Soak Up the Rich History of Arkansas Wine Country
Cool temps and the scenic beauty of the season make fall the perfect time to take an Arkansas winery tour.
Winemaking is tradition in Arkansas. From the Northwest Arkansas Ozarks to the Arkansas River Valley, there are a number of family owned vineyards and wineries that are definitely worth a visit.
Tour the wineries to discover their rich histories, and learn how the wine is made. Many offer complimentary wine tastings. Tours are readily available, so little to no planning is needed.
The town of Altus in the Arkansas River Valley preserves the heritage of German-Swiss immigrants and the art of wine making. Immigrants who settled in the 1870s found the soil ideal for grape growing and microclimates similar to those nurturing Europe’s great wines. Today’s, Altus is home to several family vineyards/ wine operations, including Post and Wiederkehr.
Post Winery had produced locally grown wines since 1870s. After an early push in Muscadine grapes and varieties planted in co-operation with the University of Arkansas, Post varietals include Niagara, Cynthiana (Norton), Ives and Chambourcin, Enchantment, Seyval and full-fruit Muscadines. Visitors can enjoy the Post tasting bar, a retail store, and the Trellis Room at Post Winery restaurant.
Wiederkehr Wine Cellars
Located atop of St. Mary’s Mountain, Wiederkehr Wine Cellars is the oldest and largest winery in mid-America. The Wiederkehr family has tended the vineyards surrounding its Swiss alpine-style winery since 1880.
Wiederkehr Weinkeller Restaurant is housed in an original, hand-dug wine cellar and on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wiederkehr Village Wine & Spirits shop is open year-round. Visit wiederkehrwines.com.
Northwest Arkansas has a number of family-operated wineries, too.
Owned and operated by the Ranalli family, the Tontitown Winery is located in the 1917 Taldo House. All wine is made onsite, from Tontitown-grown grapes. Winemaking in Tontitown is a family tradition passed down through generations of Italian immigrants who settled and prospered here. The Tontitown Winery has a restaurant, live music, complimentary wine tastings and a history room. Visit tontitownwinery.com.
Keels Creek Winery & Art Gallery
Enjoying a glass of wine at Keels Creek Winery & Art Gallery in Eureka Springs is the perfect way to spend a fall afternoon.
The taste room is located in a Spanish-styled building at 3185 E. Van Buren (U.S. 62). Relax by massive stone fireplaces and enjoy local works at the Keels Creek Art Gallery, which shares the building. This spacious venue is the perfect spot for art viewers and wine lovers, alike.
The vineyards are located in the rolling hills of Keels Creek, outside the city limits. More at keelscreek.com.
Nestled in a valley, Sassafras Springs Vineyard & Winery in Springdale offers award-winning wine, craft beer and a dining menu. Tour the vineyard grounds, or sip wine on the shaded deck while listening to live music. In addition to its Chambourcin grapes, the vineyard produces varieties being developed by breeders at the U of A. More at sassafrasspringsvineyard.com.