I am sitting in the only motel in Willcox (with two Ls) Arizona. The website for Willcox I suspect has allowed itself one or two equivocations about the place. It conveys itself as a trendy town surrounded by wineries. The reality is more Schitt’s creek. I suppose it is a work in progress. Prior to Prohibition the Arizona wine industry used to rival that of California, but when Prohibition ended the former didn’t resurrect until a decade or two ago.

When I visit an area with local wineries it is fun to drive to the vineyard and attend the tasting rooms. Usually one is given a few snorts of 4-5 samples and one is apt to buy a bottle of the best of them.  We drove out to the one ‘on-site’ winery only to discover it was closed for a private function.  The others are located in stores along one block by the historic railroad station, which allows one to go door to door like trick-or-treat. 

Let’s say the wines of Arizona are ‘works in progress’. They are not bad but they are young and ‘need work’. This is true of any up-and-running winery, and I like to support such. However, my jaw dropped at the prices. Patience above! These suckers are going for 20-40$ a bottle! I can get much better wines for a fraction of this price! Many wines suffer from the perception inexpensive wines mean ‘bad’, which is no longer the case. Many wineries sell better if the increase their prices as it perceives quality.  Perhaps that is what’s happening here. Regardless, the prices are not worth the content. Come back in 5-10 years I suppose. 

Someone has no guilt to try the wines, say thank-you, and walk out without a purchase, but I feel obliged to buy a bottle at these tastings. I bought a fair bottle of rose for 20$ and a fair bottle of Syrah for 35$ (oh the pain). All the same, it is jolly-good-fun to try new wines, especially if they are local. Menus love to boost serving dishes made from local ingredients, but they seldom flog local wines. Perhaps they know something if they serve a mediocre wine it will mar the meal and the tip. 

Speaking of fine dining, Willcox hasn’t connected the dots a tourist town needs restaurants, especially the types with outside sitting with menus using the word ‘organic’ in them. There seems to be only two eateries, none inspiring confidence of fine dining. One is a bar/steakhouse with motorcycles in front. The sign has the slogan ‘U-cook-em”. The other was a Mexican place and we had ate such that day for lunch. Someone ended up ordering from Pizza Hut down the street. It too was fair. 

Today we drive to Bisbee, Arizona, which I know has more fancy hotels, restaurants, and tourist boutiques.  I am curious if they serve any of the local vino (by the glass preferably) to try some more. I’m open.