I am asked frequently about homegrown Arkansas wines — my opinion on quality, future of the industry and do I buy them?
Recently I was invited to do a quick three- or four-second window on an Arkansas promotion for AETN about the Arkansas Wine Trail. It gave me a chance to re-examine the growth and opportunity we have in our own backyard.
Many Arkansas wineries are not only producing indigenous grapes but also sourcing from grape-growing regions around the United States. I personally enjoy the wines from indigenous grapes that are homegrown and unique to our state. The Cynthiana, Muscat, Norton and delicate fruit wines are worth the exploration and enjoyment.
Exploring those unique wines is as easy as exploring The Arkansas Wine Trail.
The Arkansas Wine Trail extends from Eureka Springs to Altus and Paris to Hot Springs. There are many opportunities to explore not only the wineries along the trail, but also the state’s spectacular scenic vistas and towns. You could make a weekend getaway at almost any location along the way.
Also worth noting is the Arkansas Wine Country 100 Bike Tour (this year’s event took place in March). The annual event offers 17-, 35-, 80- or 100-mile routes. You can pick your pace and route. The tours begin and end at the Post Familie Winery in Altus. One of the benefits of this perspective of seeing our wine regions is the opportunity to bike through a scenic and outdoor experience along the Arkansas River Valley. The various routes pass through Altus, Ozark, Paris, Subiaco, Scranton, Hartman and Coal Hill.
Just as we are experiencing an explosion of craft beer in Arkansas, I think we will continue to see new and up-and-coming wineries on the Arkansas Wine Trail.
My answer to the questions about Arkansas wines: Yes. Arkansas produces a variety of fine, quality wines, there’s lots of exciting growth happening, and I do buy and drink Arkansas wine.