Arizona’s first and only AVA (designated in 1985), Sonoita is south of Tucson in the lower southeast corner of the state. The area totals about 325 square miles, with several hundred acres of vines. Sonoita is a basin surrounded by three mountain ranges: the Santa Rita, the Huachuca, and the Whetstone Mountains. The basin floor is 4,500-5,000 feet above sea level, making the vineyards some of the highest in North America. The area’s soils are described as thermic, very deep, well-drained, gravelly loam, formed in alluvial fans from igneous and sedimentary rock. These soils, with poor ability to retain water, are ideal for grape growing. Sonoita shows great promise for Rhone and Tuscan varietals...market wise, this could be good timing for this exciting winegrowing venue.