Wine is only as good as the people with whom it is being shared.
Cheers To The Best Arizona Winery Experience!

Cheers To The Best Arizona Winery Experience!

If you happen to be traveling anywhere near Tucson, there is an area of the state about an hour from there that is Arizona’s Wine Country. Wait a minute! Arizona Wine Country?!!! Well, in case you were unaware, every state in the US has wineries… Yes, that includes Alaska and Hawaii. Elgin Arizona is about an hour southeast from Tucson. I’ve only been to one Arizona winery, so that’s the one I’m going to focus on.

Arizona Winery

Los Milics Vineyards – Vineyards ViewLos Milics Vineyards (LMV) is co-owned by Pavle Milic and Mo Garfinkle. Pavle started in the restaurant business at 16 years old. He spent time at various restaurants from Phoenix to New York City to Napa Valley. Whilst in California Wine Country, Pavle recognized the “interconnected relationships” of food and wine, as well as farmers and winemakers. He returned to Arizona and eventually started his own wine label, Los Milics in 2014. Three years later, his restaurant, FnB, was nominated for “Outstanding Beverage Program” by the James Beard Foundation.

The People Behind The Winery

Wine Tasting At Los Milics Vineyards
Mo Garfinkle Co-proprietor, Pavle Milic Co-proprieter and Winemaker, Frank Jacobson, Steve Jacobson

My brother, Frank, introduced me to Mo and Stephanie Garfinkle when I was shooting my award-winning video, “Love The Wine You’re With” in spring 2023. Mo has loved wine since he was a teenager when he learned about good wine from a friend’s family. While his day job is all about law and aviation, he has always wanted to produce wine. After searching various wine locations like Italy and New Zealand, he landed in his own backyard in Southern Arizona. He met Pavle at Pavle’s FnB Restaurant and the rest is history.

Arizona Wine… Yes Please!

Los Milics Vineyards – Wine Tasting With Steve
Assistant winemaker Oswaldo Medina gives Steve a taste from the barrel.

Enough about these guys. Let’s talk wine! You won’t find your typical California varietals here. What I loved about this place aside from the people, was that the wines were very different from other wineries. I am guessing it’s a mixture of being 5000 high in elevation along with the rugged Arizona soil… And yes, the winemaker… Let’s not forget the winemaker!

Two of Los Milics’ wines were just awarded Best Wines in their categories from the azcentral Arizona Wine Competition. Sandra’s 2022 – a rosé blend of 37% Petit Verdot, 37% Montepulciano, 24% Vermentino, and 2% Petit Menseng – was awarded Best Wine in Arizona along with Best Rosé. Hannah’s 2022 – 90% Marsanne, 9% Malvasia Bianca, and 1% Petit Manseng – was awarded Best White in the state. Oh, I forgot to mention that you won’t find many of these varietals in your neighborhood wine store.

Los Milics Vineyards – Lorenzo's 2020
Image Source & Credits – Los Milics Vineyards

The Reds Include The Following:

  • Betty’s 2022 – Grenache
  • Cay’s 2021 – 75% Grenache & 25% Graciano
  • Lorenzo’s 2020 – 51.5% Tempranillo, 47.5% Graciano, & 1% Petit Verdot
  • Renata’s 2020 – 59% Grenache, 26% Graciano, 10% Tempranillo, 4% Monastrell, & 1% Syrah
  • Oliver’s 2020 – 50% Syrah, 30% Graciano, 18% Tempranillo, & 2% Petit Verdot
  • Violeta 2022 – 88% Petit Verdot & 12% Cabernet Franc

One other wine I wanted to mention is currently sold out. But I will venture to guess that they will come out with another vintage when it’s ready. Mo’s 2020 was a blend of 54% Graciano, 24% Petit Verdot, 19% Tempranillo, & 3% Monastrell. According to their website, “If you like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, you’ll love this rich, full-bodied Graciano-based red.” I must agree with that statement. Hopefully they will have that back on the shelves soon.

Los Milics – The Perfect Pairing Of Food & Wine

As you can see, Pavle loves to blend wines. His style is unique, and his execution is amazing. If you’re up for an adventure in wine tasting, I highly recommend this Arizona winery as your next wine destination. In addition to the wines previously described, the food that they serve at the winery is incredibly tasty. I mentioned that Pavle started in the restaurant business. So, he knows great food and how it pairs with the wines. Chef Ana Borrajo, originally from Granada Spain, was a professional chef throughout Europe. She moved to Phoenix in 2004 and owned a couple of restaurants. She joined Los Milics Vineyard almost 2 years ago. Her tapas-inspired small plates feature regional ingredients, which are the perfect accompaniment to wine tasting. And on personal note, I can tell you that everything is delicious. It is so much fun to pair the wines to the food

By the way, if you can’t make it all the way to Elgin, LMV just opened a tasting room in Scottsdale.

A couple of closing notes and thoughts… The tasting room at the winery is exquisite in terms of its design, views, and atmosphere. Oh and no need to look for a hotel nearby, Los Milics Vineyards is just launching their overnight stay accommodations with 9 casitas on the property, making this winery an absolute best wine destination. So, if you have a group, be it business or personal (Weddings! Birthdays! Anniversaries!), consider this amazing Arizona winery for your next wine tasting. I don’t have much info on this yet as the opening date is tentatively around the end of May or beginning of June. But be sure that I’ll have a follow up!


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