Native son Mario López-Cordero returns home to the Sonoran Desert to find it all grown up—world-class vineyards, smart B&Bs reclaiming old adobes, and a food culture both earthy and full of surprises.
On the ride back to Nogales, the Patagonias loom over the highway, silhouetted against the moonlight. I take them in from the passenger seat while Rob drives. Backlit by a million stars, they shine black against the steel-gray sky. It's real and it's lovely and it's home.
Hacienda Corona de Guevavi
348 S. River Rd., Nogales, haciendacorona.com, doubles from $189, including breakfast
The Duquesne House
357 Duquesne Ave., Patagonia, theduquesnehouse.com, doubles from $125, including breakfast
982 N. Grand Ave., Nogales, 520/287-2892, entrées from $8
3252 Hwy. 82, Sonoita, 520/455-5873, canelabistro.com, entrées from $13
336 Elgin Rd., Elgin, 520/455-5322, callaghanvineyards.com, tastings $7
290 Elgin-Canelo Rd., Elgin, 520/455-5893, sonoitavineyards.com, tastings $5
Dos Cabezas WineWorks
3248 Hwy. 82, Sonoita, 520/455-5141, doscabezaswinery.com, tastings $7
Canelo Hills Vineyard & Winery
342 Elgin Rd., Elgin, 520/455-5499, canelohillswinery.com, tastings $5
Rancho Rossa Vineyards
32 Cattle Ranch Ln., Elgin, 520/455-0700, ranchorossa.com, tastings $5