My blog each Wednesday is going to discuss the wine offerings of Arkansas from individual vineyards, wines, festivals, wine-infused events and more.
Jill M. Rohrbach
Cowie Wine Cellars, a small family winery, became bonded in 1967. It vints an assortment of wines from locally grown grapes: full-bodied classic wines, dry dinner wines, sweeter sipping wines, authentic fruit wines. Cowie won its first award in the Eastern Wine Competition in New York in 1982 with its Cynthiana Wine. The Cynthiana was awarded a silver medal out of over 700 wine entries and only six gold medals and 51 silver medals awarded. Cowie has also won awards and medals in Arkansas, Indiana and Tennessee. In 1996, Cowie’s Blueberry Wine was selected to be offered to the official wine taster for Queen Elizabeth II. Its Port Wine, a gold medal winner, has also received many accolades.
At the winery, visitors can tour the wine cellars, where wine is fermented and aged, observe winemaking operations and enjoy a wine tasting. Unique to this winery is a new Bell Tower and the Gallery of Barrels, a collection of barrels adorned with oil painting scenes of wine and wine history by artist Bette Kay Cowie. Arkansas made Ozark Mountain Smokehouse meats, cheeses, and other picnic supplies are available for visitors to enjoy in the winery’s Grape Arbor, and gifts are available in the sales room. Cowie also offers a wide array of wine making supplies for the amateur wine maker. Additionally, Cowie offers a bed and breakfast inn. In summer and springtime, periodic meals are served weekend evenings with fine wine and live music.
The winery is also home to the Arkansas Historic Wine Museum, the only winery in the nation devoted to preserving the wine history of a complete state. The museum includes commercial and home winemaking equipment and information of the growth of the winemaking process since it first began in this viticultural region by early settlers.
Cowie is located in the Arkansas River Valley at the base of Mount Magazine, home of Arkansas’s newest state park, and near the famous Benedictine Subiaco Abbey. On scenic Ark. 22, Cowie is five minutes from Paris, 40 minutes from Fort Smith, 90 minutes from Fayetteville, and 120 minutes from Little Rock. For more information, contact Robert Cowie at (479) 963-3990 or visit www.cowiewinecellars.com.