In 2016, the United States federal government recognized Cochise County as an AVA (American Viticulture Area), confirming the area has unique qualities and distinguishable geographic features that are different than anyplace else for wine-grape growing. The wine trade has deep roots in southern Arizona dating back to the late 1600s where Jesuit missionaries grew grapes they used in sacramental wine. Vineyards continued to be successful for around 250 years with only Prohibition disrupting progress. Though Arizona currently may not yet be known as a major wine producing state, the local wine industry is indeed booming. Arizona welcomed more than 45 million visitors in 2017 and the State's wine tourism industry alone yielded an annual economic output of over 56 million dollars. According to the Arizona Wine Growers Association, the number of Cochise County wineries has exploded from less than ten to over a hundred during the last dozen years, driven especially by the region's growing wine reputation. Wines produced in Cochise County have done extremely well at many prestigious wine competitions. Wine Spectator has given high ratings to more than 250 wines from the region. Arizona, as a whole, is also one of the top wine consuming states in the country per capita and yet, the Arizona wine industry is a small fraction of the wine market today. Exceptional wine has been Cochise County's best kept secret, but it won't be for much longer.
Commonly known for its warm desert climate, Arizona boasts a wide diversity of terrains, abundant wilderness and parklands situated among plateaus and majestic mountains. Sunny skies and low humidity prevail well over 300 days a year across the state of Arizona, which has 31 state parks and natural areas preserving the state’s natural, cultural and recreational resources. Cochise County's mild winters allow horse enthusiasts of all kinds to enjoy equestrian activities year round. During the warmest summer months, riders often take advantage of the cool mornings and spectacular sunsets to embark on the seemingly infinite trails lining the State, such as the 800 mile long Arizona Trail.
Arizona also produces some of the highest quality and most nutrient rich hay in the country for the quick growing population of nearly 200,000 horses, including the many herds of wild mustangs and burros. There are more than 9.3 million horses in the United States, and the U.S. equestrian industry represents $39 billion annually. There is already an enormous equestrian market in nearby Tucson, Phoenix and Scottsdale areas that hate the extremely hot weather during the summer months. They are natural buyers for our equestrian lots, as our climate in Cochise County has a 14 degree cooler temperature during those months. According to the world's largest equestrian real estate site, Arizona covers 72.6 million acres; 74% is Federal land and 14% is State governed with population density still being only 95 people per square mile. With Arizona having nearly twice as many horses per capita as California, there is plenty of room for continued growth.