Free Vineyard Planting Workshop - April 15, 2006

Hottest New Oklahoma Ag Product - Wine Grapes! Learn how to get started at this FREE workshop.

Redlands Community College Planting Workshop

Redlands Community College in El Reno will host a planting workshop on Saturday, April 15. The workshop is free and open to the public.

RCC is planting a test vineyard at its Darlington Applied Research Center located 2 miles north and 3 miles west of El Reno. The workshop begins at 9:00 a.m. and should conclude by noon.

Twenty-two varieties will be planted including both grafted and own-rooted vines. Ten lucky participants will walk away with vines to plant in their own vineyards.

The Oklahoma State Regents recently approved RCC’s request to offer an associates degree in viticulture and enology. The test vineyard will be used in the program. Curriculum development for the program is underway and announcements are expected soon.

To register for the planting workshop please contact:
Andrew Snyder at snydera@redlandscc.edu or (405 ) 262-2552 ext. 2436.

Redlands Community College

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Upcoming Oklahoma Wine and Food Events

Just about everyone knows that great food and fine wines go together like peanut butter and chocolate. However, if you are interested in learning more about pairing our Oklahoma wines with the tastiest meals...look no further. Check out the fantastic Oklahoma food and wine events listed below:

Summerside Vineyards Presents Cooking with Herbs March 25, 2006

Come join Summerside Vineyards in Vinita for a wonderful meal where each course, served family style, includes the use of fresh herbs. Val Saamer, “Chef with a Flair”, will entertain you with a discussion of using herbs in your cooking. The price is $18.00 plus tax. http://www.summersidevineyards.com

Jazz Brunch at Cabin Creek Winery April 2nd 11-2pm

Enjoy Scrumptious brunch goodies from Chef's Melissa and Dennis, Smooth Jazz and of course great Oklahoma wines are always available. http://www.cabincreekwine.com/

Wine and Wranglers at Natura - Saturday, April 29th

Natura Winery near Beggs, Oklahoma will be having a good old fashioned country day at the winery! Come watch real cowboys at work on the Dillingham ranch. Rock and Sam will take you on a wagon ride up to the corrals where you can enjoy an authentic Chuck Wagon dinner, and a camp fire in the evening to make your S'mores! Entertainment will include a live music, and Patti Phillips of the T-Town Stars giving free line dancing lessons. http://www.naturawinery.com/

Oklahoma Wine News - Your source for Oklahoma Winery Events and Industry News.

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Valium Safe to Direct Ship, But Not Wine?

Oklahoma Congress Punts on Reform...Again!

A couple of measures seeking to reform Oklahoma's ancient and oppressive alcohol laws were killed in committees or buried via other arcane senate methods. Lawmakers continue to ignore the obvious tide of Oklahoma voter opinion that calls for a free and fair market for Oklahoma wines.

Meanwhile, the liquor distribution lobby has decided that the best way to 'level the playing' field' in Oklahoma is to file an injunction to ensure no Oklahoma winery can sell its products in our own state.

Oklahoma City's Action Wholesale Liquors and Central Liquor, along with Jarboe Sales Co. in Tulsa, smell the potential to build a monopoly for themselves on the backs of Oklahoma's farmers and family wineries. Sadly, many of the major media outlets seem to be ignoring this story. Here's a quote from The Cushing Daily Citizen, one paper that is willing to talk about the issue:

As far as the wholesalers' lawsuit is concerned, their plans may be partially realized with a temporary injunction against Oklahoma's wine industry. The injunction would stop shipments to liquor stores and restaurants.
I'm not sure what is supposed to be 'temporary' about it. The wholesalers argue that Oklahoma winemakers can't be trusted to report and pay their taxes and enforce the age limit laws to their high standard. Obviously, those issues go beyond restaurants and liquor stores and are not temporary. Wholesalers want Oklahoma judges to believe that the 22 percent fee they charge wine producers to 'distribute' is the only method for collecting taxes and checking ID's.

Ending the 'advantage' Oklahoma's few dozen family wineries supposedly have over Napa valley and the corporate liquor wholesalers is merely political cover for taking away what the people of Oklahoma demanded by a landslide majority vote.

What is that? Sound and sustainable local wine and grape industries.

Why ask the government for it? Because it was the government that took it away and that attacks it today. This will be the second time government meddling has killed Oklahoma's grape and wine industry.

I expect corporations to lobby our leaders constantly for favors, but from our leaders I hope for wisdom.

This issue should have been settled legislatively, not in the courts. Our justice system should be used to provide justice to victims...not create victims. The next time someone tells you that corporations need more protection from frivolous lawsuits remember that they are all too willing to abuse the courts for their own avarice.

The Cushing Daily Citizen - Oklahoma wine glasses: half full or half empty

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The 3 Largest Liquor Distributors Sue to Limit Consumer Choice

A quiet toast in the shade
A quiet toast in the shade,
originally uploaded by FreeWine.

Local Wineries Fight for Their Lives!

OGGWMA's Education Chair John Coleman and an Oklahoma winemaker have worked together and released an interesting letter on the changes in store for the Oklahoma wine industry.

I am writing to let you know about a fight that the grape growers and winemakers in this state are about to be engaged in that could determine if our industry lives or dies.

In case you haven't heard, three of the largest liquor distributors in the state have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of our right to self-distribute that was given to our winemakers by a vote of the people in a general election back in 2000.

You may or may not be aware of the fact that similar lawsuits have been filed in several states within the past year. In several of those states the winemakers lost their right to self distribute. Many other don't yet know their fate.

The wholesalers in Arkansas are even trying to take away the Arkansas wineries rights to sell wine at their own tasting rooms... -- John Coleman OGGWMA Education Committee Chairperson

See the entire letter for yourself on OGGWMA's website: http://www.oklahomawines.org/educhair.htm

Find your Oklahoma legislators on this list(Word format):

Please write, call, e-mail or fax them voicing concerns about your rights and the need of protecting economic diversity in Oklahoma.

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Taste the Green Wine at Natura March 17

St. Patrick's Day - Friday March 17th in Beggs, OK

Natura Winery will be open extended hours for St Patrick's Day. If you want to get away from the same old bar scene, stop by and enjoy some wine and complimentary appetizers on the deck. They will have the fire pit going (depending on the fire alert) and Irish music playing on the stereo. Bring your friends, or make some new ones! Get a temporary St Pats Tattoo and drink some green wine for luck.



Tackle and Tipple Event April 1

The Perfect His & Hers Oklahoma Wine Events

Join Nuyaka Creek Winery for our Spring Wine Festival May 6th, 2006 from Noon until 7pm!

Our family at Nuyaka Creek Winery is making plans for the annual Spring Wine Festival. This year it is on May 6th. We are interested in your input as to any activities that you might enjoy. http://www.nuyakacreek.com/winefest.htm

Tackle and Tipple deals at Nuyaka Creek Winery

In the meantime, we are going to have a special event on April 1st, 2006 (April Fool’s Day). This is your opportunity to make a “Fool” of the winemaker.

Pete, Nuyaka Creek Winery's winemaker, is always on the look-out for a good deal and he is ready to pass this on to you. He purchased a bunch of fishing tackle, some used, but most new and he is ready to give our customers the best prices they have ever seen.

For instance the bargains include:

  • Zebco 202 reels $1.99

  • Zebco Combo Rod & Reels $7.99 values to $25.00

  • Zebco Quantum Crappy reels $7.99 regular $25.00 value.

  • Many more including great buys on the old Zebco Classic 33, plus hooks and sinkers.

Come out, bring the whole family, and if the spouse isn’t interested in looking through fishing supplies, they can taste some wine while the fisherpersons (?) get the buy of a lifetime. If you don’t like the price of something you see, just haggle with Pete a little and see how big a 'FOOL' you can make him. He will be there making foolish deals all day long.

Bring a picnic lunch and you can try out some of your new purchases at the pond. We want to make this a fun day and we hope give you some really great buys.

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Plain View Winery in Lahoma, Oklahoma

Check out a brand new Oklahoma winery website that we have recently added to our local winery list: Plain View Winery.

Make the trip up to Lahoma, Oklahoma (not a typo, that is the name of their town) and visit Plan View Winery. Like my Dad's winery, Plain View Winery specializes in a number of non-traditional wines. Also like Nuyaka Creek, Con & Hart Pekrul have discovered the wonders of our local Elderberry.

Stop by and see the folks at Plain View Winery in Lahoma, Oklahoma and tell them the Oklahoma Wine News blog sent you!

Plain View Winery in Lahoma, Oklahoma

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Oklahoma Wineries and Wholesalers Battle Continues

Farmers and Families vs. Corporate Lies

Wine and spirits wholesalers in Oklahoma have taken legal action to fight the US Supreme Court decision to allow direct shipping from out-of-state wineries. The wine & spirits wholesalers: Central Liquor Co., Jarboe Sales Company and Action Wholesale Liquor Company all seek to prevent the deregulation of wine in Oklahoma. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision determined that wines should be allowed the same Direct Shipping rights as other industries.

The corporate liquor lobby groups say that deregulation would make Oklahoma law enforcement incapable of enforcing state law. Oklahoma’s state government has regulated the distribution of alcohol since 1959 under a system of licenced wholesalers and retailers. The wholesalers believe their efforts have made Oklahoma the symbol of responsible alcohol use in America.

Obviously, the liquor wholesalers are completely full of crap.

Their view that Oklahoma law enforcement would be unable to ensure that tax is collected on wine imported into the state is a laughable idea. Internet sales of all kinds of products in Oklahoma are growing by leaps and bounds everyday. Now the liquor lobby wants to argue that the risk of folks not paying their taxes, means consumers should not be allow to shop on the internet.

The claim that the increase in the number of Oklahoma businesses importing alcohol directly from out of state could prevent the police from enforcing the law is insulting to Oklahoma police officers, Oklahoma ciizens and Oklahoma businessmen. If you are an Oklahoma police officer that cannot enforce the law without the help of Liquor Wholesalers, please drop me a line.

If you think corporate wholesaler liquor distributors are LESS likely to cheat on their taxes than other businesses - you are just the kind of sucker the liquor lobby is searching for. Run for office and you can expect massive kick backs from special interest groups like theirs.

However, once they have built their lucrative monopolies, at the expense of honest, hard-working, family wineries, their zeal for tax law enforcement will be shown for the farce it is.

Think about what you can legally buy over the internet today and have direct shipped to your home. This year we did most of our Christmas shopping over the net, yet no Grinch has been accused of stealing the tax dollars. My boss sold his $11,000 RV over the internet. Much of my family purchases all of their presecription drugs over the internet and has them Direct Shipped to their homes.

Since the Lion's Share of all internet wine sales are done via credit card there is a clear audit trail with sales taxes often recorded by the credit card clearing houses.

Don't buy the lie, buy Oklahoma wines and let your representatives know you will be watching them!

This year the Oklahoma legislature will seek statutory and constitutional changes to our liquor laws in Oklahoma. The distributors hope to ensure that the only alcohol related jobs that survive in Oklahoma are that of liquor store clerk. Despite a monopoly in Oklahoma that reaches back to the 50's, they still refuse to promote Oklahoma's wines, prefering to deal with massive out of state corporations and backroom deal making.

If, like me, you envision and Oklahoma wine industry that eventually rivals Texas or California. If your want good income for both family wineries and Oklahoma vineyards and the opportunites that would provide our children - support honest reform.

If you think that the corporate liquor wholesaler lobby has EVER done anything to improve the lot of Oklahoma youth, farmers or tax payers then by all means - support their efforts to limit consumer choice.

Danny Morgan has long supported Oklahoma's farmers and family winemakers. Clearly he has more faith in our state's ability to enforce the law. A recent measure by Oklahoma Representative Danny Morgan calls for a statewide vote to amend the Constitution to permit winemakers to ship wine directly to consumers. It also would authorize wineries to receive orders for their products in written or electronic form. Currently, winemakers may only sell wine to consumers at wineries where wine is produced. His measure now goes to the state House floor for a vote.

If you think a free market provides more justice, quality and choice for Oklahoma citizens - then support your local family grape growers and winemakers. To stay up-to-date on this issue, stay tuned to the Oklahoma Wine News blog, OklahomaWines.org and Free the Grapes! Stae Rep. Danny Morgan thinks the voters of Oklahoma should decide this issue, how about you?

KOTV - State House Panel Approves Bill To Help Oklahoma Wineries

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New Oklahoma Wine Shipping Legislation Debate

OGGWMA Press Release
March 5th, 2006
For more information, contact: Gary Butler (info@oklahomawines.org)

Free the GrapesOklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association (OGGWMA) make headway with legislative efforts to FREE THE GRAPES!

HJR 1055 and HB 2918 authored by Rep. Danny Morgan will allow consumers to order wines and have them shipped by both in-state and out-of-state wineries. Gary Butler, President of OGGWMA said:
This legislation when passed would be a model for other states. We are resisting efforts from liquor wholesalers to modify these bills with un-necessary bureaucracy and red tape. This issue is a consumer issue, as well as a winery one.

Consumers want to have choices in the wines they purchase and the current three-tier system in Oklahoma limits the wine selection in retail stores to wineries who produce large volumes of wine. Most small farm based wineries do not produce at a volume that attracts the wholesalers so consumers have access to less than 17% of the wines produced by America’s 3500 wineries. -- Gary Butler, President Oklahoma Grape Growers & Wine Makers Association info@oklahomawines.org

The Oklahoma grape and wine industry has grown from three wineries in 2000 to more than 35 today and is the fastest growing agricultural industry in the state with hundreds of vineyards planted and more on the way.

Now is the time for wine consumers of Oklahoma to rise up and join us to FREE THE GRAPES by contacting their legislators using http://www.freethegrapes.com/, and keeping informed of the latest developments by visiting oklahomawines.org -- Gary Butler, President Oklahoma Grape Growers & Wine Makers Association info@oklahomawines.org

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Wine 101 at Cabin Creek Winery

Cabin Creek Vineyard & Winery has come up with a fun way to introduce wine tasting to more Oklahoma folks. Two Sundays in March their winery will be conducting Wine 101, a beginners class on wine evaluation. Taste their wines and discuss with the vintner.

Sunday March 19th 2-4pm
Sunday March 26th 2-4pm
$5 per person

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