Posted by: Lori Reinhold
The Spring Heritage Pecan & Wine Festival is the largest event in Arizona wine country. However, this one-of-a-kind festival is about more than just wine. Now in its 18th year, the two-day Pecan & Wine Festival is Camp Verde’s fun-filled celebration of Northern Arizona in the springtime. Starting March 17th, come to sample wine from local vineyards, taste famous Camp Verde pecans, go canoe and kayak racing, and learn about the unique history and archeology of the region.
You might be surprised to learn that Arizona is an excellent place for growing wine. Rocky, seemingly inhospitable terrains actually produce highly concentrated juice with complex and distinctive flavors. Sure, it isn’t Napa or Sonoma, but Northern Arizona is quickly becoming a contender in America’s wine industry. The Verde Valley’s volcanic past and the drainage from the Verde River make it one of the richest wine growing regions in Arizona. At the Pecan & Wine Festival, you’ll have the chance to taste delicious Arizona Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Zinfandel, Malvasia, and the relatively unknown grape, Cabernet Pfeffer.
But like we said, the festival goes far beyond wine-tasting. March is Arizona’s Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month. A beloved part of the Pecan & Wine Festival is the Verde Valley Archeology Fair, where you can learn about the unique geological and archaeological history of Sedona and the Verde Valley. You can also visit the Native American Arts Fair to learn about the region’s fascinating and often-overlooked Native American heritage.
Looking to enjoy the great outdoors and get a little exercise? Consider participating in the 6th Annual Verde River Runoff. The runoff is a five or ten mile race down the beautiful desert river. The river passes through the lovely Coconino National Forest and is nicknamed the Wild & Scenic Verde River for its rushing waters and beautiful natural surroundings. Sponsored by the Verde River Valley Nature Organization, the race is a way to build awareness of the region’s natural resources and support stewardship of the Verde River Valley. It also just happens to be a great time.
If you’d rather take it easy and enjoy some good food, the festival has you covered. Bakers can participate in the annual Pecan Pie Contest and willing participants can sample the pies. There will also be live music, kid-friendly activities, and over 40 vendors selling wine, crafts, and of course, Camp Verde’s famous pecans.
So mark your calendars this March 17th and 18th and kick off springtime with Arizona wine, Camp Verde pecans, and all sorts of family fun.
Planning a trip to Sedona? Book a stay at the Alma de Sedona Inn, located in the beautiful heart of Arizona’s scenic Red Rock Country.