page Springs Cellars, the winery is housed on a historical, 250-acre ranch property, and currently offers five estate-grown wines. It’s easy to find the place – just look for its centerpiece, a massive, 100-year-old red barn. daranch.com
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