wine tasting, donkeys and pulled pork.

There is this little gem about 1 hour from our house that we discovered about 2 years ago, AZ Hops and Vines. It is magical, not only do they have fabulous wine, but the atmosphere is one for the books. We are the family that thrives on doing fun and normal things with our 2 year old. We take him along almost anywhere we go, as long as its safe and semi kid friendly. I love having a toddler that can hang with the big kids and be comfortable riding his bike around a winery, it works for us!  

Sonoita, AZ has quite a few wineries and some may even say is the wine country of Arizona. In the summer Tucson typically reaches temperatures into the 100's daily, so anywhere that has slightly cooler temps and great views is a plus in our books. We had been to a few wineries up there, but once we discovered AZ Hops and Vines, we have never looked back. It is a relatively new winery (4 years) that was opened by two sisters with a dream and a love for wine. Their story is so interesting and inspiring, make sure to check it out here. Keep on dreaming ladies, because we love what you have come up with!

This visit we went with friends of ours, who had never been, and we were so excited to introduce them. They are a great couple with a daughter, whom Luke adores, so we knew it would be fun for everyone. Nick, Briana and Natalia have followed us on many random adventures, including driving into the middle of no where for a music festival that had zero attendees, and I am pleased to say that this adventure turned out exactly how we envisioned!

We typically bring our own lunch or dinner, or just snacks, buy a bottle and enjoy the scenery. This time around we brought pulled pork in a crock pot, and homemade mac n cheese. It worked perfectly, and the owner thought it was brilliant! They have a few animals, and yes the donkey does bite as Luke found out recently,  lots of area for the kids to run and play and the tractors are always a huge hit. We go for the experience, just as much as we go for the great wine. Luke calls it the farm! We love bringing out of town guests here to see that Arizona truly does have a little but of everything. 

My favorite wine this visit was the Verena, though I am always a fan of the Fluffer, the Verena was light and refreshing, and I ultimately bought a bottle. I think one of my favorite things about the wine is their labels. They are always so thoughtfully done, and usually done by a local artist.

Briana enjoyed the Cabernet Sauvignon, Amanda, and the special thing about this wine is that EVERYTHING was done at the winery. So, the grapes are straight from their land in Sonoita, planted in 2011 and then foot crushed and aged in the barrel. There is something so special drinking a wine that is so fresh and so local. All of the tastings are paired with a fun snack, which can be shared with the kiddos. My personal favorite were the cheetos (paired with the Imbibe.2), and who doesn't love a side of cheetos with a glass of wine, right? You can definitely tell the vibe of the place after reading this wine description;

"This red blend pairs well with a prime rib roast, smoked goose, old gouda or pecorino cheeses as well as Papa John’s. This wine is more Godfather and less Jersey Shore. Had a bad day? The Rational will make you fuhgeddaboudit."

If you are in Arizona, it is a must. Here is a list of their upcoming events, one of these days we will make it to a Bad Decisions Campout! 

 There are some weekends that you just pinch yourself to make sure you are still awake, because of the love and support that you find in them. This was absolutely one of those weekends! 

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