When you think of fine wine, do you think of Oklahoma? Probably not. Many people do not realize the abundance of wineries throughout the US, especially in a ‘rural’ state like Oklahoma. Wineries in Oklahoma
enjoy the areas bountiful farmland, which is often worth more to the owner as a vineyard than grazing land for cattle or other livestock. The growing season in Oklahoma is such that grape growers are able to yield a substantial harvest. There are now nineteen productive wineries in Oklahoma, with more starting up every year. Here, we will look at four of the most popular Oklahoma wineries, their best wines, and amenities available at the wineries.
What makes a great wine? The answer is simple- great grapes. Oklahoma wineries are earning competitive pricing on their crop yields. Their earnings are steadily increasing as they perfect their crops. Some of the highest-rated Oklahoma-made wines are the Route 66 Red wine from Summerside Vineyards & Winery, the Oklahoma Muscat Canelli from Natura Vineyards & Winery, Oklahoma Chardonnay from Tidal School Vineyard, and Sooner Spirit from Indian Creek Village Winery. These are just a few of my personal favorites, all of which are fine examples of the best of Oklahoma wines. Summerside Vineyard, Natura Vineyard, and the Tidal School Vineyard are located on or near Historic Route 66, making them prime tourist locations, especially in the summer time. Indian Creek Village Winery is located between Woodward and Enid on State Highway 412, which is northeast of the other three wineries.
The Summerside Vineyards and Winery near Vinita, Oklahoma, boasts a number of attractions, including spectacular wines. Visitors are encouraged to “nose around” the winery, especially those hoping to score a free sample! The staff at Summerside is upbeat and genial, and always available to answer questions or show guests around. Summerside further promotes its wines by offering customers the chance to create custom labels for anything from holiday gifting to weddings and parties.In addition to the cottages located onsite, Summerside features a restaurant and deli. This facility offers an assortment of unique cheeses, sausages, salads, and sandwiches. They also carry gourmet mustards, dipping oils, sweet garlic in oil, pickled asparagus, cookies, crackers, dips, and salsas. Many of the items on the menu are made in Oklahoma, making them perfect for pairing with a Summerside wine. Their menu is priced affordably, as are the wines available in the restaurant.
Natura Vineyards and Winery was established in 1999 near Beggs, Oklahoma, on Dillingham Ranch. Natura has been bottling its own wines since 2002. They started out with a few acres of Muscat Canelli and Zinfandel, and now produce twelve varieties. In addition to being a winery, Natura shares its home with Dillingham Ranch, one of the largest contiguous working cattle ranches in Oklahoma. Situated in a beautiful area of northeastern Oklahoma, Natura is home to numerous varieties of wildlife, including over a hundred species of bird. They welcome visitors to the property, especially since those who are interested in seeing how the wine is made. Since the grapes are grown on the same land as the winery, guests can see the entire process being carried out in one location.
Housed in a historical school building, the Tidal School Vineyard and Winery is ideal for party hosting and touring. It is located just a short drive from Route 66, just two miles south of Drumright on Highway 16. The Tidal School Building was originally built to serve the educational needs of the employees of John D. Rockefeller in the 1920s. Currently being restored and remodeled to house the winery, which opened in 2004. The facility offers a tasting room and gift shop, banquet room, and outdoor patio which overlooks the vineyard. The banquet room is ideal for weddings, parties, corporate events, and reunions. The staff also offers a wine tour and tasting, which enables even novice sommeliers to learn about wine, tour the grounds, and even taste several different varieties. All of this is offered free of charge!
Ringwood, Oklahoma, is home to Indian Creek Village Winery, one of the few Oklahoma wineries that invite guests to stay at their private Inn on the winery grounds. They also offer a selection of non-alcoholic grape juices for those not wanting to stay perpetually buzzed during their stay. These include Concord, Glass Mountain, and Muscadine grape juices. The Bed & Breakfast Inn is not only popular due to its location on the winery grounds, but also because it is hailed as one of the most romantic inns of the state. While staying at Indian Creek Village, your hosts will go out of their way to make sure you stay entertained. They will help you plan for a hunting or fishing trip. They have a certified art instructor on staff to help you create a personal souvenir of your stay. Also offered are quilting classes, gourmet food classes, and horseback riding. A campfire cookout or picnic can also be arranged. These amenities combined with the relaxing country atmosphere make this the perfect setting for parties or reunions. After you’ve seen all there is to see, you can purchase a gift basket, a one of a kind hand-crafted souvenir, or wine accessories in the gift shop.
Whether you chose to tour one of these wineries or another of the many wineries throughout the state, the result will be the same. Fine wine and the country atmosphere are sure to satisfy any gourmet appetite, even if you’re from “the big city.” If you can’t get out to one of the Sooner State’s many fabulous wineries, you can probably find some of their wines in your area. If not, do a little sleuthing and find wineries near your hometown. Whatever way you go, you will not be disappointed. There is simply nothing better than a well-made glass of wine.