Our friends David and Pam came to Western Oklahoma to visit and brought us this bottle of Wiederkehr Wine from Altus, Arkansas. They were shocked to learn that Oklahoma has an entire program supporting agri-tourism of the wine industry.
According to the Wiederkehr history..."In 1880, Johann Andreas Wiederkehr and his family emigrated from Switzerland to Altus, Arkansas (Altus comes from the Latin word for "high"). He chose St. Mary's Mountain, near Altus, as the location of his home in the New World because the area's mountains, valleys, and ridges had many different microclimates, some resembling the grape-growing climates in Europe's finest wine regions. Here in the beautiful Ozark Mountains high above the Arkansas River valley, the very shape of the countryside, the soil, and the climate closely matched that which for centuries had nurtured some of Europe's great wines.
In his new homeland, one of Johann's first tasks was to carve a large wine cellar from a hillside. The cellar still exists, and is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Johann's wine cellar was converted into the Weinkeller Restaurant, serving authentic Swiss and European culinary delights to thousands of visitors at the Wiederkehr Village and Winery each year.
Johann's first wines were produced from the grapes, blackberries, and persimmons that were native to the area. By planting the noblest grape varieties and producing fine wines, he helped to pioneer the American wine industry—Wiederkehr Wine Cellars is U.S. Bonded Winery Number 8. From these humble beginnings, the winery has remained a family operation with third and fourth generation members dedicated to producing only the finest wines available."
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