Arkansas is the oldest and largest wine producing state in the South. This feat can be accredited to two Europeans who settled along the Arkansas River in the Altus area: Jacob Post, who arrived in 1872, and Johann Wiederkehr, who immigrated to Altus from Switzerland in 1880. The fertile soil found in Arkansas Wine Country paired with the region’s mild climate reminded them of the fine winemaking regions of Germany and Switzerland, and they each established vineyards here, marking the beginning of viticulture in Arkansas. Today, these vineyards and wineries are run by fourth and fifth generation descendents of the original families. Festivals are held annually, including Wiederkehr Weinfest and Altus Grape Fest. Enjoy free tastings and tours throughout the year at these sites:
Large assortment of wines, including Chardonnay and the Southern natural – muscadine. Retail & Tasting Open 7 Days A Week. Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon-Sat: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Located at 1700 St. Mary’s Mountain Rd. Altus, AR 72821. 479-468-2741. www.postfamilie.com
Wiederkehr Wine Cellars
One of the oldest wineries in mid-America offers free tours and tastings of its award-winning vintages. Wiederkehr Weinkeller Restaurant, located in the original 1880 underground wine cellars dug by Johann Andreas Wiederkehr, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Gift shop. All facilities open seven days a week, year-round. 3324 Swiss Family Dr. 479-GOT-WINE. 479-468-9463.