Sandwiched between the Santa Rita Mountains and the Patagonia Mountains, just north of the Mexican border, this region is one of the shiniest gems in Arizona. In a valley by the small town of Patagonia are long vistas of lush, windswept upland grassland; dark, knobby forest mountains; and a crinkle of slow streams. The valleys that furrow across the landscape occupy a special microclimate that is amenable to wine grapes. They also harbor hard-bitten cowboys, artistic refugees and an amazing array of migratory birds.
Patagonia, smaller Sonoita and tiny Elgin, sitting at almost 5000ft above sea level, are cool and breezy. Patagonia and Sonoita were once important railway stops, but since the line closed in 1962 tourism and the arts have been their bread and butter. The beauty of these montane grasslands was not lost on film scouts – Oklahoma! and John Wayne's RedRiver were both filmed here.