SaddleBrooke Nature Club visits Willcox, Arizona

Dan Chase

Willcox, Arizona just off I-10 east of Tucson was the destination recently visited by members of the SaddleBrooke Nature Club. The reason for the visit was to partake in just a few of the many offerings this quaint western town has to share. You may know that Rex Allen and Marty Robins both have museums there and that if you are a serious birder that “Wings Over Willcox” attracts visitors from all over the world. Wineries are popping up all around the area as this section in Arizona supplies eighty percent of the grapes used to make wine all over the state.

The first day started with a gathering at Coronado Vineyards. Our host, Andreas, orchestrated his expertise of the wines bottled by Coronado along with samplings for all to enjoy. To help appreciate how the different wines paired with foods the staff prepared a wonderful tapas luncheon with varieties of meats and cheeses. The lunch hour passed as members shared which wine they enjoyed most while looking out over the rows of grape vines with the Dos Cabezas peaks in the background mountain range. Later that evening, as a summer monsoon storm approached from the east, the club members were being seated at La Unica, a highly popular restaurant. La Unica is a standout destination for all serious Mexican cuisine lovers. Great food, drink and conversation were the themes of the gathering. The day ended with a retreat back to our hotel anticipating a visit to Apple Annie’s in the morning of the second day.

The second day started with a complimentary breakfast at Holiday Inn Express before heading over to the orchards to pick peaches and apples. Prior to the picking, the club members heard the story of how the orchard was started from the daughter and grandson of the founders. The first trees were planted in the early seventies and the success story of their growth and production is a true testimonial to hard work and dedication. A special lunch cooked at the Burger Barn allowed pickers a break from their labors in the orchard. Apple Annie’s is also known as the place to pick or buy fresh vegetables. If you enjoy the taste of homegrown tomatoes and the tenderness of sweet corn and other summertime garden favorites, this is the place for you.

A tip of the hat and a round of applause is extended to Kay Sullivan for organizing and coordinating all the arrangements for the two-day excursion to the Arizona treasure called Willcox, Arizona.