Written by Frank Aazami with David M. Brown
Panorama Estates is 80 acres of possibilities in Arizona Wine Country.
The new central Arizona single-home community is on the east side of Page Springs Road at Winter Sun Drive in Cornville, a town about an hour and a half north of Phoenix/Scottsdale.
Out of the 69 approximately lots, 64 are available, says Frank Aazami, principal of the Private Client Group at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Scottsdale. The parcels begin at just more than three-quarters and will be sold in two phases.
The asphalt-paved streets have been completed. Also in place are the fire hydrants, street drainage and drainage easements, the spring-water well site and the water-storage treatment and distribution area. All utilities have been brought to site by Arizona Public Service Company, the state’s largest generator of electricity, and CenturyLink, which is providing the telephone, cable and internet.
“Find your cooler summer oasis here and allow your imagination to explore the possibilities,” Aazami says. “We want to inspire ideas at Panorama Estates.” Nancy Read, who handles Sedona and Prescott for PCG, is partnering with him on the community.
He has spoken with a number of design professionals regarding these opportunities. One is civil engineer Ali S. Fakih, principal of the Sustainability Engineering (SEG) Group LLC in Scottsdale. He completed his doctoral work in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University and has been focused on environmentally sensitive building since.
“Ali has a wonderful vision for Panorama Estates that aligns beautifully with his overall philosophy,” Aazami says.” Throughout his career, his message has been consistent: He wants to improve our quality of life and infrastructure with a sustainable approach. He is truly passionate about his message and mission and believes that this new community could be a model for responsible living.”
Phoenix landscape architect Thaumas P. Ehr is also inspired by the community and believes it can provide opportunities to implement the “Wine County Living” design he completed for a home in St. Helena, California, in the Napa Valley.
And, award-winning Scottsdale architect, Mark Candelaria, AIA, who is celebrating his 40th year designing luxury homes nationwide, has also shown interest in designing homes in the community that celebrate green principles as well as premium components.
“This could be your Arizona summer getaway. Or this could be an investment vacation rental or your all-year retirement home. Subject to the approval of the architectural committee, your home could be modular or site built, custom or from a design book,” Aazami adds. “We are inviting individuals, architects, students of architecture, builders and land planners to suggest robust ideas in design, lifestyle and sustainable living at Panorama Estates. Please talk with us or visit.”
Cornville: ‘Where Friends Become Family’
With approximately 3,300 inhabitants, Cornville offers full-time residents and seasonal guests a small-town atmosphere in a cozy 13-plus square miles. The mild semi-arid climate at 3,500 feet is 15 degrees cooler in summer than the hotter desert areas in Phoenix and Scottsdale, and snowfall is minimal.
The Sinagua Native Americans first settled the area almost 1,000 years ago, followed by the Yavapai and Apaches. Spanish explorer Antonio de Espejo came through here in early May 1583, mountain men followed 250 years later and other settlers in the 1860s. You can visit the area’s first homesite from 1880.
Entirely agricultural until the late 1960s, Cornville began to attract retirees in the last half century for its quiet ambiance, mild climate and affordable lifestyle. Senator John McCain, who died in 2018, and wife Cindy had a vacation home adjacent to Oak Creek; here he and his 2008 presidential running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, met to plan their campaign. The McCain family still owns the ranch.
In all directions are stellar views. Panorama Estates backs to state trust land on the south, and Coconino National Forest is on the north and south, across Lee Pasture Road. Oak Creek, flowing south from world-destination Sedona and green Oak Creek Canyon, is approximately 1 ½ miles north; along its banks are some of the area’s wineries, guest ranches and cafes, such as Up the Creek Grill, formerly the historic Page Springs Store and Gas Station.
In view are the red rocks of Sedona and, farther north, the state’s highest elevations, the San Francisco Mountains,11,000 feet to more than 12,000 feet high. House Mountain, a 5,125-foot shield volcano, is to the northeast. Mingus Mountain, at 7,818 feet, tops the Black Hills to the west; along its slope is the historic copper-boom town of Jerome, now a popular arts, dining, wine and shopping destination.
By car, the best approach to the community is from Interstate17 north to Exit 287 toward Cottonwood via SR 260, then State Route 89A north to Sedona, turning right at Page Springs Road (in part Yavapai County Scenic Route 50), then about 10 minutes to Panorama Estates.
If you fly a small plane, the Cottonwood Municipal Airport is approximately 10 miles west; Flagstaff Pulliam Airport is approximately 54 miles north; and the Sedona Airport approximately 17 ½ miles northeast. In Cornville, the Solair Estates Airport is just 2 ¼ miles south.
Major grocery stores are within 10 miles: Fry’s Food and Drug, approximately 8 miles southwest; Walmart Supercenter, 8 ½ miles southwest; and Food City, 8 ½ miles southwest. The U.S. post office is 2 ½ miles southwest, and Verde Valley Fire District Station 32 approximately 1 ½ miles south.
Verde Valley Medical Center is approximately 9 miles west and NextCare Urgent Care is about 9 ½ miles west. Ambulance service is available by dialing 911, and the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department has police jurisdiction.
Oak Creek Elementary School (PreK–8), is approximately 1½ miles northwest, and Mingus Union High School (9–12) approximately 8 miles southwest in Cottonwood. The Oak Creek Ranch School, a private boarding school, is in Cornville. Northern Arizona University is in nearby Flagstaff, and Yavapai College has campuses in Sedona and Clarkdale, including a wine cellar.
The Hills, the Trails & the Vines are Calling
“If you enjoy four-wheeling, there are many opportunities right outside your door to enjoy the beauties of central and northern Arizona,” Aazami says. Hiking and mountain biking trails are abundant.
In addition to the famous red sandstone monuments of Sedona, Oak Creek and the Verde River offer hundreds of miles of trails; small boats and kayaks can navigate them. If you prefer a less strenuous but equally rewarding train ride, the Verde Canyon Railroad through Clarkdale takes you on a fab fourhour tour above the Verde River and its colorful canyon, complete with bald eagles and other wildlife.
The 423-acre Dead Horse Ranch State Park in the Verde River Greenway has 10 miles of hiking trails and has access to Coconino National Forest land. And, near Clarkdale, Tuzigoot National Monument was built between 1125 and 1400 CE –– the Verde Valley’s largest and best- preserved Sinagua pueblo ruins.
More and more, the area around Panorama Estates has become Arizona Wine Country, with its Merlot, Chardonnay, Rhône and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals. The Verde Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) features land adjacent to the Mogollon Rim, the 7,000-foot-high escarpment that crosses New Mexico and Arizona.
Talk of vineyards and varietals and wine awards is everywhere in the area. In fact, a decade or so ago, the Wall Street Journal suggested the area could become Arizona’s “Little Napa.”
Among the Cornville-area wineries are Eric Glomski’s Page Springs Cellars, known for its Rhône-style varietals such as Traminette and Syrah, and in Cottonwood is Bob and Barbara Predmore’s 87-acre Alcantara Vineyards. In Jerome, Maynard James Keenan, once the rock frontman for the rock band, Tool, owns Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards Osteria, which offers Italian country food made with regional ingredients.
“Panorama Estate is ready with all services and amenities in place,” Aazami says. “Now, it’s ready for you to make your future here.”