The fact that Arizona has a wine industry was news to us when we first stumbled across Javelina Leap Vineyard and Winery in 2016.
Tasting the wines at Javelina Leap Vineyard and Winery
Javelina Leap wasn’t the very first winery we stumbled on. It was just the first that we took seriously.
We had to pass more than one roadside sign announcing “Wine tasting today” to get from “What was that?” and “Arizona has wineries?” to “We need to check this out.” Javelina Leap Vineyards just happened to have the next sign along the road. Besides, who can resist a wine label with a cute animal on it?
The tasting room was empty when we arrived (a situation that changed quickly), so we were able to ask a lot of questions as we made our selections and tasted them.
It was a pleasant surprise to discover the wines were not only very drinkable, but several were really nice. Nice enough to warrant more than just a taste.
We were looking for a late lunch when we stumbled across the winery. That was still our goal after the tasting. (Tasting wine doesn’t do anything to reduce hunger.) And, while Javelina Leap doesn’t serve food in the tasting room, they do have a variety of delicious small plates available in their “Arizona room” and pleasant garden patio.
It was the perfect spot to indulge in some delicious snacks and more of our favorite wine from the tasting.
A bit about Javelina Leap Vineyard and Winery
All of Javelina Leap’s award-winning all-Arizona wines are produced here at its winery in Page Springs.
The winery’s longtime master winemaker and co-founder Cynthia Snapp (a female winemaker!) has a passion for pure varietals produced from a single Arizona vineyard. Some of these are produced from the zinfandel grapes grown right at the winery. However, Javelina Leap also uses grapes grown at their Hassayampa vineyard near Prescott and grapes grown under contract in southern Arizona. This allows them to produce a number of very different wines.
But why have a javelina as the winery’s symbol?
Javelina (technically a collared peccary, which looks a lot like a wild boar) roam the vineyards (they don’t damage the grapes). Since they shared the vineyard anyway, why not make them the winery’s symbol? The Leap part of the name pays homage to Stags Leap Cellars, the California winery that made the world take American wines seriously by coming out ahead of the French wines in a 1976 blind tasting. That boost in prestige eventually led to the development of wineries throughout the USA, including perhaps unexpected places like Arizona.
Visiting Javelina Leap Vineyard and Winery
Javelina Leap Vineyard and Winery is located about 20 minutes southwest of Sedona in Page Springs, Arizona.
Visitors can get a peek at the vineyards, taste a variety of wines, and enjoy a delicious small plate any day of the week. Complimentary tours are also available by contacting the winery. Depending on the season, visitors may have a chance to watch a variety of vineyard operations and winemaking activities.
Of course, Javelina Leap wines are also available for purchase at the winery. They make great Arizona-themed gifts – if you can resist drinking them yourself.
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