(photo credit: Sarah Nicodemus)
This has been a tough year for local wineries. After the late freeze this spring and the heavy rain this summer, several vineyards in northeastern
Since 2000, the number of wineries in the state has jumped from 4 to 48. Winery presence in
So, without a business relationship with a distributor – which is hard to come by, since a distributor often has to choose between pushing small quantities of specialty wine from local entities and pushing large quantities of consumer wine from much larger enterprises with leveraging power - a local winery cannot sell its juice to in-state customers from anywhere but its headquarters or local festivals. As logic would have it, vineyards don’t thrive in urban centers. When a winery is stuck on a vineyard in Bristow, Haskell or Vinita, it doesn’t get much foot traffic.
Consequently, most of the state’s wineries and vineyards can’t subsist on the grape-growing and wine-making business alone. Vineyards and wineries like Stone Bluff Cellars near Haskell and Whispering Vines Vineyards and Winery, which has been sprouting near my old stomping grounds in west
Might be a pain for some of the folks in the Oklahoma winemaking business who’d rather hone a centuries-old craft than play customer service all day, but these events open the art and craft of the winemaking process and wine culture to everyday people in the community.
Here is a frequently updated list of such events. Whatever your opinion on the regulation of alcohol in
Stone Bluff Cellars near Haskell hosts some of the nicest wine and food pairing events in
I just have two words to say about Nuyaka Creek Winery in Bristow: Petite Pecan. The best pecan pie in the world would have a hard time holding a candle to this fortified wine, which is 24 percent alcohol. Hint: sample it in a small(er) glass. Also, have a taste of the specialty at Nuyaka Creek Winery, the Elderberry Wine. I don’t need to suggest that twice.
Merlot Vines at Nuyaka Creek Winery (photo from NCW Web site)
Last but not least, take a Saturday afternoon to drop by Whispering Vines Vineyards and Winery,
Not only was the wine fabulous (I recommend the Cabernet Sauvignon and Muscat Canelli), but the grounds are beautiful. The Riesens plan to host wine parties with live entertainment on the deck out back of the winery once fall hits. Take my advice: plan to attend at least one of them.
During the spring and fall, day travelers could make a weekend out of visiting the Green Country vineyards and wineries. Who says we need a bunch of concrete and air conditioning at the river to have a good time in
P.S. - From Tasha, Party Brenda,