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High atop Airport Mesa, wine enthusiasts will sip the best Sedona and the Verde Valley has to offer this weekend.

The Sedona Winefest invites locals and visitors to discover Northern Arizona’s very own wine country with the fourth annual event Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22 and 23.

Sedona Red Rock News Managing Editor Trista Steers MacVittieOver the last several years entrepreneurs in the area discovered there is money in the soil and many of them found a way to tap the resource.

Not only does the local wine industry produce bottles enjoyed locally and shipped away to other markets, it attracts visitors to the area.

Tourists want to see the process at area vineyards and sip local wine in tasting rooms.

Today, that is exactly what they can do.

Vineyards offer tours and sampling on location, allowing tourists and locals to witness the hard work poured into each barrel of wine.

Tasting rooms have popped up all over Sedona, Cottonwood and Jerome.

Here patrons find different blends of locally grown grapes ready for drinking.

In an area reliant upon tourism to drive the economy, the popularity of the local wine scene brought some relief when people become more selective with travel during the economic downturn.

After people had seen the red rocks, camped in Oak Creek Canyon and toured the shops in Uptown, the Village of Oak Creek and West Sedona, they needed something to bring them back again.

Wine production and everything it brings with it seem to slowly be attracting new and return crowds.

The Sedona Winefest is a product of the growing wine scene.

It gives visitors a reason to come to Sedona and residents a reason to support local industry.

The festival will feature live music throughout both days and the inaugural Juried Art Exhibition consisting of artwork related to wine.

The gates open at 11 a.m. daily and close at 5 p.m.

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