Why make a bottle of wine in Arizona? “Because the dirt is just like California’s Temecula Valley and you can buy an acre of land for $30k,” says Don Stetson, proprietor of Stetson Winery outside Kingman Arizona.
We expected hot weather tasting wine like wineries in San Diego County. But out here in the 3,500 foot elevation high desert along historic Highway 66, Stetson Winery is creating wine to compete with California. We tasted wines like we’ve grown to enjoy in Paso Robles area where cooler temperatures prevail.
We stayed on his property with our 5th wheel (named Rocky) while exploring the desert warmth of Arizona. Four wineries dot this area including some folks growing grape for sale to the local wineries. The wineries also source grape from Temecula and the California’s San Joaquin Valley.
Tasting two other wineries (before sampling Stetson’s) we found wine like we would expect from desert conditions. More tannic and bolder, needing a little time to mellow in the bottle (or barrel if the vintners would give that much time.)
When we finally had the chance to taste Stetson we were pleasantly surprised. We enjoyed ready to drink wine tasting more like California wine from the central coast than the high desert of Arizona.
According to Stetson he likes his wine less tannic, less bold. And as he said, the locals drink a lot of Bud Light and he sells a lot of wine locally. So he keeps his wine targeted to his local clientele and of course those who enjoy coastal wine.
What did we sample? Here goes.
Stetson Winery Offerings
Silver Spur 2019 Arizona White Table Wine $23 ✰+
Root 66 2018 Arizona Table Wine $21 ✰+
Peacemaker 2018 American Petit Verdot $27 ✰+
Unbridled 2018 Arizona Zinfandel $25 ✰+
The Lovely Red Lady 2018 Arizona Merlot ✰+
Hop in the Cab Darlin’ 2018 Arizona Cabernet Sauvignon $31 ✰+
His desert estate includes parking areas for RVs and an event center for weddings and concerts. Cruising historic Highway 66 east or west near Kingman, stop in and visit Don Stetson, hosting a great travel reprieve and tasty wines. You’ll find his winery 16 miles northeast of Kingman off Highway 66 in the neighborhood of Valle Vista Subdivision on 10965 N. Moonscape Way. Look for signs pointing to wine tastings or call them at 714-713-1364.
Bill Hodge & Erin O’Neill enjoy a good bottle of wine, visiting and enjoying California Wineries from Lake County to Orange County, From Paso Robles’ Gold Coast to Gold Country and Lodi to Temecula.
Some notes on our wine ranking system.
– -✰ means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰ means -Not liking it too much
✰ means -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰++ means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+ with a slash, it signifies our opinion differs.