The Magical Community In The Sky
Art, Spas, Fine Food, Wine Tasting Tours and Pottery Shops
Sedona attracts hikers scaling its buttes and New Age pilgrims seeking the fabled vortexes. In recent years, the high desert has drawn a more cultured crowd, lovers of books, art, Native American Pottery, fine restaurants and traditional old European style wines.
It’s clear skies and dry are make it a perfect place to view the vault above at night.
with notes from several sources: 10/23/2019
The road to Page Springs Cellars near Sedona in central Arizona dips and rolls over the highland desert terrain, a stony, shrub-dotted landscape terminating amid more unexpected flora, grapevines. In its busy riverside tasting room, one might find the winery’s owner, Eric Glomski, popping the cork on a malvasia bianca with surprising richness.
“People’s expectations are so low, we always surpass them,” said Mr. Glomski, one of the area’s winemaking pioneers who established Page Springs Cellars in 2004.
Sedona, gateway to Arizona’s red rock country 90 minutes drive north of Phoenix, attracts hikers eager to scale its striated buttes and New Age pilgrims seeking the fabled or energy centers said to be squired in the rocks.
Over the past decade, the high desert has attracted a more middle age and older, more cultured tourist interested in history, art and fine wines. Today, 18 wineries operate in an area known as the Verde Valley where the vines are stressed by rocky soils and altitudes above 3,200 feet moderate temperatures to produce mineral-accented, juicy fruit.
Producers in the region have applied to become an American Viticulture Area, which recognizes its distinct growing conditions. A map of the Verde Valley Wine Trail shows them largely clustered in the closely located towns; Jerome, Clarkdale, Cottonwood and Cornville.
Though Spanish missionaries grew grapevines in Arizona in the 16th-century colonial era here, the state’s contemporary production is considerably younger.
Maynard James Keenan explains, “Around 1999, I started looking at the terrain in Jerome and the surrounding foothills and realized it looked a lot like places in Spain and Italy,”Maynard released his first Caduceus wines, made in Jerome, in 2004.
He joined briefly with Mr. Glomski in 2007 in founding Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, now the largest winery in the state.
Skeptics question how a state like Arizona, can be wine production country. But vintners here say rain and frost are their greatest foes.
In Arizona, you’ve got to go to higher elevations to find vineyards People imagine Arizona is all red rock, cactus, Martian like foreboding land covered with tumbleweeds, but Arizona is very diverse, with pine forests and snowcapped mountains. You’ll find vineyards between 3,200 to 5,200 feet.”
Though wine is now produced in all 50 states, winemakers in Arizona aim to nurture a comprehensive industry, starting with training. Established in 2009, the Southwest Wine Center, a division of Yavapai College in Clarkdale, teaches winemaking and runs a tasting room. In 2014 the operation moved into a repurposed racquetball court beside 13 acres of vineyards where students experiment with different varietals, many of them Spanish or Italian.
“Our climate is comparable to the Mediterranean where it’s warm and dry, except that we use elevation in place of the ocean to get 30-degree temperature swings,” said Michael Pierce, the director of oenology and viticulture programs and an instructor at the school.
“Cottonwood was a dead town, and now we’re a gourmet destination for Phoenix,” said Sam Pillsbury, a New Zealand-raised filmmaker and owner of Pillsbury Wine Company, which operates a tasting room in Cottonwood, though its winery is in Willcox.
In November 2016, Mr. Keenan opened Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room & Osteria in Cottonwood, serving charcuterie and house-made pasta along with his line of Merkin wines. He plans for vineyard expansion, and well he should. The wines are excellent and demand for his product is strong!
“We think people are coming around to low-alcohol, elegant-with-dinner wines,” said Mr. Keenan. Despite their youth, Arizona wines, he added, “are more Old World than you would expect.”
THE BEST SHOPPING
Your unforgettable Sedona experience must include spending time at internationally renowned Tlaquepaque (pronounced T-la-keh-pah-keh), Sedona Arizona’s Arts & Crafts Village, one of the best things to do in Sedona. You really can make a day of it! There’s a magic here, particularly for me looking in and speaking with pottery makers at their shops. Pottery connects to the earth, the ancient native and Mexican traveler’s belief systems, a making of useful items going back thousands of years, and you can almost feel the vibration of the potter working at the table or wheel.
Nestled beneath the shade of the sycamores on the banks of beautiful Oak Creek in Sedona, Tlaquepaque is the most distinctive Sedona shopping experience to be found in the Southwest. Authentically fashioned after a traditional Mexican village, Tlaquepaque, meaning the “best of everything,” has been a Sedona landmark since the 1970’s. Its vine covered stucco walls, cobble-stoned walkways and magnificent arched entryways give you the feeling that Tlaquepaque has been here for centuries.
Tasteful galleries and unique shops harmonize with its lush natural environment. Giant sycamore trees stand in testimony to the loving concern for the preservation of the timeless beauty of the Tlaquepaque grounds. We would hard pressed to discover more beautiful surroundings in the creation of this fabulous shopping experience.
Originally conceived as an artist community, Tlaquepaque is a perfect setting to witness gifted Sedona artisans absorbed in their work. It’s not uncommon to venture upon a well-known sculptor working on his or her latest piece right in one of the Tlaquepaque galleries. With over 50 specialty shops and exclusive art galleries, shopping becomes a joyful revelation of fabulous art treasures and distinctive gifts around every corner.
Tlaquepaque is filled with spectacular one-of-a kind art expressions in every medium from Western and eclectic bronze sculpture, functional and traditional ceramics, breathtaking blown glass creations, contemporary and Southwestern fine art paintings, weavings, decorative arts, architectural décor pieces and stunning large format photography. Fine contemporary jewelry, designer casual wear in silks, and leathers and unusual gift items all await the Tlaquepaque visitor.
Just walking around Tlaquepaque and the newly developed Tlaquepaque North is an adventure. You’ll delight to the splashing sounds of the courtyard fountain and find yourself planning a fabulous dining experience as mouth-watering aromas waft to your nostrils from nearby Sedona restaurants as they go about preparing today’s sumptuous lunches and dinners.
We really can spend the day at Tlaquepaque and enjoy excellent Mexican cuisine, fine French dining, and make time to visit the on-site brewery. Enjoy a memorable lunch in an intimate garden setting. Every palate will be satisfied at Tlaquepaque’s five exceptional restaurants guided by the artistic hands of some of our country’s most highly regarded chefs!
The Wendy Lippman Blog states: Whether it’s elegant bistro dining at René, tapas and margaritas at El Rincon, handcrafted beers and BBQ ribs at Oak Creek Brewery and Grill, delicious summer salads and grilled paninis at Secret Garden Café, or exceptional brunches, fabulous coffees and a fun eclectic menu at the new Pump House Eatery, it’s all here for your dining pleasure.
It really IS a pleasure to be here. There’s no need to fly across the world for a vacation. Enjoy a few days in Sedona, safe, secure, and having a great time! Keeping American money moving through the American economy helps everyone, and meeting and doing business with people of your own culture and language makes a vacation a pleasure, instead of a stress from which you would need a rest! That’s why I am making this special effort to encourage Heavens Way 2022 readers to vacation in Sedona and other beautiful American communities.
As far as the eye can see bursts of vibrant-colored flowers are everywhere, and if your timing is just right, you may hear the peal of the Tlaquepaque Chapel bells in joyful celebration of another Sedona destination wedding. Be sure to visit the Chapel, which holds a very warm place in the hearts of Tlaquepaque Villagers. Wedding ceremonies at the Chapel are performed throughout the seasons and breathtaking receptions are held in the courtyards. If YOU are planning a wedding, or a ceremony to renew your vows, this is a place worth your serious consideration.
Sedona is known by the more curious crowd for spiritual seeking, and one might even find an energy vortex, as photographed here.
INSPIRING SEDONA WEDDINGS
Tlaquepaque is known as one of Sedona’s most romantic staging grounds for weddings and vow renewals. Not so long ago, the concept of a destination wedding was unique and new. Intimate, get-away weddings in a beautiful setting were the stuff of which dreams were made.
Now, you have a rare and splendid wedding destination in Sedona’s magnificent red rock country that has it all….a perfectly charming and intimate venue with exceptional weather for outdoor ceremonies, flexible wedding packages including elopement to make all your dreams come true. Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village is that very special place.
Often referred to as “the art and soul of Sedona,” some say Tlaquepaque is the very heart of Sedona. Entering the grounds feels like a dreamily enchanting Mexican Village from days passed. Around every corner is another gorgeous photographic opportunity from the little chapel to the many courtyards. Enjoy our photo galleries and let the staff at the chapel and near-by art shops help you plan your storybook wedding anytime of the year.
Sedona is a lovely community, and the best of it is Tlaquepaque. Plan to see world-class gallery events, where artists from near and far come to showcase their creations. For the best produce and organic edibles, visit the bustling farmer’s markets every Friday morning, May to October.
The Wendy Lippman BLOG is a great community service to all of us. No wonder Wendy makes friends so easily! She’ll keep you advised of the Tlaquepaque Happenings For examples from early year 2018….
…. As a very special attraction and so appropriate for Earth Day, the Hopi Youth Group will be expressing their culture though dance. The richly costumed dancers will perform the traditional Polhikmana, also known as the Water Maiden Dance. Intricate and vibrantly colored head-dresses, clothing and weavings have been designed and handmade by the dancers. The costumes depict clouds to bring forth the rain in this social dance, performed by young unmarried girls and boys to help bring moisture and rain to germinate and grow the crops.
The Hopi People have always functioned as spiritual guardians of Mother Earth and do so through profoundly moving rituals and ceremony. This is a rare opportunity to celebrate our planet and support an indigenous culture of caretakers. Performances will be held from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm in Patio de las Campanas. There will also be commentary by Sandra Cosentino, Director Crossing Worlds Hopi Projects.
Forty-six years ago Abe Miller, visionary and founder of Tlaquepaque imagined a bustling arts village rich in south-of-the-border culture that brought the community together through festivals and family-friendly events. As the village has evolved, so have the options for exceptional dining experiences. Patio dining is in full swing and it’s the perfect time of year to be outside, shaded under the coolness of the giant sycamore trees or colorful umbrellas. Dinner at Tlaquepaque under the stars with shafts of moonlight scintillating through the enormous sycamore canopy is a marvel to experience! Author: Wendy Lippman • 16 Mar, 2018 •
There’s a special secret most visitors don’t hear about. It’s Verde Canyon Railroad as one of the top things to do near Sedona. Discover more about it and other wonderful attractions here: https://www.ytravelblog.com/things-to-do-in-sedona-with-kids/
also see: https://visitsedona.com/