Sonoita could be considered one big experiment where bold winemakers know the risks and take them anyway. Their efforts have captured the attention of aspiring growers, as more and more winemakers choose Arizona state as the place to plant their roots. Making wine in Southern Arizona may be laborious, but it's also approachable and much more affordable (from a real estate perspective) than some other growing regions.
Growth isn't just limited to Sonoita; it is happening across the state. Arizona's Verde Valley, for instance, is booming and the home of a viticulture school called Southwest Wine Center, which teaches impassioned winemakers what they need to know about making wine. There's even a wine incubator, called Four Eight Wineworks, in Clarkdale equipped with its own tasting room.
At a recent AVA meet-up Elaine Brown enthusiastically cheered, "You guys are kicking ass." In terms of American wine, she said, "It really is a frontier here."