The grasslands surrounding modern-day Sonoita captured the attention of early Spanish explorers, including Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, who mapped and claimed the area in 1701. The Tuscan-like beauty of the rolling, often green hills framed by jutting mountain ranges has been noticed by Hollywood filmmakers. As you drive along AZ 83 and AZ 82 you might recognize the scenery from movies filmed here, including Oklahoma and Tin Cup.
Today this region is known for its family-run vineyards and wineries, as well as for its ranching history.
Sonoita’s "town," at the junction of AZ 83 and AZ 82 (known by locals as "the crossroads"), consists of just a few restaurants and shops, an inn, and a gas station; it’s the nearby wineries that draw the crowds. There are often weekend events at the wineries, including live jazz concerts and the Blessing of the Vines in spring, and the Harvest Festival in fall. Summer is also a good time to visit, when you can escape the heat of Tucson, sample some of Arizona’s vintages, and chat with local vintners.