A growing part of the “Sedona experience” for many visitors is an encounter with local viticulture. Winemaking throughout Northern Arizona has climbed on the fast track in recent years, with vineyards, winemakers and tasting rooms popping up everywhere. It would be easy to assume that this is “oh by the way” wine, meant to cash in on Sedona’s popularity as a tourist destination. In fact, local producers are creating enduring, award-winning wines of considerable distinction.
Newcomers to area winemaking may be surprised at the high quality, considering Arizona’s reputation for hot temperatures and desert landscape. Northern Arizona, it turns out, offers significant advantages in climate, soil and growing conditions. With plenty of sunshine and a long growing season, many grape types flourish here.
While the rising profile of Arizona wines is a recent development, winemaking in the Copper State is not. Spanish missionaries brought Old World growing methods and grapes to the American Southwest as early as the sixteenth century. Once their sporadic efforts at cultivation subsided, permanent vineyards were a long time in coming.
Commercial use of Arizona grapes got underway in the early 1980’s. Despite the late start compared to other, better known winemaking regions, such as California, Arizona has already proved a good home to several thriving varietals. A nice mix of both reds and whites have matured into worthy estate wines here.
So what to do to enjoy the best local wines? You can visit the scene of the crime, at four nearby vineyards, or stop in at any of a dozen tasting rooms within a half hour radius of Sedona Real.
Fifteen minutes south of the hotel, three wineries sit just a stone’s throw apart in Page Springs. Situated in the Oak Creek watershed, they benefit from a potent combination of abundant sunlight, efficient hillside drainage and hospitable, volcanic soil. The result is a lovely mix of reds and whites, including a sparkler or two.
While each of the three produces both reds and whites, it is fair to say that Page Springs Cellars has had great success with Rhone-style red varietals. Javelina Leap knocks out peppery, earthy reds, and Oak Creek Vineyards excels at crisp, well-rounded whites.
Another waterside vineyard is Alcantara, overlooking the Verde River, just a few hundred yards from the confluence with Oak Creek. Known for robust reds and nicely balanced whites, Alcantara produces estate wines as well as blends using grapes sourced in Arizona and elsewhere.
All four of these wineries offer tasting, occasional cellar and/or vineyard tours and of course, wine for purchase by the bottle or case. Three of the four accommodate visitors on a deck or patio overlooking the water. All four serve edible accompaniments such as Panini, cheese, deli items and more.
In Sedona proper, four tasting rooms showcase local wines. Four more can be found in Old Town Cottonwood, twenty minutes from the hotel. Jerome has three of its own, about thirty minutes away. Some tasting rooms represent a single area vineyard or producer; some sell wines produced from local as well as out-of-state grapes.
Even Yavapai College is in the wine business. The college just broke ground at the new Southwest Wine Center, where students in the viticulture and enology degree program will learn their craft by cultivating seventeen acres of grapes.
Sedona Real is the ideal jumping off point for all your area wine touring. Close to in-town venues, you will also be nearer here than at any other Sedona hotel to Page Springs, Cottonwood and Jerome.
Here is a list of options for your tasting pleasure.
In Page Springs: Page Springs Cellars; Oak Creek Vineyards; Javelina Leap.
In Camp Verde: Alcantara Winery.
Tasting rooms and Wineries.
In Sedona: Sedona Wine and Beer Company; Made In Arizona; The Art Of Wine; Tasting Arizona.
In Cottonwood: Arizona Stronghold; Pillsbury Wine Company; Old Town Wine Cellar; Burning Tree Cellars.
In Jerome: Merkin & Caduceus Cellars; Jerome Winery; Grapes; Bitter Creek Winery.
Join us at Sedona Real Inn & Suites this summer! We are having a great special from May 28th-August 15th. Stay 2 nights and save 20%. Stay 3 nights or more and save 25%! Find out more here: sedonareal.com or us at 800-353-1239. Our concierge team can make all your arrangements for winery visits, dining and Sedona activities.
Blog contributed by: Tod Young, Concierge at Sedona Real Inn & Suites
If you are seeking a little pampering for your body and soul, then you need to look no further. With our numerous resort style and boutique spas, Sedona has become a mecca for relaxation and rejuvenation.
One of my favorite spas in Sedona is Sedona’s New Day Spa. With its beautiful décor and eclectic selection of treatments, it is a relaxing retreat for the ladies. Imagine beginning your experience with the 90 minute True Sedona Clay Treatment. Your therapist will start by first dry-brushing your skin in preparation for the creamy Sedona clay mask. The antioxidants and minerals detoxify and balance the skin. A wrap with a warm Vichy shower and relaxing massage with Desert Dew Lotion will leave you relaxed, hydrated and fragrant. And since I know you won’t want to leave your face unattended, a facial should be next on your agenda. Utilizing Pevonia Bontanica products, your therapist will customize your 60 or 90 minute facial to your specific needs. I personally love the 90 minute facial as the extra time allows your therapist to indulge you with a relaxing massage to your head, neck, arms and feet. After your treatments, you can enjoy some time in the steam room, or grab some cucumber water and snacks and relax in the lounging area.
I recently had the delightful opportunity to experience Namaste Spa. Namaste Spa is new to Sedona and is located just across the street from Sedona Real Inn. How is that for convenience? Namaste is a full service spa complete with custom massages, facials, hair, make-up, nail services, and even lash extensions.
Summer months bring on the sizzling specials at Sedona Real Inn & Suites! By requesting the “Net” rate, you will receive a discounted rate on a one night stay with rates starting as low as $115.00 per night. Since we want you to stay longer, we are offering a 20% discount off a two night stay and a 25% discount off a three night or more stay. Just request “NET2” or “NET3” and enjoy your savings! These special discounts are valid May 28th through August 15th.
You can make your reservations on-line at www.sedonareal.com or call us directly at 800-353-1239. We look forward to helping you plan your spa getaway in Sedona!
Blog contributed by Debbie, Concierge at Sedona Real Inn & Suites
But you knew that already. And you’re pulling out all the stops to show Mom a good time. One way you can let her know she’s the best – and worth the best – is to take her out for a wonderful brunch or dinner at a sumptuous Sedona eatery.
Plenty of places with distinctive menus will be mom-ready. She can enjoy Belgian waffles, prime rib, champagne or a variety of unique menu items on her special day. With a little planning and a reservation, your celebration of mom-ness will be a big hit.
Most area restaurants will be pleased to offer your mother a flower when she makes her entrance. She might hear live music, see an amazing ice sculpture or have a tasty dessert she doesn’t normally allow herself. Whatever she wants. It’s her day.
The Barking Frog, just over a half mile from the hotel, will be serving Mother’s Day brunch, a three course affair with several choices for each course, including dessert, all for $19.95. A mile from the hotel, Dahl and Diluca, home of classic Italian fare served in an Old World atmosphere, is planning special menu items for dinner, and flowers of course.
At Golden Goose, dinner choices, beginning at 3:00 pm, will include specials on salmon with Cajun shrimp sauce, lamb shank, chicken cordon bleu, sea bass and a seafood trio of lobster tail, scallops and shrimp. The Goose is less than a mile from Sedona Real.
Che Ah Chi, situated in a box canyon at the Enchantment Resort, is preparing “Sunday brunch with a twist,” according to their kitchen staff. Think ice sculpture, champagne, and surprises; $69 for adults, $32.50 for children. Che Ah Chi is in the Dry Creek Basin, five miles from the hotel.
Shugrue’s Hillside Grill, boasting magnificent red rock views, will supplement their traditional surf and turf lunch and dinner menus with three specials at each meal, plus flowers. If you visit Mesa Grill, expect some “festive” additions to the regular lunch and dinner offerings. The views there take in almost every major rock formation in the surrounding landscape.
L’Auberge de Sedona will serve Mother’s Day brunch indoors, as well as outdoors on the patio, where some tables are within sight and sound of the creek. They will offer seasonal treats with your mother in mind, and champagne as usual. $85 for adults, $30 for children.
Reservations anywhere are a good idea. Once you’ve made Mother’s Day plans, reset the dial for Father’s Day on June 16th. From steak to swordfish, Sedona restaurants will do dad proud.
For both Mom and Dad, be sure to keep the party going after brunch or dinner. Several local tour companies will offer holiday discounts. Check with Red Rock Jeep for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day specials. Bon appetit.
For accommodations reservations, go to our specials page at Sedonareal.com and get a jump on our best rates! To do some trip planning with Tod and/or Debbie (our concierges) call us anytime at 800-353-1239! They can help you make reservations for all your holidays and special occasion visits here at Sedona Real Inn & Suites.
Blog Contributed by: Tod, Concierge at Sedona Real Inn & Suites
Sedona offers an abundance of fun activities for families. With over 100 hiking trails, recreation parks, and numerous touring options such as helicopter rides, jeep tours, scenic train excursion, and ATV tours; there are limitless choices to suit your vacation time and budget.
Beautiful Oak Creek meanders through Oak Creek Canyon and the heart of Sedona offering several refreshing swimming areas. The infamous Slide Rock State Park located in Oak Creek Canyon is a nature created water park featuring slippery slides over natural red rock sandstone. Grasshopper Point is another popular swimming hole in Oak Creek Canyon with inviting deep clear pools for an invigorating swim. The scenic Crescent Moon Ranch only minutes from the hotel offers picnic grounds, creek swimming and trails; all with the majestic Cathedral Rock as a backdrop. For a unique evening adventure, plan your visit around the full moon and enjoy a “Moonlight Walk” at Red Rock State Park, also just minutes from Sedona Real Inn.
Events are on-going throughout the summer in Sedona. The annual Sedona Bluegrass festival taking place June 3rd-9th will be showcasing emerging Bluegrass artists from around the USA. July 4th celebrations include a live concert in the park during the day followed by an evening laser light show. Tlaquepaque honors Independence Day on Saturday, July 6th, with their Sizzlin’s Summer Bash. This celebration is a great family event with a BBQ, live music and entertainment for the kids. For a little authentic cowboy action, make plans to participate in the National Day of the Cowboy Celebration on July 27th held in Uptown Sedona, complete with gunfights, roping, music, storytelling and much more. August is peak season for the hummingbird population, and August 2nd-4th, it is celebrated with The Sedona Hummingbird Festival. The festival includes many entertaining and educational presentations and tours of hummingbird hotspots. The summer season comes to a close with the Moonlight Madness Street Festival and Sidewalk Sale August 31st through September 2nd. You can spend the days enjoying great bargains plus entertainment and activities for the whole family.
Wind down your days relaxing in the hotel hot tub or with a refreshing dip in the pool. Our new family park complete with patio area and fire pit, picnic tables and barbeque grill, offers the perfect area for a family picnic and entertaining game of Frisbee.
Take advantage of our summer promotions and spend your summer vacation with us. Stay with us two nights, May 28 through August 15, and save 20%; stay three nights or more and save 25%. The longer you stay, the less you will pay! We look forward to helping you plan the perfect summer vacation!
To make reservations call us at 800-353-1239 or go to sedonareal.com
Blog contributed by: Debbie Dubois – Concierge at Sedona Real Inn & Suites
(Slide Rock Swimmer – Bill85704 on Flickr)
One of the most enchanting experiences in the high desert Southwest is visiting an abandoned Ancestral Puebloan site. For a potent mix of history, mystery, desert beauty and lessons in adapting to a harsh environment, puebloan sites are unsurpassed.
Puebloan communities are often tucked away in remote canyons, perched atop windswept mesas or situated along rock benches below towering canyon walls. At site after site, expertly built and organically conceived masonry structures blend almost seamlessly into the landscape.
We often refer casually to these sites as “ruins,” although the term would probably surprise the former inhabitants. All the physical evidence points to a cultural ecology that embraced natural decay as the accepted way of things. When puebloans’ functional need for a tool, ceremonial object, pot or building ceased, it was meant to return to the earth. Puebloan people often left entire communities, built by hard labor over several generations, en masse, never to return.
Consequently, at many of these sites, evidence of daily life abounds, in the form of largely intact stone dwellings and ceremonial buildings, discarded tools, potsherds, granaries, rain cachement and diversion pathways, trash middens and even celestial markers that still track the positions of sun, moon and stars. Organic material decays slowly in the desert, so timbers, mud and brush roofs, and even food staples such as corn may linger for centuries before finally disappearing into the sand.
A half dozen intriguing sites can be visited within a 25-35 minute drive from Sedona Real. The hotel sits at the gateway to the Dry Creek Basin area, where the Palatki and Honanki Heritage Sites attract visitors from all over the world. Both sites feature cliff dwellings and “rock art” panels, sections of vertical rock face covered with petroglyphs and pictographs. Some symbols and figures date back 5-6000 years.
V Bar V Heritage Site, on the banks of beautiful Beaver Creek, boasts a solar calendar. The ancients showed a keen interest in the movements of sun, moon and stars for a variety of reasons that archaeologists are still investigating. Keeping track of planting and harvest times for corn, beans and squash accounted for part of it. Their attention to certain star clusters also suggests a cosmology and a set of spiritual practices that today are but little understood.
Tuzigoot National Monument, on a hilltop outside of Cottonwood, overlooks the Verde River. A paved path behind the visitors center winds around and through the remnants of stone dwellings and kivas, or ceremonial buildings. The visitors center houses artifacts and displays recounting what is known of the Verde Valley’s early inhabitants.
Montezuma Castle, on Beaver Creek, showcases cliff dwellings and a self-guided interpretive trail. Montezuma Well, a mesa-top, spring fed pool, provided a constant water source for humans and animals over thousands of years. Both sites illuminate the lives of bygone people and their environment.
Visit any of these wonderful sites and glimpse the wisdom and aspirations of a vanished culture expressed in the physical remnants of their lives. For “ruins” they have a lot to offer.
Call our concierge at 800-353-1239 today to make your reservation this spring or summer at Sedona Real Inn & Suites.
To view our current specials and reserve online, go to www.sedonarealinn.com
Blog contributed by Tod at Sedona Real Inn & Suites
Photo Credit: Username: Alphatengobravo at Flickr.