Arkansas Wine Country and Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Culinary Tour The Arkansas Wine Country and Winthrop Rockefeller Institute are great destinations for cooking and wine aficionados. Day: 1, 2 Day 1 Thousands of visitors stop to savor Arkansas’s award-winning wines, tour its wineries and soak up the history of Arkansas Wine Country each year. Arkansas is the oldest and largest grape juice and wine producing state in the southern United States. Arrive in Altus and enjoy a tour at one of the wineries - Post Winery, Mount Bethel Winery, and Chateau Aux Arc - which operate in the Altus area. Two are found in nearby Wiederkehr Village: Wiederkehr Wine Cellars and Neumeier Winery. Each offers free tours and operates tasting rooms. Some offer extra amenities such as a gift shop, a restaurant, a RV park, or a bed and breakfast inn. Lunch at Wiederkehr Wine Cellars. Its original hand-dug wine cellar, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the site of the Weinkeller Restaurant and features Swiss and Continental cuisine. OR, have lunch at one of several restaurants on Altus’s historic downtown square, such as Alligator Ray’s and Kelt’s. The downtown square is comprised of shops containing antiques, collectibles and crafts. Enjoy the centerpiece of the square, a beautiful city park containing a coal mining memorial and a Veterans Memorial. In the late 20s and 30s, the coal mines played a very important part of the economy of Altus and a thorough recitation of the region's coal mining history can be found at the town's Heritage House Museum. From Ark. 186, take Ark. 64 west, Ark. 23 south and then turn south on Ark. 309 to Paris. Preserving the viticultural past of The Natural State is the Arkansas Historic Wine Museum at Cowie Wine Cellars through winemaking artifacts and biographical histories of winemakers. It is the only wine museum in the nation dedicated to the wine history of a state and is located on Ark. 22 at Carbon City, just west of Paris. Head back to the west on Ark. 22 and take Ark. 309 south to Mt. Magazine State Park, the highest point in Arkansas, rising out of the Arkansas River Valley to an elevation of 2,753 feet above mean sea level. The mountain’s eight scenic overlooks have traditionally enticed visitors up the mountain. It also offers hang gliding, rappelling, camping, trails, and an extensive butterfly population. A visitor center contains exhibits and a gift shop. You can dine at the lodge’s restaurant and spend the night in a lodge room or cabin. Day 2 From Mt. Magazine, take Ark. 309 south, Ark. 10 east, Ark. 27 east, and then Ark. 7 to Ark. 154 to Petit Jean Mountain and Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute in the central part of The Natural State entertains and educates with food in a classroom designed specifically for culinary arts. The Saturday Chef’s Series is a one-day, hands-on class for recreational cooks. Chef-On-Call is a special session of the one-day class that can be scheduled for organized groups. The classes at the Institute are very popular, as is this facility for its amenities and proximity to Petit Jean State Park. Arrive at WRI, grab an apron, and start cooking if you’ve signed up for one of the special chef classes. OR, tour the Heritage Farmstead. This demonstration garden serves as an example of a self-sufficient farm, and includes orchards and a heritage garden of indigenous plants. You can also tour the museum, browse the gift shop, or walk one of the trails. Head home if you must. But if possible we strongly suggest you enjoy dinner at the Institute’s River Rock Grille, and then relax at the private club (free membership) before heading to your cozy lodge room.