Sonoita & Elgin
The settlements of Sonoita and Elgin were founded when the Santa Fe Railroad built an 88-mile-long line that ran the full length of Sonoita Creek, from Benson to Nogales, in 1882. Walking the elevated berm upon which the Railroad Trail is built is one of the many attractions of the area.
The Sonoita area’s 4,970 foot elevation, high rolling grasslands, surrounded by spectacular mountains and canyons, provide some of Arizona’s most beautiful weather and landscapes. Mount Wrightson, one of the tallest peaks in Arizona, dominates the horizon.
Filmmakers have chosen the charming old west atmosphere and beauty of the Sonoita area for several films including, “Oklahoma,” “Red River,” and more recently, “Tin Cup,” “The Young Guns,” “The Fantastiks,” “Broken Lance,” “Tom Horn” and television series such as, “The Young Riders” and “Gunsmoke.”
Sonoita, Arizona’s Wine Country, is home to several wineries that offer some of the best wines found outside of France. These vineyards represent a rapidly growing industry, which began some four decades in the Sonoita Valley. Each vineyard produces unique vintages which reflect the personalities and attitudes of their owners, from colorful picnic-style wine to serious award winning varietals.
An AVA, American Viticulture Area, is a designated wine grape growing region, defined by geography. The Sonoita region is Arizona's only designated area due to its location within a valley surrounded by the Huachuca Mountains, the Santa Rita Mountains, and the Whetstone Mountains.*
* Courtesy of AZ Wine Magazine, Winter 2013