Arizona’s grape growing and wine-making history goes back more than 450 years to when Jesuit missionaries planted vineyards and produced wine for use in the Holy Sacrament. Arizona was not immune to the wine revolution fever which began in California in the late 1960s and swept across North America in the 1970s. Today, the state boasts nearly 20 wineries and business is booming. Most vineyard sites in Arizona are in the state’s southeast corner, which has also become the state’s first designated viticultural area, the Sonoita AVA, south of Tucson. The most successful varieties grown in Arizona are those from the southern Rhone, such as Syrah and Grenache, as well as Italian varietals, including Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio.