Many locals and visitors alike are unaware that Tucson has a robust wine country just to the south of town in Sonoita. There is a treasure trove of great wineries and breweries in the Sonoita region. And what's better than wine? Drinking wine and helping dogs! This Sunday, August 8th, head down to AZ Hops and Vines for the Dog Days of Summer Festival.
From 11 am to 4 pm, AZ Hops and Vines is hosting the Rescued Heart Cellars and raising money and supplies for rescue dogs. The winery is located at 3450 Highway 82 in Sonoita, roughly a 45 minute drive from Tucson. Bring your dogs and enjoy the day tasting delicious local wines. There will be live music, food vendors, and other artists selling their wares on the day of the event.
There's no cost to attend and you are encouraged to bring supplies with you that could benefit homeless pets. Think leashes, food, beds, and such. Many of the vendors on site will be donating profits towards the Rescued Hearts Cellars non-profit. This foundation raises funds to help animals in situations that require more funds than usual rescue cases. Many of these animals need expensive medical care that usually can't be covered by the shelters.
Beyond some good wine and raising money for a good cause, there will be prizes and contests going on throughout the day. They will give away prizes for dogs with the best trick, a dog lookalike contest, best costume, and best puppy kiss. They're going to do a game of musical sit, where the dog who sits the longest wins!
The Sonoita region of Arizona is a great place to get away, even if it's just for the day. The temperature typically runs about 10 degrees cooler than Tucson and Phoenix. It's at a higher elevation, so you can get a bit of a break from the heat. Wineries have been in the area for over 40 years and Sonoita has been designated an American Viticultural Area for prime wine making land. If you head out to Sonoita for the weekend, there are plenty of cute bed and breakfasts to stay in, cafes for brunch, and wineries dot the landscape all over.
If you can't make it down to Arizona wine country this weekend, check out the local wineries websites for events. There is always something exciting happening south of Tucson in Sonoita. AZ Hops and Vines has a great list of other local wineries and accommodations for those looking to explore the area in more depth.
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