Arkansas directory contains relevant links across Arkansas including local guide, investment, advertising, shopping, service, travel, transportation, education, history, culture.
 

Posts Tagged ‘Wine Country’

Arkansas Wine Country

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Over 135 years ago, many German-Swiss immigrants traveled well into the south central United States to stake their claim. And back in the 1870’s, the beautiful Ozark Mountain area of northwestern Arkansas seemed an appropriate place to begin. Rolling mountains, while not quite the height or splendor of the Swiss Alps, offered a reminder of home.

And so, a large German-Swiss settlement blossomed in the west/northwest area of Arkansas, “The Natural State”. Now, almost a century and a half later, this European influence is still felt in a unique area of the state, roughly between Little Rock in the state’s center and Fort Smith, at its’ western boundary. Not far off of Interstate I-40, about 50 minutes east of Fort Smith, you’ll find Arkansas Wine Country.

Traveling west/northwest out of Little Rock (actually, North Little Rock) on Interstate 40, it’s about 140 miles to the heart of Arkansas wine country. As you travel outside of Little Rock, you’ll notice the topography changing … lush valleys and rolling mountains … a perfect subclimate for grape growing and wine making. Approximately two hours outside of Little Rock on Interstate 40, look for exit 41, Arkansas Route 186. Go south about five miles on 186 and you’ll enter the charming and historic town of Altus, heart of Arkansas wine country and home to four area wineries. Let’s take a closer look.

Chateau Aux Arc Vineyards and Winery: Directly on Rt. 186, actually just two miles off I-40 and before you reach the town of Altus,is Chateau Aux Arc, the world’s largest propagator of Cynthiana grapes. Be sure to check out their gorgeous tasting room, situated on top of St. Mary’s mountain. Enjoy the view of the Arkansas River Valley while you taste the fruit of Chateau Aux Arc’s labor.

Mount Bethel Winery: Three generations of the Post family have proudly guided this beautiful historic winery. Just 1/4 mile east of the town of Altus, Mount Bethel Winery offers a full selection of reds, whites, and fruit wines. Since Arkansas is a renowned fruit producer, we decided to try the Elderberry and Blackberry wines, both produced from fruit grown and hand picked by the Post family. Both were sweet, tangy, and quite enjoyable. Mount Bethel is also renowned for their port wine, Big Daddy Port.

Post Familie Vineyards and Winery: On to downtown Altus, where one block north on Rt. 186 stands the Post Familie Vineyards and Winery. They say the scenery in this area is just as beautiful as Napa Valley and we wouldn’t disagree! Post Familie is known for their muscadine wines (a southern specialty), as well as a very nice Pinot Grigio.

Wiederkehr Wine Cellars: A pioneer in the U.S. wine industry (Wiederkehr is Bonded Winery #8), Wiederkehr Wine Cellars is an introduction to the Swiss winemaking heritage. Housed in an Alpine lodge, Wiederkehr offers 45 minute winery and cellar tours for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into winemaking. We enjoyed a German-Swiss lunch in their onsite restaurant, the Weinkeller Restaurant. As for wine, try Wiederkehr’s deliciously dry Johannisberg Riesling or their unique, crisp Verdelet, a white wine made from a French developed grape variety.

Cowie Wine Cellars and Museum: Our last stop takes us to the smallest winery in Arkansas, Cowie Wine Cellars and Museum. Located three miles west of Paris, Arkansas on scenic Rt. 22, Cowie Wine Cellars is a must stop, not just to taste and buy their wines, but also to see their museum, dedicated to the art of Arkansas winemaking and Arkansas wineries.

Travel Arkansas

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Adventure in Arkansas? The state of Arkansas has some great adventure and soothing locations. If you have never been I recommend giving it a try. You can search for diamonds, travel to wine country, hike in the mountains, fish, take a ferry ride, or just relax at the natural hot springs.

Things to do in Arkansas

Hot Springs became the first National Park in 1847 you can choose from a selection of 47 different hot springs. In the old days you could just venture into the woods and take a relaxing hot water treatment. Today there are bath house vendors in the park or you can use a Spa. The health benefits of the the thermal hot springs have been recognized for well over a century. The Indians considered this area a no fight zone. For more information call: 1-800-SPA-CITY.

Diamonds anyone? If you find that you have a desire to prospect diamonds can be yours. You have a really good chance of finding diamonds in Arkansas. You will want to visit Crater of Diamonds State Park located in Murfreesboro. Here you can prospect on over 37 acres of plowed ground in search of diamonds. The location has been unearthing diamonds for over a hundred years and continues to produce precious stones to this day. You can lease all the equipment you need at the park the fee is in addition to equipment rentals. There is a fee of 7.00 for adults and kids under 6 are allowed to dig for free.

If you enjoy a great bottle of wine the wineries in Arkansas are just the ticket. Boasting of 3 family owned wineries that have been in operation for over 150 years. The grapes have their own unique taste. The newest addition has a tasting room and tour on how the wine making process works.