Find Your Place in Southeastern Arizona

Tour Sonoita & Elgin


Enjoy beautiful scenery and

award-winning Arizona wines!

Visit the most beautiful and spectacular part of southern Arizona! Located in the heart of Arizona’s Wine Country at a cool elevation of 5,000’ and surrounded by breathtaking 9,000’ mountain peaks, Sonoita is inspiring. Enjoy the rolling hills, Arizona ash and oak trees, picturesque vineyards, historic ranches, delightful wildlife and colorful wildflowers.

Sonoita & Elgin History

With summer temperatures in the high 80’s and twenty inches of annual precipitation, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the cool climate change as you climb out of the desert along scenic state Highway 83, just 45 minutes south of greater Tucson.


The communities of Sonoita and Elgin were established in 1882 along the newly developed Santa Fe railroad running the length of Sonoita Creek and extending between the towns of Benson and Nogales. The area was first settled almost a half century earlier due to the vast cattle ranching and mining potential. The Sonoita/Elgin communities were preceded by the establishment of Fort Buchanan and Fort Crittenden. These short-lived forts were founded to protect settlers in the newly occupied region, but were soon abandoned: Fort Buchanan in 1861 due to the outbreak of the civil war (subsequently destroyed to avoid the fort falling into Confederate hands) and Fort Crittenden in 1873, near the close of the Apache Wars. The history of the Sonoita-Elgin Valley goes far beyond the current epoch.


Archaeological evidence has demonstrated ancient occupation of the area as far back as 2000 BC, as well as documented Hohokam, possible Sobaipuri (ancestral relatives to the Pima, Tohono O’odham and Akimel O’odham tribes) and of course the Apache settlements, which was a barrier to new settlement for a number of years. During the 16th and 17th centuries the region saw a new wave of settlement and exploration in the form of Spanish missionaries and explorers, including such important historical figures as Fray Marcos de Niza and Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. Whether searching for gold, scouting a potential mission location, or mapping the unknown, an indelible mark was left by all that have come before, and has added to our colorful history and unique identity. Originally an area devoted primarily to mining and ranching, in more recent years a change has taken place. Although cowboys and miners continue to be a part of our western community, the Sonoita-Elgin Valley has seen a move from traditional ranching to some new avenues of development. The Sonoita-Elgin region now hosts numerous year-round visitors from around the world.  From adventures in outdoor activities like hiking, bird-watching, camping and landscape photography, to enjoyable indoor activities of shopping and wine tasting in friendly award-winning wineries, Sonoita/Elgin offers it all.



Sonoita & Elgin