Wines Too Tough to Die in Tombstone

Main street of Tombstone, ArizonaIn yesterday’s blog, we shared information on the inaugural azcentral.com Food & Wine Experience, which is scheduled for Nov. 7-9 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

It’s patterned after the big food-and-wine events typically staged in much larger cities, and will feature an array of American and international wines.

For an entirely different Arizona wine experience, head to Tombstone, one of the last wide-open Western boom towns of the late 19th century, which now is home to two wineries on the Sonoita/Elgin Wine Trail.

Sonoita was one of the first winegrowing regions in the United States to be granted American Viticultural Area status, and it’s presently the only federally recognized winegrowing region in the state of Arizona. Home to the largest concentration of wineries and vineyards in the state, the Sonoita/Elgin area was featured by USA Today.

Tombstone Wine Works is located next door to Schieffelin Hall, and usually features 10 wines — five dry and five on the sweeter side. Both wood and stainless steel vessels are used for aging, and the practice is to cellar the wines for a minimum of five years so that they are harmonious and ready to drink upon release.

Silver Strike Winery and Tasting Room is located in the heart of Tombstone, just steps from the famous O.K. Corral. Grapes from vineyards 50 miles east and 50 miles west of the town are used to craft wines that combine a European pedigree with Arizona terroir. The home countries of the various varieties include Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Portugal, and a “do as little as needed” style is employed so that the wines speak for themselves.

It has been 134 years, seven months and five days since the famous “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral,” but the incident lives on in Western cowboy lore, and Tombstone remains a popular tourist destination in Arizona. It’s nice to know that between the gunfight shows, mine tours and stage coach rides, one also can slow down, relax and sample some wine.

To learn more about what to see and do in “The Town Too Tough to Die,” go to: http://www.tombstoneweb.com.

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