Oklahoma winery owners facing uphill battle to establish industry

In a recent AP story, an Oklahoma editorial writer expressed his opinion about our Sooner State wine industry.

Back in the mid-1960s a promoter named Rex Sparger came up with a plan to develop vineyards in Atoka County, which would be tended by low-income homestead families.

...Establishing a wine industry in Oklahoma has been as much a struggle as those homesteaders faced trying to get grape vines to take root and flourish in the thin soil of southeastern Oklahoma.

The struggle was due in no small part to the fact that the Legislature traditionally has treated the grape and wine industry as a stepchild.

Now that the Oklahoma legislature has managed to kill wine shipping reform and education in our state, local winemakers are forced once more to pursue the slow route of inititiative petitions to support Oklahoma wines. If you value the opportunties that the developing Oklahoma wine industry offers for our future, please make your voice heard! The only thing Oklahoma winemakers seek is a vote of the people

Full article from the Shawnee News-Star Online: Oklahoma winery owners facing uphill battle to establish industry

Natura Wine and Jazz Festival Sept. 25

Wine and Jazz Festival in a country setting featuring Grady Nichols.

Gates open at 3pm to enjoy wine tasting,food,tours and local jazz
Grady Nichols on saxaphone-evening headliner

Place: Natura Vineyards and Winery
8500 N 245 Road Beggs, 74421

Date: September 25, 2004 from 3pm to 10pm
Tickets: $12 advance, $15 at gate
Phone: 918-756-9463
Email: info@naturawinery.com
Natura Vineyards and Winery

Girls Gone Wild Lingerie Party Cabin Creek Winery July 17

You may need a drink for this one!

Cabin Creek Vineyards presents a free lingerie party. Who doesnt like lingerie and wine?
Some fun ladies from Pryor will be putting on the lingerie show at the winery. Join them by calling to reserve your table. Expect a regular wine tasting and a "preview" tasting of the soon to be released SIREN. (Hint: a dangerous and alluring woman)

Place: Cabin Creek Winery
Exit 283 @ Big Cabin from I-44
1 Mi W 1 Mi S of Truck Plaza, 74332

Date: July 17, 2004 (Sat) from 4PM to 6PM

Phone: 918 783 5218
Email: shirazccv@cox.net

Cabin Creek Vineyards and Winery page at the Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association site.


Chatenay Cabaret Music and Wine Festival July 24

The Merchants of Oklahoma City's Chatenay Square along with the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce are organizing a Music and Wine Festival in South Oklahoma City Saturday July 24, 2004 at Chatenay Square on SW 104th and S. Penn from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Festival will feature music from local bands and a wine tasting from Oklahoma wineries like Canadian River Vineyards and more! This is our first year and we hope to grow bigger and better each year.

Elizabeth Speegle will play from 6 to 8 pm and the Headliner Zoom City will play from 8 to 11 pm.

Chatenay Cabaret Music and Wine Festival July 24


Tres Suenos Vineyards and Winery

Dianne and I visited Tres Suenos Vineyards and Winery near Luther, Oklahoma this weekend. They have a lovely new tasting room overlooking some very mature and beautiful vinifera vineyards. They offer visitors free wine tastings and tours from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Tres Suenos Vineyards and Winery


Free Training - Oklahoma Wine Grape Production Field Day July 24

Dreaming of starting and Oklahoma vineyard or working on one now?

Some of the top Oklahoma vineyard experts will be teaching the latest techniques for managing wine grapes. Topic will include: Crop Estimates, Disease Management, Insect Management, Variety/Rootstock Trials, Trellis and Training Systems, etc.

Program Participants:

Dr. Dean McCraw
Professor Emeritus, OSU, Stillwater

Dr. Phil Mulder
Extension Entomologist, OSU,

Dr. Sharon von Broembsen
Extension Plant Pathologist, OSU,

Dr. William McGlynn
Associate Professor, Product Processing,
OSU, Stillwater

Alan Ware
Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture,
Poteau, OK

Ivol and Jeanette Hane
Woodland Park Vineyard, Stillwater

Chris Stiegler
Payne County Extension Educator, OSU
Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service,

Don't miss this unique educational opportunity provided by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture
and the OSU Horticulture & Landscape Architecture Dept. There is no charge for the field day, but please register for the lunch by contacting The Kerr Center 918-647-9123 or the OSU Horticulture & Landscape Architecture Department 405-744-5404 by July 22, 2004.

Oklahoma Wine Grape Production Field Day July 24


OGGWMA Midyear Meeting at Tres Suenos June 26

OGGWMA has put a new website design online just before their OGGWMA Midyear Meeting.

OGGWMA Midyear Meeting
Date: June 26, 2004
Time: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Location: Tres Suenos Winery in Luther, Oklahoma
Phone: (405) 277-7089 or (405) 373-3626

The Oklahoma Grape Growers & Wine Makers Association (OGGWMA) provides information, education, group bargaining and advocacy for grape growing and winemaking enthusiasts in Oklahoma. The association is even open to related businesses. Joining OGGWMA has really been helpful for Oklahoma Wine News. Visit their new site, you may want to join too!


A Hopeful Future for Oklahoma Wineries

John Sutter of The (Daily) Oklahoman stopped by the recent Shawnee Art and Wine Festival and grabbed a few intriguing quotes.

Jill Stichler, former president of the Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association, said state wine producers made nearly $5 million in 2003. This year will probably be three times that, she said.

The festival and a similar one Saturday in Guthrie took advantage of a state law effective in November that allows winemakers to sell corked bottles at public events. Before, they were allowed only to give out free samples and sell to retailers, restaurants or customers on winery property.

Full article: Winemakers Hope Fest Speeds Flow of Publicity - NewsOK.com

The event also provided a great opportunity to spread the word about two initiative petitions Oklahoma wineries are promoting to support the Oklahoma Wine Industry and Oklahoma wine consumer's rights to order from the winery of their choice.


Easy Rider Wine Fest in Sparks, Oklahoma June 26

Easy Rider Wine Fest Presented by Sparks Vineyard & Winery

Time: June 26, 2004. Saturday 10 am to 8 pm.
Place: Sparks Vineyard & Winery, 5 miles east of Sparks
Contact: See map at the website for direction or call toll free 877-669-8893

Many of you who attended our 'Blues on the Vine' wine festival last year are asking for more. This year we will put a different twist on the vine. The Easy Rider Wine Fest will offer a day of lay back enjoyment: Listen to the live entertainment featuring Navajo Joe with Sugar Time Music Production from Stroud, do the Karaoke with Oldies Rock-N-Roll music, and try our special grilled chicken with Oakie Slush available only at the winery. Of course, you get to taste our great wines, too. $10 admission with a wine glass per adult (over 21).

So come hang out and have a good ole time!

Easy Rider Wine Fest in Sparks, Oklahoma


Wine Tourism Pre-requisites

A relatively new weblog called Matt's Texas Tales offers the following handy dandy packing list for your future wine travel adventures. Although not specifically written for travels in Oklahoma Wine Country, most of the advice is still quite good. However, I would suggest nixing his suggestion of taking a convertible and expecting temperate summer conditions. Most Oklahoma wineries require traversing some rather dusty gravel roads and summer is a scorcher.

1. You'll need a car. There is really no other way to see the wine country aside from getting a driver. Convertibles are nice and there are some great roads around like Oakville Grade/Dry Creek Rd which connects, rather circuitously, Napa and Sonoma.

2. You'll need some patience. Traffic in the summer can be pretty bad on the small roads and some of the out of way wineries aren't the easiest to find without a good map.

3. You'll need some money. Though many wineries offer free tastings, every year I visit more and more are charging small tasting fees; especially true when sampling the higher end vintages. Also, tours usually have a small charge.

4. You'll need some sun block. And water. And shades. It's sunny and dry but thankfully, no where near as hot and muggy as Austin.

5. You'll need some preparation. Many of the wineries close on Mondays or Tuesdays completely and on Sunday early. Make sure that you find out when your favorite winery is open and if you need reservations for tours. Most wineries now have websites so check them out.

6. You'll need a camera and something to write with. One for the beautiful scenery, the other to help record the wines that you truly enjoy.

Full article at: Wine Tourism Pre-requisites from Matt's Texas Tales weblog.


News-Star Online Art, wine fest a success

There are few opportunities to taste and compare the products of our Oklahoma wineries. The 2nd annual Oklahoma Arts and Wine Festival is one such opportunity.

Ten Oklahoma wineries gave samples of their wine and offered bottles for sale. Visitors tasted a diverse selection of Oklahoma vintages inside the old Perry-McGee building, amid fine art booths and tasty food offerings. The Shawnee News provides a quick overview.
Shawnee News-Star Online - Art, wine fest a success 06/13/04

My wife Dianne and I worked this festival and the first annual Shawnee event, as well. Many things changed this year, some for the better (like the addition of a Chocolate Fountain) and some for the worse (like the addition of live amplified novice musicians only a few short feet from my ear the entire day).

We met some great people both years and tasted some really excellent gourmet cheeses from Council Creek Cheeses and the Watonga Cheese Plant.

As usual, the crowd was polite and orderly all day long. Wine lovers are the most courteous guests you could hope for. Wine festivals offer Oklahoma communities an outstanding chance for income, prestige and acclaim. The town of Shawnee is trying to make the most of it!


A Father's Day Gift With Real Taste

I couldn't resist dropping you folks a link to a recent Yahoo! News article on finding the perfect Father's Day gift.

Looking for a Father's Day gift that won't end up in the back of Dad's closet? Appeal to his finer senses with a gift he can truly appreciate -- a wine event. From educational tasting classes to elaborate food/wine pairing dinners, wine events are enormously popular, say members of the Distinguished Restaurants of America (DiRoNA).
'Wine seminars are a perfect Father's Day gift,' says Holly Koenig, executive director of DiRoNA, a non-profit organization that enforces the highest standards in fine dining. 'Anyone can appreciate fine wine, but for a lot of men wine is much more. For them, wine is like baseball cards or sports cars -- they love to learn about it and they become avid collectors'.

Yahoo! Article - Skip the Necktie This Father's Day - Treat Dad to a Wine Event


Mass Sting Against Online Alcohol Retailers

The Fight Against Online Wine Sales Continues...

Four online liquor retailers are facing prosecution following a sting by Massachusetts authorities. At the direction of investigators, underage college students ordered beer, wine and alcohol from online retailers and had the booze shipped to their homes.

As a result, four online retailers without state licenses - including one based in California - were sued by the state this week for failing to verify the ages of their customers. Three shippers - FedEx, UPS and DHL - will also face an administrative hearing for allegedly delivering the alcohol to minors, Attorney General Thomas Reilly said yesterday.

Full Story: Sting puts online alcohol retailers in court from just-drinks.com News

Tons of Oklahoma Wine Events This Weekend

June 8, 2004
Get ready for this summer's biggest weekend of Oklahoma wine tasting! You will have a chance to taste and purchase a wide variety of Oklahoma made wines at this weekend's festivals.

Just check out this list:

  • Le'Grand Balloon Festival at Grand Lake June 11

  • Deep Fork Community Action Foundation June 12

  • Downtown Shawnee Wine/Art Festival June 12

  • 2nd Annual Drumright Wine Fest June 12

  • Tulsa Route 66 Festival June 11 - 13

Your Source for Oklahoma Wine Tasting Events - Oklahoma Wine News


Cabin Creek Vineyard Buffet / Concert June 18th

Buffet & Concert on the Lawn
June 18th at Cabin Creek Vineyard
Featuring Music by the Sublime Duo Joe and Ellen
Wine bottles will be available for Tastings prior to the concert and for purchase to enjoy during and after the concert.

BUFFET: 6:00 to 7:30 PM

Dinner Buffet and Wine Tasting $22.00
Call 918.783.5218 OR 918.299.3732
Oklahoma Wine News - Never miss another local wine tasting event!

Oklahoma Art and Wine Festival Returns to Shawnee June 12

The Shawnee News Star has long been a favorite source for Oklahoma wine tasting event news. Today, they posted a new article about the Oklahoma Art and Wine Festival held every year in downtown Shawnee, Oklahoma. Ten Oklahoma wineries will offer samples of their wines inside, surrounded by a variety of fine art booths and food vendors.

Food vendors will sell a variety of edibles, including hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, Indian tacos and cheesecake. Two companies will offer specialty cheeses and breads. Fine art booths will include paintings, glass work, glass etching and photography. Artists are from both Shawnee and across the state and region. A children's area has been added this year in the empty lot on the corner of Broadway and Main and will feature inflatable activities.

To get the full details including the great music acts that will be performing check out the whole article: News-Star Online - Oklahoma Art and Wine Festival returns to downtown Shawnee

Oklahoma Wineries and Vineyards Group Backs Two Petitions

The Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association (OGGWMA) has decided to file two Initiative Petitions in order to bring the following issues direct to the people of Oklahoma for a vote:

  • Formation of The Grape and Wine Commission

  • Direct shipment of wine to customers

If you need assistance or have questions, please call Marsha Butler at 918-256-3000 or e-mail: wine@summersidevineyards.com

Initiative Petition No. 376
State Question No. 721 - Wine Shipping Act

Initiative Petition to put the Wine Shipping Act up for a vote of the people.

The measure will amend Section 3 of Article 28 of the State Constitution.
Currently, winemakers are required to sell wine they produce to every licensed wholesale distributor who wants to buy the wine. This measure would change that requirement. It would allow winemakers to sell wine they produce to any wholesale distributor.

Presently, winemakers may only sell wine produced at the winery to consumers on the premises of the winery. This measure would allow winemakers to receive orders for wine to be delivered or shipped to consumers. The orders may be in written or electronic form.

Initiative Petition No. 375
State Question No. 720 - Oklahoma Grape Resources and Wine Production Act

Initiative Petition to put the creation of an Oklahoma Grape and Wine Commission, and subsequent wine and grape tax, up for a vote of the people.

The purpose of the Oklahoma Grape Resources and Wine Production Act shall be to develop programs that will enhance grape and wine production, grape and wine research, promote market development and education, improve profitability of Oklahoma grape and wine products, provide for rural economic development and rural cultural preservation, and increase and improve Oklahoma tourism relating to the grape and wine industry.

OGGWMA - Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association


Stone Bluff Wine Festival Sept 24 and 25 in Haskell

5th Annual Green Country Wine Festival
Sept 24 & 25, 2004
Friday Noon until 8pm
Saturday 10am until 5pm
Haskell, Oklahoma
For more information call 918-482-5655

Expect music, food, art & crafts and Oklahoma wines from Stone Bluff Cellars in Haskell.

Sooner State Wine Tasting Events News from Oklahoma Wine News.

Stone Bluff Lavender Festival June 5

Breath in the Beauty of an Oklahoma Summer
The second annual Stone Bluff Lavender Festival is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 5 at the farm. Cost is $5 per person. Live lavender plants, fresh-cut lavender and a variety of lavender products will be available for sale. Entry $5.00. Kids under 12 free. A portion of the proceeds benefit Tulsa SPCA.

I have NOT heard that there will be any Oklahoma wines on hand, but the Lavender Farm is just down the road from Stone Bluff Cellars.

Stone Bluff Lavender Festival June 5, 2004