Path Home Shows 2014 Show Archive June 2014 Show 1426 Oklahoma Wine Trail

Oklahoma Wine Trail

We travel down an agritourism trail where Oklahomans turn water into wine.
Oklahoma Wine Trail

Oklahoma Wine Trail

For more information visit these links:

Oklahoma Agritourism

Travel OK

Oklahoma Wine Trails

Clauren Ridge Vineyard and Winery

Urban Wineworks

Oklahoma Grape Industry Council

Show Details

Show 1426: Oklahoma Wine Trail
Air Date: June 29, 2014

 

Transcript

Andy Barth: Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us here on “Horizon.” I’m Andy Barth; Rob McClendon is away this week. When people think of Oklahoma agriculture, things like cattle and wheat come to mind. But thanks to a dedicated group of agriculturalists, wine is hitting the Oklahoma scene in a big way. Today, more than 50 wineries and vineyards span the state, and many of them have been mapped out into various wine trails. And hot on that trail is our Alisa Hines.

Alisa Hines: A program being launched by Oklahoma Agritourism in conjunction with TravelOK is putting Oklahoma vineyards and wineries on the map – literally. And I was able to go on the trail to a couple of places in search of tasty Oklahoma wine.

Oh look, she’s carding him.

Where is your ID?

That’s awesome.

You don’t even have an ID [laugh]?

Alisa: Kristin McGee enjoys interacting with visitors of all ages at Clauren Ridge Vineyard and Winery in Edmond.

Kristin: They can see a lot of different stuff. We have winery tours of our facility, wine tasting, sit outside on the patio.

Alisa: A winery featuring Oklahoma grown grapes.

Kristin: We have nine different varietals right now. We try to actually use all of our own grapes. However, just like every other winery in the world, if we have to, we do have to supplement what we can. But what we try to do is keep all Oklahoma grapes. We’ll go out to other Oklahoma growers and try to get them from them. And if we don’t, if they have a loss, bad harvest, I mean we all know about Oklahoma weather, then we’ll try to go to California if need be.

Alisa: According to Oklahoma Agritourism’s Jamie Cummings, wineries like Clauren Ridge are a reflection of a growing industry.

Jamie Cummings: The Oklahoma Wine Trail is a conglomerate of 31 wineries in the state. There’s 10 trails. There’s two to four wineries per trail. They’re kind of meant to go at a leisurely pace that you kind of set yourself – it’s a self-guided tour. So you can make it an overnight – maybe stay at a guest ranch or a bed and breakfast. In the middle of that, you can take your time and see each unique winery.

Alisa: Unique things like Clauren Ridge’s wine cave.

Kristin: We are Oklahoma’s only wine cave. Now, it’s not a natural wine cave – it is a man-made wine cave, but there’s 18 inches of concrete all the way around so it stays a constant temperature throughout the entire year. We keep it anywhere from 60 to 64 – really nice, especially during the summertime if you’re hot. Also makes one heck of a tornado shelter – just make sure you bring a cork screw.

Alisa: Now, the trail can take you all the way from rural vineyards [horn honking] to a winery in the middle of town.

Marty Rogers: I mean, it’s fun to work here. I really like working here, you know, doing tastings and things like that.

Marty: This is gonna be the sweetest red we make.

Alisa: Marty Rogers is with Urban Wineworks and says they’re not quite like other wineries.

Marty: It is a little different. People come in and ask for the tour – our building obviously as you can see is quite small. So you know, we’re like, “Well, this is our tasting room, and there’s the restrooms and the kitchen and that’s it.” But our wines are uniquely our own, and you can only get them at our store.

Alisa: And at Urban Wineworks, you can even enjoy your wine with a little food.

Marty: We always run a few dinner specials. Normally, that’s gonna be a steak, some kind of fish and some kind of chicken dish. We also serve our tapas menu from 5 o’clock on.

Alisa: Now, Jamie says the Oklahoma Wine Trail came about in hopes of making visitors aware of our burgeoning wine industry.

Jamie: Before 2000, there were four wineries. Now, there’s over 60 registered with the ABLE Commission so the industry is booming. Most people don’t know that there are wineries in the state, and so we wanted to, No. 1, get that awareness out there, and so we were hoping that the wine trail would do that. And then secondfold, we were hoping that it would be just a grab-and-go map that people could grab and see rural Oklahoma and travel the state.

Alisa: Available at oklahomawinetrails.com, the map leads you on an adventure into Oklahoma wine country.

Jamie: Most of them are operating vineyards, and so you’re gonna meet the winemaker, and they’re so passionate about what they do. They’re so excited to meet you and tell you all about their wines – how they make their wines. And several of them – there’s a little key on the trail that can, will tell you if there’s an onsite vineyard, and most of ’em will be more than happy to take you around the vineyard and show you, depending on what time of year that it is, what’s, what’s going on with their vineyard and how that affects how they make their wine. And then most of them have their winery operation right there. Well, they take you back there and let you see it fermenting and all the tastes and smells that come along with that. It’s a pretty neat experience.

Alisa: So download a map and plan your trip down the Oklahoma Wine Trail.

Alisa: Congratulations on the new wine trail.

Jamie: Thank you!

[drinking wine]

Alisa: Oh, wow, that’s really good.

Alisa: Now, each stop on the trail is open at least two days a week with regular set business hours. So check the Oklahoma Wine Trails website to find out the hours before hitting the trail.

Andy: So Alisa, I hear that agritourism has a special promotion to help launch these wine trails.

Alisa: For a limited time only, they have a passport on the Oklahoma Wine Trails website that you can download from the Oklahoma Wine Trails website, and as you go to each winery you can receive a code. Once you’ve received codes for all four wineries on that trail, then you can go back to the website, enter your code and receive a charm for that trail. Now, you could actually receive all 10 for a complete set.

Andy: Well, certainly sounds like fun. Thank you so much, Alisa. And when we return, I visit with a vineyard owner about the barriers behind shipping wine in Oklahoma.