Willcox Winery Tour From Down By The River B and B
We love to take the Willcox Winery Tour and spend the day doing some wine tasting and meeting friends. During the summer season, the traffic at Down By The River B and B slows down and allows us to venture out to look at the many sites in Cochise County. Angie and I decided to take a day and do a Willcox wine tour visiting some wineries that are on the Willcox Bench. We hadn’t been to Willcox since the October Willcox Wine Festival. Our purpose then was to find an Arizona wine to have at our “Challenge on the River”, a blind wine taste test that we held in November, 2013. This time our intent was to find out about a new tasting room that was opened.
We started off the Willcox winery tour visiting Terry at Coronado Vineyards on the east side of Willcox. Our first visit to Coronado was during the second week that they opened the tasting room. This time we met some travelers who were there to taste and had a fun time discussing wine and our b and b. The wines range from dry to semi sweet and they do have some desert wines and a sparking wine. Every year we host a New Years Eve Party with our guests and friends. This year will not be an exception. At midnight we pour Coronado’s sparkling wine Dolce Veritas. The tasting room is open daily check their website for the hours.
After taking our leave of Coronado, we headed south to the center of the Willcox Bench growing region. We stopped at Bodega Pierce. They have just opened their tasting room on Robbs Road in Kansas Settlement located just north of the Pillsbury winery. We had tasted their wines in October but under the name of Saeculum Cellars. Barbara and Dan are the perfect hosts and will take time to explain their wines to you. We actually got there as the rain started and it was pleasant to sip wine and watch the rain. It had been over a week since there was a good rain. We did enjoy their wines which are medium to dry and fruity. They do have a delightful Malvasia Bianca. That grape is usually blended with other wines and I haven’t tasted it much as a varietal. Their hours are Thursday to Sunday 11 to 5.
Next stop on our Willcox wine tour was Pillsbury Wine Company. Located a little further south and then east on Bennet Place. We came to see Bonnie, Sam Pillsbury’s wonderful tasting room hostess and to view the new construction. Pillsbury is having a new winery building constructed for the expanding vineyard and the building is progressing nicely. We were the only ones there for a while and got to catch up on what was going on. The wines are medium to dry. Just before we left we met another vintner who is just starting out with his winery. He told us it would be a couple of years before he gets to the point of having a tasting room. The Pillsbury tasting room is open Thursday to Sunday 11 to 5.
We end our Willcox winery tour with a stop at Zarpara Winery and we were greeted by Rhona and Mark. We stopped at Zarpara on the first week that they opened. They have a nice variety of wine from medium to dry. Rhona had just got back from Scotland and so we got to catch up on gossip with her. Her dog came into the tasting room with us but was summarily marched back out. Seems the dog had a run in with a skunk and after a while the scent would make its presents known. Zarpara had the honor of winning our “Challenge on the River” blind taste test with their wine Origen. The tasting room is open Friday to Sunday 11 to 5.
Our return home was through the town of Dragoon and into Texas Canyon. The area is picturesque and is even more so when the monsoon clouds and rain are in the mix. The loop trip on our Willcox wine tour lasted about 7 hours and was a less than 100 miles in length. We got home while it was still light so we could enjoy the sunset and relax. We have found that wine people are very friendly and everyone is helpful with directions to the neighboring wineries. So plan your next Willcox wine tour and stay at Down By The River after your loop trip. The next day you can head to Sonoita for more wine tasting loop trip or maybe just make your way home.