April 1 Declared Gil Nickel Day in Oklahoma

Gov. Brad Henry will issue a signed proclamation for the State of Oklahoma declaring Friday, April 1, as Gil Nickel Day. The native Oklahoman and supporter of St. Gregory's University in Shawnee was a leading visionary of the Napa Valley wine industry and founder of Far Niente Winery.

St. Gregory's University will honor the late Gil Nickel Friday night, at their annual Wines of the World auction and dinner in Oklahoma City. The university will present Mr. Nickel posthumously with the university's inaugural Lux Benedicti Award or The "Light of Benedict" Award. This award recognizes persons who exemplify the values that lie at the foundation of the Catholic university: hospitality, community, reverence, attentiveness, service, balance, integrity and excellence.

Gil was a 1961 graduate of Oklahoma State University, where he studied physics and math. After serving in Vietnam with the Oklahoma National Guard, he relocated to Southern California, where he worked as a guided missile analyst at the United States Naval laboratory in Corona, California.

Technorati Wine Tag

Shawnee News-Star Online - Gov. Henry to declare April 1 as Gil Nickel Day 03/31/05

Glenpool and Tulsa To Celebrate Oil Discovery

Birth of a Boomtown, Birth of a State

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Ida E. Glenn discovery, and the cities of Glenpool and Tulsa will be celebrating this great event. (click here for more info)

The Ida E. Glenn No. 1 oil well gusher was struck in November of 1905. During that year Oklahoma produced more oil than any other state in the United States AND more than any other country in the world. Not surprisingly, Oklahoma became a state in 1907.

There was no apparent reason on the surface of the Glenn Pool to drill a well where Robert Galbreath and Frank Chesley drilled. But they put their tust in wildcatters luck, and they forever changed the American oil industry. It has been said that more money was made on the Glenn Pool oil field than the California gold rush and Colorado silver rush combined.

The cities of Glenpool and Tulsa will be celebrating this historic event in November. Check http://www.glennpoolcentennial.com/ as other activities are announced.

Tidal School Vineyards Country Concert and Dinner April 23

Tidal School Winery's first ever Country Music Dinner Concert event!

Saturday April 23, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM enjoy a concert by: Sean Adair and the Okie Islanders. Sean's band performs traditional and new country sounds plus some acoustic for you guitar lovers!

Dinner will include: BBQ Beef Brisket, Baked Beans, Tabouli, Corn on the cob, Bread, and Cobbler for desert.

Price: $19.50 per person plus tax and wine.

Advance ticket purchase is required:
Call toll free 866-258-1903.

Tidal School Vineyards - Vintage Oklahoma Winery, Vineyards and Event Venue


Nowata County Farm Show April 23rd

Show Your Oklahoma Products at Nowata Fairgrounds

The USDA, in conjunction with the Cherokee National Agriculture Office, Natural Resources Conservation Service and OSU Cooperative Extension Service will be hosting the third annual Nowata County Farm Show at the Nowata County Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 23rd beginning at 8:00 a.m.

Booth space will be available for free to any agency or exhibitor wishing to display their agriculturally related products. To reserve booth space, please contact Danny Stone at 918-273-0333, ext. 111.

There will be exhibits, seminars and workshops throughout the day with a free meal beginning at 5:00 p.m. for all farm show attendees and exhibitors who register prior to April 15th. For more information contact:
USDA Program Technician, Cocieta Collins - email: Cocieta.Collins@ok.usda.gov


Looking for a Fungi?

Morel Mushrooms Season

Though not a wine event, our family is celebrating a much revered season of celebration in Oklahoma: Mushroom hunting season!

Just after the end of the cold winter weather in Oklahoma, hardy collectors start combing the wods for the illusive Oklahoma Morel Mushroom. In our area, you get about three weeks to hunt these rare and wonderful fungi, before they disappear. This year, I was surprised to learn that in Michigan they have So MANY morels they put on a Morel Mushroom festival!

Although, I will probably miss this year's Morel Festival...someday I have to make it to Boyne City Michigan for my chance to meet the Woody - The Morel Festival mascot!

Lincoln County Grape Growers

Did you know that grape acreage in Lincoln County is equal to the acreage in all other counties combined?

The new website for Lincoln County Grape Growers has this tidbit and more.


Pawcasso Art Auction and Wine Soiree April 16

Tulsa Jazz, Wine & Art Benefit with Sparks Winery

Enjoy tasting a variety of Oklahoma wines from Sparks Winery and others along with dinner and dessert from Carrabba's, Abruzzi and Ludger's at the Second Annual Pawcasso Art Auction & Wine Soiree. Join in some great fun for a great cause at OSU's Tulsa campus on Saturday, April 16, 2005 at 7 pm.

Bid on cool custom pet art and more at the silent auction and enjoy music by Rebecca Ungerman. Contributions to the Pawcasso Art Auction and Wine Soiree event will raise funds to expand PAWS’ Spay-to-Save program and prevent even more unwanted puppies and kittens from being destroyed in our community.

Event tickets are $40 per person or $75 per couple. Ticket information and reservations can
be made by calling 918-376-2397 or visit http://www.pawsoftulsa.org/.

This is for a great cause, contact PAWS at 918-376-2397 and reserve your tickets today!


Oklahoma Arts and Wine Festival - Shawnee June 11, 2005

Get Ready for the 2005 Oklahoma Arts & Wine Festival

Date: June 11, 2005
Location: Bell Street, Downtown Shawnee, Oklahoma

The 3rd annual Oklahoma Art & Wine Festival in downtown Shawnee will gather together over a dozen Oklahoma wineries and numerous local artists for the public to enjoy.

The musical line-up will feature a little something for everyone and the food promises to be a big hit. Families are welcome and encouraged to attend and the June weather looks promising to event coordinators.

The 3rd annual festival continues a trend for event coordinators. All subsequent festivals will be held the second Saturday in June to allow families and vendors to prepare for the event in advance.

All wine tasting guest must be 21 or older with proof of age. Technorati Wine Tag

There will also be a juried art contest. Artists may register at Downtown Shawnee 23 East 9th, Suite 411. Since time is limited please register before April 11. If you have any questions please call: (405)273-1080 or email: info@downtownshawnee.org

2005 Oklahoma Arts & Wine Festival

Instant Drip Ring Tip

Avoid Wine Stains With Makeshift Drip Ring
Vivi's Wine Journal has posted a nice tip in their WineHacker category. Stop by Vivi's blog to read about a cheap, Instant Drip Ring to keep your tablecoth clean while serving wine.

Vivi's Wine Journal

Red Wine - Red River Shootout

Oklahoma winemakers! If a little Oklahoma vs. Texas Competition whets your appetite, then put on your Game Face and get ready to rumble!

The Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association has announced their Call for Entries to the 2005 Lone Star International Wine Competition. A new limited production competition was developed for wines with total production of less than 200 cases.

Texas Wine Competition Dates:

  • May 13, 2005 - Deadline for forms

  • May 27, 2005 - Deadline for wine shipments

  • June 2 & 3, 2005 - Judging

  • June 4 - Winners announced to media and trade

  • June 6 - Winners posted at www.twgga.org

Don't miss your chance to join in on this rowdy, red river red wine rivalry!


Wine Business Monthly Covers Vineyard Pest Management

One of the key publications supporting wine industry professionals is Wine Businesss Monthly. This wine industry trade magazine keeps readers up-to-date on the latest developments and trends in the global business of making wine, with an emphasis on best practices and new products as they pertain to winemaking, grape growing, marketing, sales, finance and business administration.

You can see an example of the type of articles they publish at their website Wine Business Online. This month Lance Cutler has written an excellent article on vineyard pest management. The article consists of interviews with top vineyard managers on a wide range of viticulture topics such as: mildew control, weeds, grasshoppers, cutworms, thrips and determining ripeness. Here's a short taste of that article:

Having a group of vineyard managers in my home and listening to their conversation was like listening to a group of foreigners talk amongst themselves. They speak the code of rootstocks, the numerology of clones and the mumbo jumbo of herbicides, fungicides and organics.

Over the course of the afternoon I learned quite a lot: I can now distinguish between various fungicides, such as inorganic, contact, sterol inhibitors, strobilurins and quinolines. How these products are used in keeping a vineyard healthy and pest-free is a delicate balancing act.

Check out the full article here: Grape Growers Roundtable - The Pest Management Balancing Act


Buy Cynthiana Grape Vine For One Dollar

Summerside Vineyards - Plant a Grape Vine Deal

Vinita winemakers Marsha and Gary Butler of Summerside Vineyards are offering a great Spring promotion!

Saturday, April, 16, 2005 you can 'Celebrate Plant a Grape Vine Month'
Buy two bottles of wine, get a Cynthiana Grape Vine for only $1.00!

TIME: 11am-3pm
PHONE: 888-580-9463

The Cynthiana wine grape (also known as Norton) produces a rich, full-bodied red wine with a dry character similar in style to Cabernet Sauvignon but with more spice. You can learn more about hybrid wine grapes like Cynthiana and others at VineByDesign's website.


Easter Egg Hunt at Natura Winery March 26, 2005

Make Reservations for Easter at Natura Winery

All children up to age 10 may participate in egg hunt and a Wine Tasting for adults with Brunch will be held, following Egg Hunt.

Price: $20.00 per family - over 4 per family add $5.00 per person.

Call the winery for reservations and more info at: 918-756-9463. Want to taste more Oklahoma wines? Take time to visit Nuyaka Creek Winery, just a short drive from Natura!

Natura Winery

Bioterrorism Act Creates New Audit Requirements for Winemakers

How the Bioterrorism Act Impacts Oklahoma Wineries

The FDA has included wine in the new federal Bioterrorism Act. This will directly impact the Oklahoma wine industry since most U.S. wineries must eventually comply to the new information tracking requirements.

Wineries that have 10 or fewer full-time employees have until Dec. 9, 2006 to be in compliance. Wineries with 11 to 499 full-time employees have until June 9, 2006 and wineries with more than 500 fully employed people must be in compliance by Dec. 9 of this year. For the time being, the new rules exempt wineries with fewer than 11 full-time employees, which sell more than 50 percent of their products out of their cellar door.

The new set of rules states that every ingredient, additive, and physical item that comes in contact with a wine, has to be itemized and tracked. To make matters worse, the rules appear to require that the records be maintained FOREVER! Strangely enough, wineries who are importing their wines into this country, are not required to meet the FDA's guidelines.

Vintner's that choose to ignore the new rules risk seeing their entire production being quarantined. Currently, only a few software development companies are working on solutions to help wineries track their processes.

StHelenaStar.com - How will wineries comply with Bioterrorism Act?

Direct Discrimination Against Interstate Commerce

New York Ruling On Direct Shipping Constraints
A law banning out-of-state wineries from directly shipping their products to New York consumers is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled last Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ruled that the New York law 'constitutes a cut and dry example of direct discrimination against interstate commerce.'
The important goals of temperance and prohibiting the sale of wine to minors can be addressed in a nondiscriminatory manner for out-of-state as well as for in-state wineries.

The New York law, similar to laws in 29 other states, requires that imported liquors be distributed only through licensed wholesalers and retailers. Judge Berman found the state law to be discriminatory since New York allows in-state wineries to ship directly to New York consumers.

Berman plans to decide what remedy should result from his ruling after a legal conference on Dec. 5, 2005.

Wired News: New York Wine Law Struck Down


Oklahoma Wine at Garden Show March 19 and 20

Five Oklahoma Wineries to Pour at Enid Event

Event: Enid Home, Garden and Recreation Show 2005
Date: March 19, 2005 thru Sunday March 20th
Time: from 9-6pm Sat. and from 12-5pm Sun
Cost: Admission and parking are free!
Location: Chisholm Trail Pavilion on the Garfield County Fairgrounds

Adults can enjoy wine tasting featuring five area wineries, children will have a chance to watch animals from the G.W. Exotic Animal Foundation. The non-profit foundation in Wynnewood will present shows at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Pavilion. The foundation features lions, tigers and other exotic animals.

New Hampshire Direct Shipping for Wineries

Download New Hampshire's Direct Shipping Application

New Hampshire, the first state to allow direct shipping of beer, wine and spirits to consumers and licensees, has made it even easier for Oklahoma wineries to ship into the State.

Effective January 1, 2001 there will be NO CHARGE to obtain a direct shipping permit from the NH State Liquor Commission. In addition, the permit can be issued with evidence that your business is in good standing in your state of domicile. You will no longer have to register to do business with the NH Secretary of State. Obtaining a direct shipping permit from the NH State Liquor Commission will allow you to reach thousands of new consumers and open up or expand your existing markets.

Please read the application requirements and permit restrictions carefully to determine whether a direct shipping permit is right for your business.

NH State Liquor Commission


New Oklahoma Wine Industry Websites

Three New Oklahoma Wine Links

Those who visit Oklahoma Wine News know we try and keep an updated list of Oklahoma wineries and their websites in the left hand column of this wine blog. Keep an eye out for a couple new additions to the list of Oklahoma wine and grape grower websites. These are sites that are just coming on line.

Moonfeathers Winery

Greenfield Vineyards & Winery

Lincoln County Grape Growers

Good Luck to Them All!


Jazz Brunch to Benefit Special Olympics April 24

Cabin Creek Winery will be hosting a jazz brunch to benefit the Special Olympics on Sunday April 24, 2005. The brunch will be held at the winery from 11:30AM - 2:30PM.

For more information email: Cabin Creek Winery at: info@cabincreekwine.com or give them a call at: 918-783-5218.


Oklahoma Wine, Food and Barbecue in Enid April 9, 2005

Oklahoma Wineries at Enid Foodie Event April 9, 2005

The Enid News is reporting on a new Oklahoma event that will combine a cooking school, a barbecue cookoff and a tasting event. The Tasting Fair, Cooking School and the Smokin’ Red Dirt Cookoff are set for Saturday, April 9, at Cherokee Strip Conference Center. A new addition this year will be Oklahoma wineries that will have samples for adults 21 and older.

The event, sponsored by Eagle Marketing and Enid News & Eagle, revamps the Taste of Enid Cooking School that has been held for several years at Mark Price Arena. Entry forms for the barbecue cookoff can be found in the News & Eagle newspaper or may be picked up at the News & Eagle office. General admission tickets and tickets to the individual cooking schools go on sale at the News & Eagle March 21.

Cooking School Smokin’ this year from The Enid News & Eagle

Cement Truck Damages Local River Crossing and Economy

Trucker Damages Vital Bridge Leading to Nuyaka Creek Winery.

For decades, two crooked wooden bridges at Nuyaka have provided the area's only high water crossing of the Deep Fork River. Once again this vital river crossing has been damaged. As in the past, a trucker chose to ignore the weight limits on the bridge in order to save a little time. Now, just as the rainy season begins, area residents and visitors to the nearby Nuyaka Creek Winery will be forced to detour.

Don't expect to see the details of who the driver was or what cement company is responsible in the media anytime soon. In Oklahoma, we call this 'building a business friendly environment'. Unless, of course your business happens to be in Nuyaka. Communities in rural America depend on their byways remaining viable, safe, healthy and scenic economic resources. Let's hope Okmulgee County gets to work on this issue soon!

Winery visitors can still get to Nuyaka Creek Winery from Creek County's roads, check the map on Nuyaka Creek's website for directions from Highway 16. This will make the second time in two years that an Okmulgee County bridge outage has frustrated visitors to Nuyaka Creek Winery's Annual Spring Wine Festival.


StableRidge Vineyards Brings Home the Gold

Congratulations to StableRidge Vineyards in Stroud for winning a gold medal at the recent ADDY Awards presentation (National Advertising Council) for their distinctive wine label. The award was presented at a ceremony held at Oklahoma's Cowboy Hall of Fame.


Oklahoma HB 2219 Grape Resources and Wine Production Act

HB 2219 Passes Oklahoma House Narrowly

Oklahoma HB 2219 squeezed through the House in a split vote, 62-37, and was referred to the Senate.

The state Grape Resources and Wine Production Act would be created by House Bill 2219. Its purpose would be to develop programs that enhance grape and wine production and research, raise the profitability of Oklahoma grape and wine products, stimulate rural economic development, and boost tourism.

The new entity would be funded by a fee of $15 per ton of grapes commercially sold in Oklahoma and 10 cents per gallon on bottled wine or grape juice. Full article here: Magna Carta News February 2005


Free Course on Wine Evaluation

Interested in spending two weeks refining your wine tasting skills under the tutelage of a winery owner...for free? If you don't have time to get the goods straight from visiting Oklahoma wineries, you might be interested in this virtual wine tasting course:

Beginning Monday, March 7th, the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters (www.eGullet.org), will be featuring a free course on wine evaluation for its internet readership.

To register, just log in, check the list of recommended wines, buy a few bottles, and get comfy with your computer. Mary Baker, managing partner of Dover Canyon Winery in Paso Robles, will be teaching the class and helping students learn to evaluate wines. Her advise is to share the learning (and expense) with friends. Try inviting five friends over for an evening of internet wine evaluation and have everyone bring a bottle of wine, you will all get to evaluate six wines for the price of one!

Self Service Wine Tasting Equipment Supplier

Only Experience Can Lead to the Right Choice

In an Oklahoma Wine News posting last November, I blogged about VinoVenue, the wine bar in San Francisco using an innovative, automated, self-serve wine tasting system.

Today, I learned from Vivi's Wine Journal, that the company producing the self service wine tasting equipment now has an American distributor. New Zealand based Enomatic produces the technology and the American distributor is Rinaldi Distribution. Check out Vivi's full article: Wine Gadget Extraordinaire...update

Longtime readers know that I don't post wine tasting notes on this blog because my interest is in encouraging wine tasting and wine tourism on a personal level, not guided by the expensive opinions of elite wine snobs. Enomatic's (eno - means wine in Greek) technology enables wine sellers to keep bottles of wine opened and protected from oxidation for long periods of time. This should lead to more choices for wine tasters, better quality and maybe even a more democratic system of wine selection. Hopefully, this system, like wine blogs, can add diversity and transparency to the American wine industry...in my book that is pretty good news!


Unique Opportunity to Buy into the Oklahoma Wine Industry

Drumright Winery Seeks Investors

Tidal School Vineyards and a large California winery are entering into a deal to create, bottle and market several new wine brands here in Oklahoma. The deal, while small by international wine standards, still represents a fun and relatively low risk opportunity for both Tidal School Vineyards AND some new local investment partners.

If you are interested in the business side of winemaking, email Gary Schroeder: gary@tidalschool.com to learn more about this brand new wine investment opportunity.

Gary Schroeder, President
Tidal School Vineyards - Vintage Oklahoma Winery, Vineyards and Event Venue


OGGWMA Trellis and Tying Methods Seminar April 30

Wine grapes that are carefully trained on the appropriate trellis are likely to be more productive, healthy and fetch a higher price per ton when they sell. This has made trellis design and important area of study for Oklahoma vineyard managers.

An OGGWMA seminar, to be held April 30th at Woods and Waters Winery, will address this complex topic. Attendees will have the opportunity to observe eight varieties of vinifera grapes trained on four different trellis styles. Visit the Info Page on the Woods and Waters Website for more details.

Woods and Waters Winery

Natura Vineyard Pruning Class March 12

Learn to Manage Your Oklahoma Vineyard

The event will feature presentations by the President, and Vice President of the Oklahoma Grape Growers and Winemakers Association, Gene Clifton, and Bill Lehman.

Date: Saturday, March 12th, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.,

Price: $30 for a couple or $20 single and lunch is included.

Class space is limited, so call 756-WINE for reservevations.

Natura Vineyards and Winery