Partnering for Success with Oklahoma Wineries

2005 OGGWMA Convention Vendor Sign-up Form Posted

Vendors interested in presenting their wares to Oklahoma winery/vineyard owners and managers should make plans to attend the 2005 AGM & Convention Jan 15 - 16, 2005.

This is the best opportunity to reach over 150 members of the Oklahoma Grape Growers & Wine Makers Association. In addition to the exhibitor show, the highlights are outstanding guest speakers and the Saturday evening wine reception. -- OGGWMA

For more details, visit their website:
OGGWMA Vendor Form


Need a Health Insurance Plan for Your Oklahoma Wine Business?

Getting good quality health insurance for reasonable prices can be a real challenge for any small business. Also, since most Oklahoma wineries are family businesses, they have a strong desire to provide health benefits to their workers. Recently, a special group plan has been set up for Oklahoma Main Street communities that might help wineries all over Oklahoma deal with this issue.

Now, several communities in the state are working with the program to provide health coverage for businesses with two to 19 employees. It is available to any interested and qualified member of Downtown Shawnee Inc., said Kristina Chastain, executive director.

The plan, underwritten by BlueCross/BlueShield, offers doctors copays, a range of deductibles from $200-$5,000, four networks and the assurance that 'groups are individually 'pre-screened' and can't be declined' after meeting certain participation and contribution guidelines. Health savings accounts also are available, he said.

The insurance is not limited to businesses in Shawnee, but you will need to become a member of the Downtown Shawnee organization.

For application forms or more information on the insurance plan visit the Downtown Shawnee Inc. office, Suite 411 in the Masonic Building at 23 E. 9th Street in Shawnee or call Diana Robertson at 405-273-1080.

News-Star Online - New health insurance plan offered for Downtown Shawnee members 12/26/04


Ag Subsidies - Saving Family Farms or Fat Cat Dollars?

Agriculture Subsidies - Wasted Taxpayer Money or Crtical Economic Investment?

Here is an interesting article from the Ohio Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register. It takes a 'tough' stand against attempts to subsidize winery development in their state. full article: Taxpayers Should Not Subsidize Wineries.

I wonder if their tough stance is applied equally to the massive amounts of federal cash Ohio brings home for their soybean and corn?

The 2002 Farm Bill is scheduled to distribute about $190 billion in ag subsidies by 2012, an increase of about $72 billion when compared to the programs it replaced. Now, a full two years before the next Farm Bill, an intense debate is already raging over the distribution of federal crop subsidies.

Interested parties should visit the Ag subsidies database on the Environmental Working Group's website. EWG's newly updated subsidies database is recording 1 million hits a day from taxpayers who have paid out $131 billion to farmers over the last nine years. The 2002 'Freedom to Farm Act' eliminated crop subsidies, but instead gave farmers fixed amounts of money based on what they had grown in earlier years.

One of the biggest problems with ag subsidies is determining their goals, they seem to change depending on what audience is talking about them. Typical goals for agricultural subsidies include:

  • to increase production of certain products to meet rising demand

  • to jump-start new farm industries in areas suffering economically

  • to ensure that American farmers can compete globally

  • to manage what and how much American farmers produce

  • to create a safety net for small family farmers

  • to encourage settlement of undeveloped rural areas

  • to guard against export dependency for certain subsidized crops

  • to provide assitance to massive corporate farms, grain brokers, food processors, fast-food chains, and prepackaged food companies

The article in the Ohio Intelligencer seems to think that the 'a greater risk-reward ratio' for viticulture makes it unsuitable for ag subsidies. Other economic subsidy fans prefer the government invest in big ticket Sports stadiums that provide a multiplier effect by creating loads of great jobs in the area. Obviously, we must set our goals better, if we want our money invested wisely.

Proponents of local wine industry development will tell you that viticuture and wine tourism offer very high levels benefits for rural communities. They generate capital investment, create jobs, spur tourism and economic development, advance farmland protection and discourage urban sprawl. In fact, a typical new family winery will provide regular employment for five to ten people, and will have annual sales of $200,000 to $1.5 million. In areas where wineries flourish, restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts, inns, retail boutiques, farm and other craft businesses also succeed. Those who support creating a safety net for small family farmers will be glad to know that of the 3,700+ wineries in the U.S., all but the top 50 to 100 producers are small, family-owned and operated farm enterprises.

What do you think?

Are agriculture subsidies for the Oklahoma wine industry wasted taxpayer money or critical economic investment?


OGGWMA Annual Meeting January 15-16

Registration Deadline Jan 10, 2005

Don't miss the Oklahoma Wine Industry's biggest annual get together. Sign up for the OGGWMA annual meeting at the Embassy Suites Hotel in OKC.

Registration includes: Breakfast with a 1 night stay, all sessions, hospitality suite, Saturday luncheon, Saturday evening reception with snacks and wine tasting.

Exhibitor booths and a variety of innovative and entertaining speakers will be bringing Oklahoma wine industry insiders the most updated information available. Some of the speakers include: Dr. David Barbe, Dr. Michael W. Smith, Dr. William McGlynn, Dr. Dean McCraw, JL Gilbert, and Robert Pound.

Remember: the deadline for OGGWMA Annual Meeting Pre-Registration Due is Jan 10, 2005.

For more info visit their website: January 15-16 - Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association Annual Meeting


Entrepreneur Sees Opportunities in the American Wine Industry

Wine Periphery Businesses
An Entrepreneur Magazine article by Nichole L. Torres examines the current opportunities in the American wine industry.

According to Vic Motto, senior partner with Motto Kryla & Fisher LLP, wine business advisors in St. Helena, California, 'Wine is one of the strongest growth industries we have. It has outpaced the economy in growth--even during recessions. It's a business that will be a growth industry for the foreseeable future.'

The extremely optimistic article describes the wine industry as highly fragmented, with room for start-ups! Thanks to Tom Wark for the link! Tom blogs from California on the subjects of both Wine and Public Relations. His posts are not to be missed and His blog, Fermentations is a great addition to the news feed list of anyone interested in the wine business.

One of the best things about the emerging Oklahoma wine industry, our any state's wine industry for that matter, is the synergistic impact wine tourism has on other local businesses. Wine Tourism creates opportunities to establish new products, facilities and services, and expand existing businesses which would not otherwise be sustainable based on the resident population alone.

The fast growing business of Wine Tourism encompasses all businesses that provide goods and services that attract and entertain tourists of the wine region. In Oklahoma, this includes: lodging, restaurants, toll roads, tour operators, gift shops, cheese mongers, artists, national parks etc. Wine tourists purchase goods and services, and this spending injects new dollars into the local economies. A percentage of each new dollar is spent in the community by the recipient and this is spent and re-spent, creating what is known as a ‘multiplier effect’.

Wine tourists travel throughout the country seeking: Wine tasting, wine and food, enjoyment of regional attractions, and the experience of the unique nature based and lifestyle activities available in wine regions. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that in the tourism, hospitality and recreation industries alone there are more than 50 categories of employment, and approximately 200 occupations.

Give it a try, maybe there is room for you!

Entrepreneur Magazine article - Grape Expectations, October 2003

FERMENTATIONS: On Wine, Marketing and Me Wine Blog by Tom Wark


Winter Vineyard Pruning - French Style

Winter Pre-pruning

My BlogLines News Feed aggregator (great free service!) searches the blogosphere for winery and vineyard articles. This week it dug up an excellent blog posting on Winter Wine Grape Pruning in the Loire Valley of France by French photographer Bertrand Celce.

The article is well worth reading, if only to learn about secateurs and brouettes. Click here for full article.

The 'Brouette' - an improvised wheeled cart that looks much like a smoker grill. French vineyard workers push them along the vineyard rows they are working in, to burn grapevine canes removed during pruning.

He told me that in the region on the whole, pruning was done between nov 15 and end of march. Here at Jean Francois Roy vineyard, it began december 1st and would probably last until mid-march. Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon canes are usually burned as a precautionary measure to guard against potential diseases. The barrel-stove has big holes underneath and ashes fall between the ranks.

The article goes on to describe the unique 'secateurs' (small pruning shears with a spring that holds the handles open and a single blade that closes against a flat surface) used in the annual vineyard pruning process. Read the full article for details and a few pictures.

Asked about the pruning, he said it was a pre-pruning, a winter pruning, and that a second passage would occur in spring, to slow the new shoot and control sap vigor. Past and present collide with side by side, the antique stove on wheels, and the battery powered secateurs. The battery is this orange thing on their back . These battery powered pruning tools make work easier. A typical day like this means cutting thousand of canes, wich has to be done with hand. I heard this tool was first invented in France in 1985, and helped prevent many muscle and joint injuries.

French photographer Bertrand Celce's blog - Wine Tasting, Vineyards, in France


Boom or Bust for Small Oklahoma Wineries?

How Will Wine Shipping Reform Impact Oklahoma?

Web logs (blogs) all over the internet are posting their opinions of the current U.S. Supreme Court case on shipping wine across state lines.
Regular Oklahoma Wine News readers know that this is a subject I am very interested in.

However, searching the blogosphere provides few references to folks blogging in support of the status quo. Bloggers, being a rather liberatarian lot on the whole are mostly falling on the side of free trade. That is why I was so surprised to find a Live Journal posting expressing the same kind of mixed feelings I have about this. Here's an excerpt from John Gorentz's comment:

I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I am instinctively in favor of free trade. On the other, though, I don't like what will happen when this ban goes away.

Some wineries will do more business, but a lot of small ones will also go out of business because they can't compete. When you take down the admittedly artificial trade barriers, we'll have more of a winner-take-all situation. -- John Gorentz

Small wineries going out of business...now that is a scary thought! Since small wineries represent the entire Oklahoma wine industry, it would be the end of Oklahoma wines. However, I find it hard to believe the current state restrictions are effective at protecting local wineries. One look at the national statistics on wine sales offers support for the free trade advocates position.

The $21-billion retail wine business is lopsided, with just 2.4 percent of wineries producing 87 percent of the wine sold in 2002, according to Wine America, a leading trade group that's actively involved in pushing for change. At a disadvantage is the thriving cottage industry of 1,659 wineries that produce less than 25,000 cases annually but comprise a whopping 81 percent of the total number of wineries. -- Technology Review

So, the Big Boys now control 87% of the U.S. market? Sounds like protectionism hasn't helped the small wineries compete, so far. My personal view is that protectionism just allows the government to pick the economic winnners, but at an overall cost to the market. When the government does the picking, you can bet they will pick the biggest wineries that buy the most 'access'.

Oklahoma citizens are aware of the massive exodus of young professionals from our state. What they may not be aware of is the large number of displaced Okies who miss Oklahoma and long for a 'taste' of home. Just because my Dad's Elderberry wine doesn't compete with Opus One, doesn't mean there isn't a market niche for Nuyaka Creek Winery. It may just mean that the success of his products requires the kind of global presence that only the internet can provide. However, without interstate shipping...e-commerce means practically nothing!

I would love to hear some more opinions on what this case might mean for small wineries. Got insight? Leave us a comment!

Live Journal Comment - Wine across state lines


Free Tow and Ride Home for Tipsy Drivers

Drive Safe During the Holidays

A free tow for your vehicle and free ride are available from AAA Oklahoma for those who have had too much to drink at holiday parties and feel unsafe behind the wheel.

These services are available in Ardmore, Oklahoma City, Norman, Tulsa and Lawton this year from AAA Oklahoma starting Saturday and running through midnight Jan. 1, 2005.

Full article: Ardmoreite.com - Free tow, ride home available for tipsy drivers 12/14/04 through 1/1/2005


Oklahoma Wine Shipping Reform - The Enid News

The online version of the Enid News has posted an article on how Oklahoma winemakers feel about the current shipping restrictions that are imposed on Sooner State wineries.

Hart Pekrul of Plain View Winery in Lahoma sold a bottle from his unique variety of wines Thursday to a customer who told Pekrul he was taking it to Finland. It’s a good thing the customer is willing to take on that responsibility.

Pekrul and winemakers like him throughout the state have their hands tied with regard to distributing their product — state law prohibits Oklahoma winemakers from shipping wine. It can be sold only through wholesalers, directly to liquor stores, at festivals and on the premises where it is produced.

The article goes on to give opinions from Cimarron Cellars and Stone Bluff Cellars in addition to Hart Perkul from Plain View Winery in Lahoma. Kurt Morgan, general counsel for Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission is quoted in the article saying that Oklahoma’s law is more restrictive than BOTH the New York and Michigan laws.

Check ou the full article at: The Enid News & Eagle - Putting a stopper on business: Winemakers say shipping law stymies their profit margin

Summerside Vineyards Open House Dec 17 - 19 in Vinita

Join Summerside Vineyards in Vinita, Oklahoma for their Holiday Open House Weekend!

While you celebrate with a taste of Oklahoma wine and sample the goodies, register for a FREE case of Summerside wine!
From 1-4 pm Fri., Sat., and Sun. December 17-19.

Check out their website to learn more about Summerside Vineyards. You can find a full list of links to Oklahoma winery websites in the left-hand column of the Oklahoma Wine News blog, also look for sections on upcoming winery events, wine business tips, grape growers resources, wine gifts and other wine related blogs.

Oklahoma B&B and soon-to-be winery, Wakefield Country Inn is also hosting a grand opening this weekend.

Oklahoma Wine News - Sooner State Winery Events and Wine Industry News

What Can Small Vineyards Do To Compete?

Small Vineyards Form Alliances to Stay Competitive

Winemaking is growing in popularity in southern Illinois, much like Oklahoma, but five larger vineyards currently dominate the market.

Annet Lofton helped start a vineyard in 2000 on the Illinois farm she shared with her parents. They soon began looking to team up with other grape growers in the area who were too small to individually produce and market wine. This year a group of less than a dozen small southern Illinois vineyard operators joined together to form a strategic coalition.

About $300,000 in state and federal grants helped the families start the cooperative, which includes a 4,000-square-foot building, a production area and retail section in front for wine tastings. The group also received a small grant for a demonstration vineyard, and Heath and a winemaker will be paid salaries.

Producer Partnerships can be a very effective strategy for small vineyard owners to find a profitable niche in the developing market of wine grapes in this part of the country. They are especially important in light of the current divisons between wine producers and wine retailers in many states.

AP Wire 12/11/2004 - Eleven small vineyard operators in southern Illinois form a cooperative


Babs Asks About New Oklahoma Wineries

Top notch Oklahoma Blogger Babs, from - The Conversation Station stopped by and left a question in the blog comments, asking about new Oklahoma wineries. Now, I haven't visited them all but here is the list of new Oklahoma wineries that I have heard about this year.

  • The Grape Ranch in Okemah, OK - Great vineyard and very nice tasting room here. Grape Ranch has my favorite style of promotional wine glasses.

  • Oklahoma Wine Company in Wewoka, Ok - I haven't visited them yet.

  • Oak Hills Winery in Chelsea, OK. - Opening in Spring 2005

  • Wakefield Country Inn Stuart, OK - No wine yet, but you can see their vineyard trellis system and attend the Grand Opening of their B&B December 19, 2004

  • Panther Hills Winery, Between Clinton and Cordell, OK - also opening in 2005

  • Woodland Park Vineyards, Stillwater, OK - also opening in Spring 2005. They grow impressive diversity of wine grapes. Stop in and see the Geneva Double Curtain trellis system in their vineyards.

Babs, these are the new Oklahoma wineries I have heard about this year. If you have more information on these or any other Oklahoma wineries send me an email or drop off a comment on the Oklahoma Wine News blog.


The 21st Amendment vs. The Commerce Clause

Update on the Wine Wars Currently Before the U.S. Supreme Court

Small wineries all over America are biting their nails on this one!

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 - If the Supreme Court arguments today on interstate wine sales prove to be a reliable road map to the eventual decision, consumers who want to order wine directly from out-of-state wineries will soon be able to so with the court's blessing.

The justices appeared notably unmoved by arguments offered by New York and Michigan in defense of laws that prohibit the direct shipment of wine from other states but permit in-state wineries to ship their products to their customers' homes.

For details check out the full article: Red Is Life: ....nothing but protectionism. What's your answer?"

Oklahoma Bicycle Club Makes Trip to Sparks Winery

Pedaling Oklahoma Wines

Pottawatomie County Pedalers is a group of bicycle enthusiasts mostly from the Shawnee, Oklahoma area. They recently biked out to Sparks Winery and left the following entry on their web log.

Sometimes going long and going slow is the way to go. Leaving from the Bicycle Shoppe in Shawnee, the Pottowatomie County Pedalers rode to Tecumseh for breakfast at Jewel's Diner. From there they rode back roads to the Sparks Winery. Once there, they purchased some of Oklahoma's finest, relaxed, and picnicked on the front porch of the winery before heading back to Shawnee. It was a great slow paced ride, good for maintaining base miles or just chilling out.

It looks like they have a pretty fun little organization here for Oklahoma bicycling enthusiasts. Riders of any age or inclination are welcome on Pedalers road trips. They ride in all weather conditions every Tuesday night, at six o'clock, and every Saturday morning at eight o'clock, regardless of the weather.

Anyone interested in riding with the Pedalers may contact them by visiting The Bike Shoppe web site here:

Oklahoma Cycling News from Pottowatomie County Pedalers


Mulled wine and Snacks at Natura Winery Open House Dec 11

Holiday Open House at Natura Winery

Saturday, December 11 from 4 to 8 p.m

Browse their tasting room while enjoying mulled wine & hors d'oeurves.

While you are there, take a short trip right down Hioghway 16 and visit Nuyaka Creek Winery. In addition to their annual Oklahoma Pecan Sale, you can take advantage of their Christmas Gift bags special when buying a case of Christmas cheer-builder!

Oklahoma Wine News - Wine Events News from the Heartland!


Oak Hills Winery to Open in 2005

Another Oklahoma Winery and Vineyard!

Oklahoma Wine News welcomes Tim and Johnna Decker from Oak Hills Winery and Vineyards in Chelsea, OK.

They recently got their State and Federal Licenses and a web page is in the process of being done. They are hoping to open in the first week of June 2005. Stay tuned to Oklahoma Wine news for more info!


Thursday Class on Grape Vineyard Management in Perkins, OK

2005 Grape Management Course at OSU - Stillwater

Take this opportunity to grab some wine grape growing education without making the trip to Texas or California!

Class size:
Course limited to first 70 registrants.
Preregistration required! Registrations will be
processed on a first come basis.

$250 per individual plus $100 for spouse
Format: Discussion and practical exercise
Time Frame: March - October 2005

Oklahoma Fruit Research Station, Perkins, OK.
( 1/2 mile north of Hwy 33 & 177 intersection)

Find out more (*PDF Format)

Check out the top notch staff OSU has lined up to teach this course:

Dr. Dean McCraw (Oklahoma wine industry pioneer)
Professor Emeritus, OSU, Stillwater

Dr. Sharon von Broembsen
Extension Plant Pathologist, OSU, Stillwater

Dr. Phil Mulder
Extension Entomologist, OSU, Stillwater

Dr. William McGlynn
Agriculture Products Processing, OSU, Stillwater

Dr. Keith Striegler
Asst. Director - Viticulture, Mid-America
Viticulture and Enology Center, Southwest
Missouri State University, Mountain Grove, MO

Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari
Director, Mid-America Viticulture & Enology
Center, Southwest Missouri State University, Mountain Grove, MO

Stephanie Larimer
Horticulture & Landscape Architecture Department Oklahoma State University, Stillwater
Phone: 405-744-5404
email: stephanie.larimer@okstate.edu


Antioxidant Health Benefits of Elderberry and Chokecherry

Patrons of Nuyaka Creek Winery (http://www.nuyakacreek.com) know they make a wide selection of wines made from native Oklahoma fruits. A recent article in WebMD lists more reasons to make a trip out there and grab some of the unique Oklahoma wines they produce.

A new study shows that purple berries, such as elderberry, black currant, and chokeberry, are as much as 50% higher in antioxidants known as flavonoids than some of the more common berry varieties, such as blueberries and cranberries.

Researchers say those potent antioxidant concentrations will likely mean that purple berries will play a bigger role in the creation of health foods, drinks, and nutritional supplements designed to exploit the health benefits of antioxidants.

Whether it be healthy wines, christmas shopping or a wish to buy some large Oklahoma pecans (also high in antioxidants), now is a great time to visit Nuyaka Creek Winery. They are even offering free gift bags fwith your wine purchase. A case of Oklahoma wine in your kitchen means you always have a wonderful holiday gift ready if unexpected visitors arrive and a healthy libation if they don't!

Purple Berries Pack Potent Antioxidant Punch

Oklahoma Wine News Attacked by Smear Campaign

Controversy Dividing Oklahoma Wine Industry Supporters

Frequent readers of Oklahoma Wine News should know that presidential politics are (IMHO) rarely discussed in this blog. I won't deny having passionate feelings on the topic, but I try to keep them from getting in the way of keeping readers informed of important Oklahoma wine events.

Some might say that I am not trying hard enough to keep politics out of the way. In fact, I just got carbon copied on the following email to the Oklahoma Grape Growers and Winemakers Association.

To whom it may concern,

I visit your website frequently and noticed that sometimes there are links on your website that takes me to the "Oklahoma Wine News". Although I have also been to that website several times, the last few times I noticed a link at the bottom of the homepage to the Kerry/Edwards website and also a link that was titled "Bush's resume" that went on to belittle the President for his "lack of experience". Most frequently on her homepage (currently) she is critizing (sic) Oklahoma house republicans on their voting record.

I have long supported the business of winemaking in Oklahoma, as well have many of my friends and business associates. We like to enjoy wine and wine news without having someone's personal political views mixed in. She is free to have her views and website, but our concern is with the OGGWMA and the links to her website you all share.

I have contacted several of your members about this and am still waiting for an offical (sic) reply.

I would like to know the OGGWMA's position on this and if you were aware of this propaganda on the "Oklahoma wine news" website?

As you can imagine, I was pretty shocked by the tone and intent of this email. Since he never commented on any entries on my blog, I can only assume his stated goal of enjoying wine news without politics was bogus. His actual goal appears to be launching some kind of boycott against my blog. So far, it is going great for him as the OGGWMA have decided to stop linking to Oklahoma Wine News.


First, let me say that the opinions expressed on the Oklahoma Wine News blog are those of the Author, Thomas Jones. These opinions do not pretend to reflect the views of my State, my Link Partners, my business associates or my wife (ok, especially my wife). :-)

If anyone has been led to believe that I represent OGGWMA or that any sites that link to my site endorse my opinion as their own, then I am sorry for your misunderstanding.

Official Response to the Above Email from Oklahoma Wine News.

I'm not sure who the 'she' you are referring to in your email is, but thanks for copying me on this email. I enjoy comments on my blog and yours brings up some interesting points. However, since several of your statements were false and/or misleading, let me address them now.

I am not a she and I reject the charge that I am most 'frequently critizing Oklahoma house republicans on their voting record'. Voting records were not even the subject of the posting that you site as so offensive, priorities were. The only mention of house republicans was in the news article linked.

This blog is solely the work of Thomas Jones and not a property of OGGWMA, WineAmerica, The Republican Party or anyone else. It might interest you to know that my parents host Oklahoma Wine News on their website, because it helps them sell their product. The probably agree with me less than you. You see, there is no comparable site on the internet that manually digs up and freely posts any Oklahoma wineries news events, and actively works to push wine tourism traffic to ALL of the Sooner State's wineries.

Links are Not the Enemy

I link to 3 kinds of sites, (1) Oklahoma wineries - all of them, whether they agree with me or not, (2) Link Partners that recognize how critical cross-linking is both to their own search engine rankings and the integrity of the entire network and (3) Sites I enjoy reading.

I don't subscribe to the naive belief that every site that links to mine endorses all of my opinions. Web sites link to Oklahoma Wine News for many reasons such as: (1) They are Oklahoma wineries and whether they agree with me or not, they know I send a great deal of traffic to their websites (2) we are Link Partners meaning they get preferred placement of their links, as a reward for cross-linking to their own sites (3) they know their visitors want as much info as they can get on Oklahoma wines and (4) some folks just enjoy reading it.

Getting Oklahoma Wine News with Less Politics

Anyone offended by the blogs and other sites I link to should consider a Bloglet Subscription to get Oklahoma Wine News by email. Bloglet gives you one-click unsubscribe or subscribe to as many email newsletters as you would like to manage. It will email you every Oklahoma Wine News posting without the extra links and ads on the website.

We also offer RSS Feeds of Oklahoma Wine News in several formats, you can easily get your Oklahoma Winery events news via Bloglines (My Personal Favorite), Rocket Reader, My Yahoo! or any number of other news feed readers.

In summary, this blog helps generates wine tourism for Oklahoma wineries, participating in email smear campaigns will generate NOTHING but division among allies.

If there are any other sore winners that would like to participate in the attack on my blog, you may want to contact OGGWMA to express your feeling, as I don't intend to publish the name and email address of the complainer.

To contact me check the top left hand corner of my blog for my email address or feel free to leave a comment!

Thomas Jones - Author of Oklahoma Wine News.


Have Fun in Northeastern Oklahoma

Visit YourOklahoma - Official State Web Site

For those of you looking for some Green Country attractions to visit while you are in Tulsa Christmas shopping, the State of Oklahoma has been kind enough to compile a list.
Official State List of Northeastern Oklahoma Attractions.

They have a nice list of Oklahoma Wineries, Wildlife Parks, Zoos, Festivals, Sports Venues, Amusement Parks, Theatres, Golf Courses, Museums and Historic Sites.

Don't say Oklahoma is boring until you have checked out these fun Green Country attractions.

Viognier - The Drought and Humidity Resistant Wine Grape

Viognier to become state's signature white?

GoTriad had posted a very informative article on a wine grape variety that you don't hear too much about in Oklahoma...Viognier. Viognier has some serious advantages for southern winemakers. Because the grape is thick-skinned and grows in looser clusters, it better tolerates high humidity better. The Viognier grape is also fairly drought resistant and since the grapes are smaller-berried, the flavors are often more intense than Chardonnay.

Can North Carolina carve a niche - and burnish its wine reputation - with Viognier?

More and more Tar Heel wineries are bottling Viognier (pronounced VEE-OWN-YAY), a white grape nearly extinct 20 years ago and virtually unknown beyond the northern Rhone region of France.

To learn more about wine grapes check out the wine grapes page at VineByDesign.com.


New Markets for American Wineries

American Winery Sales Growing Globally

Through innovation, hard work and community support, American wineries are making in-roads into markets all over the world. In Texas now, a company called Water 2 Wine is making vintners out of Texans by the score! For an average price range of $150 to $300, the winemaking-on-premise store will help customers make and watch over a batch of wine from fermentation to fruition. Innovations like Water 2 Wine's on-premise winemaking programs may be an important opportunity for wineries in non-shipping states like Oklahoma.

...1999 statistics released by the Wine Institute claim that total U.S. wine exports for the period 1998-1999 have jumped in value to half a billion dollars with a 14% annual compounded growth rate in volume.

Also, the Department of Commerce reports that the export of U.S. wines to the European Union (EU) countries has increased at the rate of 20% to 25% in the past couple of years. The EU countries account for well over half of all U.S. wine exports.

In addition to the United Kingdom, which received a total of 6,120,265 cases of U.S. wine in 1999, Canada, Japan, The Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries were also principal buyers of significant quantities of U.S. wines.

With the current State restrictions on wine shipping outside of Oklaphma, Sooner State winemakers will have to continue to cultivate customers by throwing open their doors for tastings during every weekend and holiday for the foreseeable future. This is a tough break for the wineries, missing out on the potential profits of exporting their wines and the lessons to be learned from international competition.

However, winery visits and vineyard tours make a nice weekend outing, now that the chicken fights are illegal! lol

Oklahoma Wine News - Your source for Oklahoma winery tasting events and wine industry news